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Student leader rejects Ma statements
Taiwan News, Staff Writer
2014-03-29 07:29 PM
TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – A leader of the students occupying the Legislative Yuan rejected President Ma Ying-jeou’s comments made during an hour-long news conference Saturday.

The evening news conference, postponed from the morning and the afternoon, came on the eve of an expected 100,000 people turning up in front of the Presidential Office Building to voice their support for the students, who have been occupying the Legislature since March 18 in a protest against the trade-in-services pact with China.

Ma rejected the students’ key demand that the government should withdraw the trade accord signed last June from legislative consideration, but made apparent concessions on other issues.

He did express support for a clause-by-clause review of the pact by the Legislature, for the drawing up of an overall framework law to guide negotiations with China and also hinted he might accept the demand for a citizens’ constitutional conference.

Student leader Chen Wei-ting told a TV interview that Ma apparently did not read newspapers or online news reports, since he was only reiterating his previous comments and completely failing to respond to demands from the public.

The president was of the opinion that the trade pact should not be withdrawn from the Legislative Yuan, but the students’ demand was that first the framework law about talks with China should be passed, and then the trade accord could be resubmitted, Chen said.

He also questioned why Ma still had to research the issue of a constitutional conference instead of providing a straight and positive answer. The proposal for a framework law which Ma mentioned was an old version proposed by his Kuomintang, and not a law which would allow a consistent and thorough review by the people, Chen said.

The president “had absolutely no sincerity for a meaningful dialogue” with the protesters, Chen said when asked about his feelings after watching the news conference on television.

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