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Over 60% of people want renegotiated service trade agreement: poll
Central News Agency
2013-12-24 10:28 PM
Taipei, Dec. 24 (CNA) An opinion poll conducted by the main opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) released Tuesday shows that 61.5 percent of the respondents support the party's call for a renegotiation of a trade in services agreement signed with China in June. Forty-six percent of those interviewed said they do not want the agreement to be approved by the Legislature, compared with 38.8 percent in favor, according to the results of the poll released by Lin Chun-hsien, a DPP spokesman. The results show that 62.5 percent of those polled disagree with the argument that the Legislature should approve the agreement as it was signed since the signing has already taken place, while nearly 29 percent were in agreement. As many as 41.8 percent of those interviewed said they did not know the agreement had been submitted to the Legislature for deliberation, compared with 58.2 percent who said they were aware of the fact. Meanwhile, 61.5 percent of the respondents agreed with the DPP's call for a renegotiation, while 26.7 percent are opposed. Of those interviewed, 49.3 said the agreement will have a negative impact on Taiwan's economy, nearly 10 percentage points higher than those who said it will be good for the country's economy. More than 59 percent said they do not believe China will honor the agreement, compared with 30.9 percent who believe China will be true to its word. Over 61 percent of those polled said the government does not allow for sufficient legislative oversight when talking with the Chinese over inking trade agreements, compared with 24.8 percent who believe that the government does what is necessary. The poll, done Dec. 19-20, targeted eligible voters over the age of 20 and received 960 valid samples. In response to the poll's findings, a ruling Kuomintang spokesman said the DPP should stop obstructing review of the agreement in the Legislature and should instead allow the people to know more about it through the review process. The ruling party will take note of any reflections of public opinion, including polls, and has helped the government all along to explain the contents of the agreement so that the people know about its benefits and its downsides, said Yang Wei-chung. The agreement, signed in late June, has met with criticism in the Legislature and some people in the service industry, even though the government has described it as an important step in further liberalizing the country's economy. (By Sophia Yeh, Kelven Huang and Jay Chen)
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