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June 29, 2017

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Wang again fails to bridge KMT-DPP differences over cross-strait pact

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Legislative Yuan Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) said yesterday that he will continue to help the ruling and opposition caucuses reach a consensus over the Cross-Strait Trade in Services Agreement, following yet another failed round of cross-party negotiations that lasted roughly two hours.

Yesterday marked the 10th day since hundreds of protesters stormed the Legislature and seized control of its main chamber in order to prevent lawmakers from voting on the controversial pact.

During the latest round of negotiations, the Kuomintang (KMT) caucus made several proposals, which included sending the pact back for a joint-committee review, having the speaker chair the joint committee and getting the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus to pledge that it will not block parliamentary procedures, all of which the opposition refused to accept.

Wang called on both KMT and DPP lawmakers to remain rational and exercise self-restraint, urging them to come up with a feasible solution as soon as possible.

Opposition Proposals

After cross-party negotiations, DPP caucus convener Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘) held a press conference, saying that the KMT's proposals are as far-fetched as "Arabian Nights."

Ker said that the KMT is not sincere about negotiating, adding that President Ma Ying-jeou should respond to the students and adhere to the will of the people.

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