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KMT members disconnected from social movements: Ma

TAIPEI--President Ma Ying-jeou, who doubles as chairman of the ruling Kuomintang (KMT), said Sunday that youth activities within the KMT are disconnected to a certain degree from social movements and he promised self-reflection and reform within the party.

This detachment from what most young people in the country care about is something the party has to review, Ma said at the one-day KMT Youth Citizen Forum in Taipei.

Ma made the remarks after Huang Tzu-che, head of the KMT Department of Youth Affairs' Neihu division, said at the forum that the KMT's Youth League had organized pubic welfare activities over the past year but they were not well promoted.

For example, KMT youth groups organized a carnation-themed rally on March 29 in support of a controversial trade-in-services agreement signed between Taiwan and China last June, Huang said.

It was an event worthy of the KMT's attention and encouragement but the party did not give much support, he said.

The cross-Taiwan Strait trade pact triggered a massive student movement that included an occupation of the Legislature from March 18 to April 10 by student-led protestors against the trade pact.

The movement was seen in some quarters as a culmination of young people's widespread dissatisfaction with Ma's administration.

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