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Government promises to humbly listen: presidential spokesperson

Government promises to humbly listen: presidential spokesperson

Taipei, March 18 (CNA) President Ma Ying-jeou (???) has said his administration is prepared to engage in open and active discourse with civil society and humbly listen to the opinions of people from all walks of life, presidential spokesperson Charles Chen (???) said on Wednesday, the first anniversary of the Sunflower Movement. President Ma believes the anniversary offers the perfect opportunity for self-reflection and review, Chen added. In a democratic society like Taiwan, "any political demands proposed on the basis of the law should be fully respected," Ma was quoted as saying. "The government and civil society should not stand against each other." The two should work together to promote social reform, Chen quoted Ma as saying. Ma reiterated the call in his New Year's Day speech for dialogues and cooperation between the ruling and opposition parties, promising that the government would "humbly listen to the disparate voices of society" and engage in dialogue with civil society in an open and active manner as part of a broader effort to forge consensus on a new developmental direction for the country and its people, Chen said. The Sunflower Movement refers to a mass protest that activists -- mostly college students -- held in front of the Legislative Yuan on March 18, 2014, in which they voiced opposition to the cross-strait trade-in-services agreement and their anger over the haste with which the Legislature was reviewing the accord. During the protest, the activists stormed the Legislature and occupied its main hall until April 10, agreeing to leave only after Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng promised that the cross-strait agreement would not be reviewed before the passing of a draft oversight act for cross-strait agreements. One year later, the legislature has yet to make any progress on the oversight act. (By Kelvin Huang and Elizabeth Hsu)


Updated : 2021-09-23 11:39 GMT+08:00