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DPP warns government against passage China trade pact

DPP warns government against passage China trade pact

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The Democratic Progressive Party legislative caucus on Tuesday warned the government against the passage of the trade-in-services pact with China and of any other controversial proposals.
An attempt by ruling Kuomintang lawmakers to ram through the accord last March resulted in the occupation of the Legislative Yuan by students and other activists known as the Sunflower Movement.
At the Legislature Tuesday, DPP chief whip Ker Chien-ming told Premier Mao Chi-kuo that his Cabinet could not touch any controversial topics and that he did not have the ability to touch them. The KMT did not have the ability to challenge the DPP either, Ker said.
The trade pact was the most obvious example of a controversial proposal which public opinion had rebelled against, so Mao and his team should not harbor any dreams about pushing it through this year, the opposition lawmaker said.
The pact was signed during the summer of 2013, but was soon targeted by the opposition and by social movements as unbalanced and unfair to Taiwan. The critics said the trade accord would harm the country’s small and medium enterprises, and cause bankruptcies which would result in growing unemployment. The opposition also accused the administration of President Ma Ying-jeou of having insufficiently defended Taiwan’s interests during the negotiations with China.
Under strong public pressure, the government, at the time led by Premier Jiang Yi-huah, agreed to a clause-by-clause review and votes by lawmakers, but the attempt by the KMT to push through the project ended the process.
Taiwan is also still seeking to conclude a trade-in-goods accord with China, but no official timetable has been mentioned.
Ker also mentioned the government plan for Free Economic Pilot Zones as a project the Cabinet would find it hard to make progress on.
In contrast, he mentioned the proposal for legislation governing the conducting of negotiations with China and the conclusion of accords as an item he would not oppose. The government agreed to the issue, a major demand of the Sunflower Movement, as its occupation of the Legislature came to an end last April. A DPP version of the proposal had been rejected by the KMT legislative majority 108 times, Ker noted Tuesday.


Updated : 2021-09-22 01:17 GMT+08:00