• Directory of Taiwan

Kuomintang launches referendum over US pork imports

KMT Chairman Johnny Chiang opposes President Tsai's decision to relax restrictions on US pork

KMT Chairman Johnny Chiang (center).

KMT Chairman Johnny Chiang (center). (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Kuomintang (KMT) Chairman Johnny Chiang (江啟臣) on Sunday (Sept. 6) announced that he has officially launched a referendum on the import of U.S. pork containing ractopamine, calling on all Taiwanese to stand up against President Tsai Ing-wen's (蔡英文) policy change.

During a break from the annual KMT National Congress on Sunday, Chiang met with Kinmen County Magistrate Yang Cheng-wu (楊鎮浯), Yunlin County Magistrate Chang Li-shan (張麗善), Chiayi Mayor Huang Min-hui (黃敏惠), Taitung County Magistrate Yao Ching-ling (饒慶鈴), and others to hold a press conference in front of Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall. The event was in response to the government's recent announcement that import regulations on pork containing ractopamine would be relaxed.

Chiang stated that President Tsai used a press conference on Aug. 28 to make a decision regarding the health of Taiwanese and the future of the nation. She had not accepted congressional supervision or communicated with local citizens and governments, and she even disregarded the development of the Taiwanese pork industry, he said.

Chiang further claimed that she did not conduct an impact assessment before forcing the public to accept her decision. He pointed out that the KMT announced the referendum during Sunday’s meeting.

Starting Sept. 12, the party will travel throughout Taiwan to spread the word about the grave injustice, Chiang said. He added that he hopes Taiwanese will stand up and take back their rights next year by saying no to the Tsai government.

In addition, Chang pointed out that Yunlin is a pig-raising county, with 40 percent of the country’s pork grown there. She lamented that the Tsai administration had announced the relaxation of the regulations on American pork imports with an executive order.

Chang also said Tsai had made repeated mistakes and criticized the Council of Agriculture, which protects the rights and interests of pig farmers, as well as the Ministry of Health and Welfare, which maintains the country’s food safety standards.

“Once she rose to power, she forgot what she once stood for,” the commissioner said.