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Youth will lose if pact not passed, argues economics minister
Central News Agency
2014-03-20 11:11 PM
Taipei, March 20 (CNA) Economics Minister Chang Chia-juch echoed other Cabinet officials Thursday as he warned of potentially far-reaching impact on Taiwan's youth if the service trade pact with China is not able to get endorsement from the Legislature. "If these students and young people go on like this, I believe they will regret it," Chang said of the hundreds of protesters who have occupied the Legislative Yuan since Tuesday evening to oppose the pact. If Taiwan fails to catch up in economic liberalization and the signing of free trade agreements, he claimed the economic impact could be seen "as soon as within 2-3 years," though he did not elaborate on what he expected the exact challenge for Taiwan will be. He cautioned that his timeframe means it would be the youth of today, and not a future generation, that feels the brunt of the fallout. Responding to charges that the deal was worked out in secret and kept from the public, Chang countered that numerous public hearings and three legislative committee meetings were held before the pact was signed by representatives form China and Taiwan in June of last year. He added that the thousands of protesters dug in inside and around the Legislative Yuan since Tuesday night are likely worried about a "Trojan horse" scenario based on limited knowledge of the pact and its effects, but said that they are not industry representatives. "This (trade service agreement with China) is a necessary step for us to head out" to the world, he said. (By Huang Chiao-wen and Flor Wang)
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