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June 27, 2017

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Cabinet to assemble task force for 'civic constitutional meeting'

TAIPEI -- The Cabinet is set to assemble a task force to evaluate the possibility of holding a "civic constitutional meeting" as proposed by the protesters against a trade-in-services agreement with China.

The task force aims to evaluate the character of the meeting and the topics for discussion, because a "civic constitutional meeting" has never been held in Taiwan, Executive Yuan spokesman Sun Lih-chyun told reporters Sunday.

The host of the task force has not yet been decided, he said.

Sun's remarks came as a mass sit-in was staged on Ketagalan Boulevard in front of the Presidential Office and on nearby Zhongshan South Road.

Over 110,000 people joined the rally to expand a protest over a controversial service trade pact with China and to voice their support for the protesters, mostly students, who are still occupying Taiwan's Legislature to oppose the pact.

Sun said local people have the right to express their opinions, but he expressed hope that the activity could proceed peacefully and rationally and could end at 7 p.m. as scheduled.

In a March 24 press conference, Premier Jiang Yi-huah said he had never heard of the term "civic constitutional meeting" and was unsure of the nature of such a meeting.

He said that such a meeting would have to follow a similar procedure to the one used for the National Development Conference, which usually requires a few months of preparation.

Such a meeting would also require the presence of representatives from all opposing groups, as well as leaders of the ruling and opposition parties, said Jiang.

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