Breaking News, World News and Taiwan News.

Business leaders urge Ma-student dialogue

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- President Ma Ying-jeou reiterated yesterday that he is willing to speak to students protesting against the controversial Cross-Strait Trade in Services Agreement without preconditions, welcoming them to send representatives to the Presidential Office.

The president made the comments during a meeting with more than 40 representatives of industry groups, including Chinese National Federation of Industries Chairman Rock Hsu (許勝雄), General Chamber of Commerce of the Republic of China Chairman Lai Chang-yi (賴正鎰) and others.

Hsu expressed concern over the situation, but added that he is happy to see the president's willingness to speak with students.

Under present circumstances, people should be more kind, but supporters and detractors of the service trade pact have been blaming one another, Hsu said, adding, for example, that the Kuomintang has been blaming the Democratic Progressive Party and vice versa, whereas student activists have been blaming the government, while the executive branch has been blaming the Legislature, all of whom believe that their detractors are the cause of all the trouble.

Hsu called on government officials, lawmakers and student activists to become problem solvers.

Meanwhile, Lai urged Legislative Yuan Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) and the parents of students to help facilitate communication, adding that he is considering bringing the heads of 60 unions to the Legislature in order to talk to the student activists.

Ma Reiterates Benefits of Pact

The president said that should Taiwan face harm as a result of the service trade pact, Article 8 of that agreement allows for emergency negotiations, whereas Article 11 allows the government to respond to situations that have given rise to national security concerns.

Ma added that Article 23 also allows both parties to revise the content of the agreement.

In addition to Articles 8 and 11 of that agreement, the government has decided to set aside NT$98.2 billion over the next decade in order to lessen any possible impact that the pact may have on Taiwan, the president said.

Mainland China has agreed to open up 80 subsectors to Taiwan, whereas Taiwan has agreed to open up 64 subsectors to mainland China, Ma said.

Among the 64 subsectors, 27 had already been opened up before, Ma said, adding that they were simply re-listed in the agreement.

So far, 495 mainland Chinese businesses have invested in the service and manufacturing industries of Taiwan, the president said.

These firms did not bring blue-collar workers over to Taiwan from mainland China, the president said, adding that they brought over executives and specialists, totaling 264, while creating 9,624 job opportunities for locals.

“We have already given a positive response to student activists' demand (for an article-by-article review),” Ma said, stressing that the government is willing to see an article-by-article and vote on the pact.

In response to the mass protest in front of the Presidential Office on Sunday, Ma said that whether it was the 500,000 claimed by organizers or the 116,000 estimated by police, the size of the demonstration was undeniably large.

“I listened to their demands very carefully,” Ma said.

After responding to their earliest request for an article-by-article review, student activists proposed four additional requests, the president said, adding that he had responded to all four on the day before the mass protest.

April 1, 2014    kingsolomon@
It is a waste of time and money convincing those that have made up their minds against anything. No matter how reasonably you articulate your side if they are against it, nothing will change their conclusions. In a democracy, one should also not accede to demands while being held hostage.
April 1, 2014    smokesignal_day@
Have the article by article review and then pass the agreement. It is a win-win agreement.
April 1, 2014    reflection@
"It is a waste of time and money convincing those that have made up their minds against anything"

Look who's talking!
April 1, 2014    yanloiwong@
kingsolomon@ wrote:
It is a waste of time and money convincing those that have made up their minds against anything. No matter how reasonably you articulate your side if they are against it, nothing will change their conclusions. In a democracy, one should also not accede to demands while being held hostage.
That is true!
April 2, 2014    jchyz@
The student leader enjoys his fruitful disruption to gain fame so he will become the future leader even in DPP. Good for him. But is it good for Taiwan? Let the election to decide the outcome of this funny phenomena occur again and again. It seems the biggest noisy and disruption maker will become the future ruler. Sad for Taiwan’s democracy.
Write a Comment
CAPTCHA Code Image
Type in image code
Change the code
 Receive China Post promos
 Respond to this email
 Board member's comments on protests are his own opinion: AIT 
President Ma Ying-jeou holds up a picture of the occupied Legislative Yuan Assembly Hall in Taipei, yesterday. Ma said that the administration supports the student activists' call for the institutionalization of cross-strait agreement oversight and that the government is actively working toward that end. (CNA)

Enlarge Photo
Subscribe  |   Advertise  |   RSS Feed  |   About Us  |   Career  |   Contact Us
Sitemap  |   Top Stories  |   Taiwan  |   China  |   Business  |   Asia  |   World  |   Sports  |   Life  |   Arts & Leisure  |   Health  |   Editorial  |   Commentary
Travel  |   Movies  |   TV Listings  |   Classifieds  |   Bookstore  |   Getting Around  |   Weather  |   Guide Post  |   Student Post  |   Terms of Use  |   Sitemap
  chinapost search