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Premier rejects proposal to hold referendum on economic pact

Premier rejects proposal to hold referendum on economic pact

Taipei, March 10 (CNA) Premier Liu Chao-shiuan turned down Tuesday a proposal that a referendum be held to resolve the controversy over whether Taiwan should sign an economic cooperation framework agreement (ECFA) with China.
Liu told legislators during a question and answer session in the Legislative Yuan that a referendum on the matter is "unnecessary" because the proposed ECFA would be purely an economic pact and would not involve any political issues.
Liu reiterated that the proposed agreement will not be forged under the "one China" framework.
"If we are required to discuss the matter under such a political framework, no agreement will be reached," he said.
The premier said that before beginning negotiations with China on the ECFA, the government will spend one whole month thoroughly discussing the issue with the public, after which a report on the outcome of the discussions will be submitted to the Legislative Yuan.
In the establishment of an ECFA, the government will be sure to minimize its potential impact on Taiwanese businesses and maximize the country's interests, Liu said.
The pro-independence opposition Democratic Progressive Party and Taiwan Solidarity Union have voiced strong objection to the proposed economic pact with China, which they argued would downgrade Taiwan' s status and pave the way for unification with China.
In an attempt to diffuse the differences on the issue, President Ma Ying-jeou has reassured the public on many occasions that the agreement would be non-political and would not involve the issues of unification or independence.
Ma stressed that it is urgent to reach the agreement with China in order to maintain Taiwan's economic competitiveness and prevent Taiwan from being marginalized, as China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) are set to form a free trade area in 2010.
(By Y.F. Low)




Updated : 2021-07-29 20:53 GMT+08:00