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June 25, 2017

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If DPP supports TPP, it should support cross-strait pact: KMT

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The Kuomintang said yesterday that since the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) also believes that Taiwan should join the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) as soon as possible, then it should stop stalling the legislative review of the cross-strait trade in services pact.

DPP Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) said recently that joining the TPP and the RCEP would be in Taiwan's benefit, but by continuing to object to the smaller-scaled cross-strait trade in services pact, and by approving of the larger-scaled TPP and RCEP, the DPP is behaving inconsistently, KMT spokesman Yang Wei-chung (楊偉中) said.

Mainland China is a member of the RCEP, which also covers comprehensive agreements on trade in services, trade in goods and investment, Yang said, adding that if the DPP is against the cross-strait trade in services pact, how can it possibly support the RCEP, which mainland China is a member of.

Active participation in regional economic integration and the launching of the Free Economic Pilot Zones are vital to Taiwan's future development, while the cross-strait trade in services pact is not only a touchstone in terms of Taiwan's willingness to engage in regional economic integration, but also a key step toward joining the RCEP and the TPP, Yang said.

Regarding Su's criticism that the government had acted too slowly and too leniently with regard to disputes over the East China Sea and the South China Sea, Yang said that once the government learned that mainland China had demarcated an air defense identification zone over the East China Sea, it immediately issued a stern statement, while the American Institute in Taiwan, the U.S.' de facto embassy in the R.O.C., expressed its agreement with the government's move, saying that it was "constructive."

The DPP chairman has been repeating empty criticisms, trying to lure the KMT into a meaningless war of words, Yang said.

Given that the DPP is already clear on Taiwan's present and future challenges, it should cooperate with the ruling party over matters that concern the economy and people's livelihoods, so that both can work together for the benefit of Taiwan, Yang said.

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