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KMT urges opposition to come clean on China pact

TAIPEI -- The ruling Kuomintang (KMT) dared the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Thursday to make clear its position on a trade-in-services agreement with China as the main opposition party continued to block the KMT's attempts to get the pact reviewed in the Legislature.

Lin Hung-chih, chief whip of the KMT caucus, urged the DPP to stop claiming that “it wants an article-by-article review when in fact it is against the pact altogether.”

For two days in a row, DPP lawmakers have prevented a joint committee session from taking place by blocking the elevators and doors to the meeting room.

The joint meeting of eight committees had been scheduled by Chang Ching-chung, a KMT lawmaker and convener of the Legislative Yuan's Internal Administration Committee, to review the service trade pact, which Taiwan signed with China in June 2013.

The DPP claims that the scheduling of the review goes against the conclusions of a committee meeting held March 24, in which it was decided that a new law to strengthen oversight of all future cross-Taiwan Strait deals should be enacted before any action is taken to move forward on the current trade-in-services agreement.

KMT lawmakers boycotted that meeting, which was convened by a DPP member, and do not recognize its results.

DPP lawmakers also said Chang should no longer serve as convener, given his March 17 declaration that the review of the pact was complete, triggering the storming of the Legislature the next day and the occupation of the main legislative chamber ever since.

Chang and the KMT caucus apologized earlier this week and said the committee review should begin in earnest.

In addition to Thursday's action by the opposition lawmakers inside the Legislative Yuan, there were attempts by the protesters to prevent ruling party legislators from entering the premises.

Several demonstrators who lay on the driveway in front of the entrance to the Legislative Yuan were removed by police.

Frustrated at this week's failed attempts to restart operations in the Legislature or move the review process forward, the KMT chief whip deplored the DPP action as “a display of democracy at its worst.”

Lin said the DPP demands related to the review of the service trade pact have changed repeatedly.

DPP Chairman Su Tseng-chang said in the beginning that the party wanted an article-by-article review, said Lin.

Echoing the student-led protest movement's demands, the opposition party later demanded that the trade agreement be sent back to the administration and now it is saying that the law supervising all cross-strait agreements should be enacted before anything can be done with regard to the pact, he said.

Lin added that this is a clear indication of the DPP's lack of interest in a review and vote on the pact article-by-article, in spite of a consensus reached in consultations among the various party caucuses last June.

Lin challenged Su to come out and admit the DPP's opposition to the pact instead of paying lip service to a detailed review.

For his part, Chang, convener of the Internal Administration Committee, said the KMT will have to find another date to begin an item-by-item review of the agreement.

Even though the KMT enjoys a 65-seat majority in the 113-seat Legislature, both the KMT and the DPP can appoint a convener to each of its eight regular committees, with each convener presiding over meetings for one week at a time.

April 4, 2014    kingsolomon@
The DPP will never admit that they are altogether against the trade agreement, because they know that it will bring benefits to Taiwan. What they are doing now is bawling like a small child and making tantrums because they want to get the whole credit of making it into reality to look good for the elections, just like a child who wants to get the other child's playthings. The DPP should start giving account for the eight years that they were in power so the people can compare them against the KMT's record, instead of trying to grab their opponent’s hard works, creating chaos and violence thereby causing misery to the people.
April 4, 2014    Lcliou2001@
Those entered the legislative yuan by force should be arrested immediately and prosecuted according to the law as soon as possible in order to set an example that democracy is not intrusion into public property and disrupting government process!
April 4, 2014    aracelichan@
There is deja vu written all over the place. Obviously the opposition is stalling the whole process to suit their political agenda.

All these decades, again and again, the opposition has been employing scare tactics to garner sympathy and support, which eventually could turn into votes.

These tactics fall under different guises. First it was for an independent nationhood. When it didn't work, it was the Chinese missiles. When nothing happened, they came up with "Love/Love Not Taiwan". Now it's the economic takeover by the giant neighbor next door. Sadly, these ploys have drawn a glaring divide in a peaceful society and have effectively polarized people with different political preferences.

When it's election year, they never seem to fail to come up with something ingenious to drum up the crowds. This time they're riding the wave of the student movement.

The economic downturn is a trend, affecting not just Taiwan, but the global community. Whether we like it or not, there's no denying the Chinese market. Whichever political party that is in power will have to deal with China. And that's the hard fact.
April 4, 2014    Joe@
aracelichan@ wrote:
There is deja vu written all over the place. Obviously the opposition is stalling the whole process to suit their political agenda.

All these decades, again and again, the opposition has been employing scare tactics to garner sympathy and support, which eventually could turn into votes.

These tactics fall under different guises. First it was for an independent nationhood. When it didn't work, it was the Chinese missiles. When nothing happened, they came up with "Love/Love Not Taiwan". Now it's the economic takeover by the giant neighbor next door. Sadly, these ploys have drawn a glaring divide in a peaceful society and have effectively polarized people with different political preferences.

When it's election year, they never seem to fail to come up with something ingenious to drum up the crowds. This time they're riding the wave of the student movement.

The economic downturn is a trend, affecting not just Taiwan, but the global community. Whether we like it or not, there's no denying the Chinese market. Whichever political party that is in power will have to deal with China. And that's the hard fact.
Thank you for stating the real situation....
April 4, 2014    hruang@
Legislators all over Taiwan represent factional and clan networks that are heavily intermingled with local organized crime businesses. Organized crime is in the service business. They run services like gambling, prostitution, and loan sharking, but also legitimate service businesses like hair salons, bus companies, and schools.

Chinese who come over and open services are going to compete directly with ordinary Taiwanese, for sure, but also with local organized crime elements of local political factions. The services pact is a dog supported by 20% of the population, and it will directly hit the business relations of many local legislators, in particular those of the KMT.
April 5, 2014    jchyz@
kingsolomon@ wrote:
The DPP will never admit that they are altogether against the trade agreement, because they know that it will bring benefits to Taiwan. What they are doing now is bawling like a small child and making tantrums because they want to get the whole credit of making it into reality to look good for the elections, just like a child who wants to get the other child's playthings. The DPP should start giving account for the eight years that they were in power so the people can compare them against the KMT's record, instead of trying to grab their opponent’s hard works, creating chaos and violence thereby causing misery to the people.
You are absolutely right. DPP won't dare to declare against this pact for they know they will lose the coming elections for sure. Poor DPP. They are desperate, and have no way to go but using the naive students to their jobs.
April 6, 2014    my5pence@
If the trade pact is so awesome, why do its supporters consistently claim that Taiwan must sacrifice to make headway? This, very subtly, emphasizes that the pact is the dog its opponents say it is.
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