Eric Chu: TiSA should be reviewed clause by clause
Taiwan News, Staff Writer
2014-03-25 05:24 PM
New Taipei City Mayor Eric Chu spoke out Tuesday on the student protest taking place at the Legislative Yuan and the police crackdown on a separate attempt to occupy the Executive Yuan. Chu told reporters that he believes the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA) should be reviewed clause by clause, otherwise the social costs generated by such protests – which resulted in injuries to more than 100 students and police Monday morning – will be far too high.

Chu said there are many factors behind the protest movement against TiSA, and many significant rifts have developed because of disagreements over whether the trade pact would bring more benefits or more harm to Taiwan’s economy. For this reason, he said, it is essential that there be more open and transparent discussion of the plusses and minuses in every section of the agreement so that people will have a better grasp of whether it will be helpful or disastrous for Taiwan.

Chu went on to say that representatives of the ruling and opposition parties should definitely sit down and talk about TiSA. He noted that one of the key issues raised by student protesters was the ‘black box’ approach followed in negotiating and signing the agreement with Beijing. In the short term, he noted, the most important step will be to gain a consensus among ruling and opposition members in the Legislative Yuan on whether to continue negotiations or go to committee to discuss TiSA. Either way, he said, the clauses of the agreement must be examined one by one and eventually voted on, an approach that would incorporate the spirit of Taiwan’s cherished democracy.

Asked his opinion of the decision of several city and county leaders – most notably the DPP–led governments of Kaohsiung, Tainan and Chiayi - to withdraw the police officers they have contributed to the contingent of riot police on the scene in Taipei, Chu said that Taiwan must be seen as one integrated community. This means that when a security crisis or other event threatens any one community, other areas of the island should be willing to lend support to those affected. Chu added that this spirit of togetherness and mutual support should transcend political or party lines. If this kind of interdependence and support cannot be achieved, he said, in the future it will be impossible to function as one integrated nation.

Chu noted that police on the scene have made a significant contribution to society by being on the scene the near fortnight that has passed since the outbreak of the student protest. He praised the officers and their commanders for helping to maintain order and ensure fairness and justice in society, and said all people should be grateful for the efforts made by law enforcement agencies involved in monitoring the protests.

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