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Government willing to explain cross-strait agreement: minister

TAIPEI--Economics Minister Chang Chia-juch (張家祝) took to the airwaves Tuesday to defend a controversial trade in services pact with China, amid ongoing demonstrations that have led to the occupation of the Legislative Yuan by student-led protesters.

In an interview with UFO Radio, Chang said the government will not resist opportunities for dialogue with any professors or student organizations.

“If students are interested and are willing to calm down and listen, the Economics Ministry can send people to schools to brief them in detail,” he said.

Chang again rejected allegations that the terms of the agreement are unfavorable to Taiwan.

Under the agreement, China will open 80 service categories to Taiwan, and all the commitments China made to the World Trade Organization will also apply to Taiwan, he pointed out.

By comparison, only some of Taiwan's WTO commitments apply to China, he said.

The minister also disagreed with critics who have likened Taiwan to Hong Kong, which is perceived to have suffered due to trade liberalization with China.

He said Taiwan has imposed much stricter restrictions on Chinese investment than Hong Kong and promised that after the agreement takes effect, the government will properly supervise and regulate investment projects by Chinese companies.

To cope with the possible impact of trade liberalization on Taiwanese companies, the government has budgeted NT$98.21 billion to provide assistance to affected companies, he added.

Chang gave the rare interview after Premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺) asked Cabinet members in a recent meeting to be more proactive in explaining and defending government policies.

1 Comment
March 26, 2014    kingsolomon@
Remember ECFA, it does not matter how elaborately you explain the agreement to the person who has made his biased conclusion will change his mentality. He has already made up his mind and you will be wasting time and money explaining to high heavens your side. Those who are opposed to it are just opposing for oppositions sake and to get free advertising space and time to be on the limelight for political elections. These politicians are using, and brainwashing "students" to get sympathy and attention, because they know that the majority of the population is ignoring them and their bright, empty "ideas".
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