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DPP tells US about trade pact stance
Taiwan News, Staff Writer
2014-04-05 05:28 PM
TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The Democratic Progressive Party has told the United States it does not completely oppose the trade-in-services pact with China, reports said Saturday.

Recent media reports claimed that the US was either pressuring the DPP or at least dissatisfied with its support for the students who have been occupying the Legislative Yuan since March 18.

In a booklet reportedly delivered to the US by the opposition’s office in Washington, D.C., the DPP said it had agreed to the legislative approval of guidelines monitoring trade talks with China retroactively valid for the trade pact, which could provide a solution to the current stalemate.

The DPP reportedly emphasized it supported free trade, market liberalization and participation in the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Taiwan could conclude trade agreements with China, but because of the sensitive and delicate nature of the relationship, the process needed to be sufficiently transparent, the DPP said.

A more thorough evaluation and more discussion were needed, which might slow down the process but would in the end result in a wider consensus rather than the current chaos, according to the opposition party.

The best way of handling relations with China was to be more careful and to slow down the process of negotiating and reaching agreements, the DPP said. In addition, the country needed a mechanism to monitor the negotiations, for which the DPP supported a rapid review, as the occupiers wanted.

The opposition party’s statements were a response to recent criticisms from US officials and politicians about its stance on the trade-in-services pact and the student occupation of the Legislature.

The Cabinet approved its own version of a set of guidelines for the conducting of trade talks with China on Thursday, but critics condemned it as insufficiently transparent and failing to involve the public to a sufficient degree.

Kuomintang critics accused the DPP of maintaining double standards by telling the US one thing and doing another at home. The opposition should stop boycotting legislative discussions about the trade pact, KMT members said.

KMT and DPP reached an agreement shortly after the signing of the trade pact last June that lawmakers would be allowed to review the deal clause by clause and vote on each item. However, on March 17, the KMT majority decided to do away with the review, reportedly because preparatory work had already gone on for too long. The ruling party canceled the review and handed the pact over to the full chamber, which provoked student demonstrators to occupy the Legislature the following day.

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