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June 24, 2017

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Jiang speech blocked over course revisions

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺) was blocked from delivering his report of administrative policies on schedule in the new session of the Legislative Yuan yesterday by Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) legislators who oppose the recent revisions to high school history course guidelines.

Jiang planned to deliver an administrative plan, including a new plan for reforming the tax system. However, he was prevented from delivering his speech in the morning by opposition legislators who disagreed with the revised high school course outline. The legislators spent the morning negotiating with relevant parties over the issue.

TSU legislators demanded that the date for putting the new course outline into practice be deferred until August. However, KMT legislators did not agree with their proposal. In addition, the Ministry of Education (MOE) also pointed out that the revision process for the high school course outline was carried out according to the law, so opposition accusations are unfounded.

The results of the consultations among different parties yesterday were that the MOE should invite high school teachers who teach history and sociology as well as education specialists from local governments to discuss the issue. In addition, the meetings should also be open to people from various fields. This conclusion is still waiting for the approval of the TSU.

Jiang's Administrative Report

In his report, which the premier was finally able to deliver in the afternoon, Jiang listed the Cross-Strait Trade in Services Agreement (兩岸服務貿易協議) as an urgent issue that should be given priority by the Legislative Yuan, saying that the key to overcoming economic difficulties is to cooperate with mainland China in the realms of economics and trade. Therefore, Jiang urged legislators to pass the service pact as soon as possible in order to improve current economic conditions.

Jiang also talked about other policies related to economic development, including enhancing public infrastructure, fine-tuning public finances and attracting more talent.

In addition, the premier said the government will keep strengthening the food inspection system as well as environmental policies in order to improve citizens' living conditions.

President Ma Ying-jeou has made it known that the central government is making efforts toward improving the economic situation, and is also placing focus on the Free Economic Pilot Zones (自由經濟示範區) as well as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

In addition, legislators also formed a cross-party economic group in order to support legislation relevant to economic issues.

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