No U.S. pressure on DPP over student-led protest: party official
Central News Agency
2014-04-04 10:13 PM
Taipei, April 4 (CNA) Taiwan's main opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) denied Friday that it has been under pressure from the United States over the party's support of a student-led protest against a cross-Taiwan Strait trade-in services agreement, a party official said Friday. Former American Institute in Taiwan Chairman Richard Bush has not conveyed any message to the DPP expressing Washington's concern over its support for the protest, said Joseph Wu, the DPP's representative to the U.S. and its policy research and coordination chief. The protest against the service trade pact with China has lasted over two weeks since demonstrators occupied the main chamber of the Legislature March 18. On the evening of March 23 a group of protesters intruded into the compound and even the man building of the Executive Yuan, just a block away from the Legislature, who were forcibly evicted by police using batons and truck-mounted water cannons. Nearly 200 people, including demonstrators and police, were injured. In an April 1 meeting with President Ma Ying-jeou, Bush said that the president was very persuasive in remarks he made at an international press conference March 29 regarding his government's stance on the student-led movement. The former head of the AIT, which represents U.S. interests in Taiwan in the absence of official relations between the two sides, also met with Wu and Liu Shih-chung, the DPP's international affairs department head, during his Taipei visit. "We are old friends, but I cannot disclose the content of our conversation," Wu said. DPP sources, however, said that Bush did not convey any U.S. message, and that "most of time he just listened to both Wu's and Liu's statements." The DPP has thrown its weight behind the protesters, although it has played no major role in the movement. "Not only has the DPP headquarters not come under any pressure from the AIT's Taipei office, the party's U.S. representative office has not been pressed by Washington," Wu said. Liu accused King Pu-tsung, who was Taiwan's top envoy to the U.S. before taking over as Ma's top national security adviser days ago, of "spreading rumors to the U.S." that the DPP has masterminded the student movement. He said Ma's administration has, through its PR consultants and Taiwan's representative office in the U.S., launched a propaganda war to which the DPP has responded with a similar campaign for over a week. "Currently, the U.S. position toward the service trade dispute has been very neutral and not in favor of the Ma administration," Liu said. To drum up international support, the DPP invited foreign diplomats stationed in Taipei to a briefing Thursday on the DPP's position, in which it offered clarification on its connections with the protest movement. (By Su Lung-chi and Bear Lee)
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