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Premier sets June for national economic conference
Central News Agency
2014-04-03 11:14 PM
Taipei, April 3 (CNA) A national conference on trade and economic affairs set for early June aims at addressing overall sentiment toward the economy rather than any specific trade agreement, Premier Jiang Yi-huah said Thursday.

The conference comes as the government searches for a national consensus amid heated debates over the trade-in-services agreement with China and calls by the protesters occupying the Legislative Yuan for a meeting between the government and the people. Jiang said that the National Development Council has drafted agendas and topics of discussion for the June meeting, as well as for regional meetings across Taiwan set to be held between now and then, all of which will be broadcast live. Each regional meeting will bring together 120 representatives of government, business, academia, civic groups and political parties -- the last of which he made a special note of because "parties play an important role in our national policymaking process." Some of those representatives will then head to the national conference in June, he said. The government understands that many are apprehensive about Taiwan's future but hopes for rational dialogue, Jiang said. The administration will "modestly listen" to the voices of the people, who he said are the ones who will ultimately decide the fate of the services agreement.

As for the student protesters who have occupied the Legislative Yuan since March 18, Jiang said that "the legislative chamber is not anyone's leverage because it belongs to all of the people." Jiang called on those in charge of the Legislative Yuan to persuade students to leave the chamber and allow the legislative process to go back to normal. (By Hsieh Chia-chen, Lilian Wu and Evelyn Kao)

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