Former U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Richard Armitage visited the DPP Headquarters on March 27 with a delegation from the Project 2049 Institute. Mr. Armitage asked Chair Su’s opinion regarding the student movement currently taking place at the Legislative Yuan. Chair Su responded that the movement is a representation of the people’s dissatisfaction towards the Ma administration, especially the nontransparent way in which they negotiated the Cross Strait Services Trade Agreement. He said that the Ma administration also failed to adequately inform the legislature and the entire process was not democratic, forcing the agreement to pass.
They also violated the previous deal with the opposition parties to review each clause of the pact. He explained this is the main reason why the students felt the necessity to start their own movement and express their dissatisfaction.
Chair Su said it has already been 9 days since they occupied the legislature and President Ma still refuses to meet with the students, which is causing everyone’s worry. He pointed out that without the students’ intervention, the KMT would have already passed the agreement. As a result of President Ma’s non-response, choosing violent suppression instead of peace, the public has already labeled the Ma administration as nondemocratic and violent. He said that the DPP hopes for a smooth conclusion of this conflict. However, he said that the key is for President Ma to take action by engaging in dialogue with the students.
Chair Su mentioned the Wild Lily Student Movement 24 years ago, in which they called for the resignation of for-life legislators as well as the abolition of the National Assembly. Then President Lee Teng-hui had met with the student representatives, responding to the students’ demands, which led to reform and the re-election of the entire legislature.
“This students’ movement has the full support of the DPP,” Chair Su said. “The DPP was founded during Martial Law, and we strived for democracy and freedom. We stand behind these students because we identify with their cause and we hope that the government can humbly listen to their voices so that the country can move forward.”