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Foreign minister voices continued support for service trade pact
Central News Agency
2014-03-20 10:06 PM
Taipei, March 20 (CNA) Foreign Minister David Lin Thursday toed the administration's line by reiterating support for the controversial trade in services pact with China as a sign of Taiwan's determination to trade liberalization. Lin argued the importance of the pact by noting China's position as a major trade partner for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and an important player in the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, a trade bloc. His remarks came as protesters continue an occupation of Taiwan's Legislature in opposition to the trade-in-services agreement, signed by Taiwan and China in June last year. Earlier in the day, Premier Jiang Yi-huah again stressed the government's commitment to the service trade pact, even as protesters called for his resignation over what they consider an invalid move by lawmakers from the ruling Kuomintang (KMT) to sidestep a review of the pact by legislative committees. The protest has stalled parliamentary activities since late Tuesday, when hundreds of protesters stormed the Legislative Yuan in protest of the pact that they say was negotiated with Beijing in a non-transparent measure. Protesters worry that the trade pact, which will open large parts of Taiwan's service sector to China and vice versa, will threaten the survival of Taiwan's small and medium-sized enterprises, workers, farmers and businesspeople. They have demanded the trade in services pact be sent back to legislative committees for an item-by-item review before a floor vote, following KMT lawmakers' move Monday to sidestep that review by labeling the pact an executive order. (By Tang Pei-chun and Christie Chen)
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