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National conference not limited to economic issues: premier
Central News Agency
2014-04-03 11:22 PM
Taipei, April 3 (CAN) Premier Jiang Yi-huah said Thursday that the newly announced national conference for June will cover more than just trade and economic affairs and will not shy away from Taiwan's complex relationship with China. "This will not be a national conference on the (current) trade and economy, but one about the future of Taiwan's trade and economy," he said. On the agenda will be the controversial trade-in-services agreement with China, he said, calling at the same time for debate over a future cross-strait trade-in-merchandise pact and dispute resolution system. The premier said that since there are concerns over China itself, they should not be voiced only by the people opposed to the services pact. "Why don't we all face this together?" he said.

Taiwan needs to learn to discuss its worries in a democratic way, he said, expressing faith that the conference will be an opportunity to do so. "Even if we can't agree on every item, we can at least know where the differences lay and find some common ground," he said. In the absence of debate, he said, there is no way for different members of the public to agree on Taiwan's next move and bring legitimacy and public support to government policy. The administration is willing to address misgivings over Taiwan's push to join in regional integration, he said, though he again stressed that the government believes the services pact's benefits outweigh its costs. (By Hsieh Chia-chen and Lilian Wu)

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