DPP strongly condemns recent KMT actions regarding the Cross Strait Services Trade Agreement

March 18, 2014 - In view of the Cross Strait Services Trade Agreement chance of deliberation cut-short by the KMT Legislative Caucus, the DPP issues the following standpoints:

1. The DPP seriously condemns the KMT for overthrowing the previous negotiations on the service trade agreement as it tramples on democratic principles.

The DPP Legislative Caucus in the past week has been holding meetings to review the agenda and preparing for the deliberation to be supposedly held this week. However, the KMT yesterday on March 17 decided in the midst of the confusion to announce their decision to move immediately to the next stage without deliberation.

2. The DPP firmly believes that the KMT’s actions on the Cross Strait Services Trade Agreement will not be accepted by the public and it is poses no benefit for the Taiwanese people, therefore, the DPP absolutely cannot accept such outcome.

It was written in clear black and white at the conclusion of previous negotiations that the Cross Strait Services Trade Agreement would be reviewed by the legislature item by item, and that the entire agreement would not be passed as a whole. The agreement had signatures by Legislative Yuan President Wang Jin-pying and KMT Caucus Whip Lin Hung-chih as well as four other KMT legislators. It was surprising to hear yesterday, at the Internal Administration Committee Meeting presided by KMT Legislator Chang Ching-chung declare that, “The Cross Strait Services Trade Agreement has passed the three-month review period, therefore it is considered reviewed and it will proceed to the filing stage of the Legislative Yuan.”

Chair Su said, “The KMT is obviously the troublemaker, certifying that the negotiations were all for nothing and insisting on signing this outrageous agreement in a non-transparent manner. We must severely issue our condemnation.”

3. The KMT’s way of handling the Cross Strait Services Trade Agreement destroys our democratic principles, undermines the way our legislature functions and fails the public’s expectations.

Through yesterday’s actions, the KMT is not following through the dealing process between political parties, and this is unprecedented in the Legislative Yuan. This way of breaking down the black and white negotiations between political parties is destroying our democracy, undermining our congress and failing the expectations from the public both domestically and internationally.

4. Thousands of industries and millions of jobs in Taiwan are affected by this agreement, which is why we cannot take it lightly.

The Cross Strait Services Trade Agreement affects thousands of industries and the employment of millions of people. Not mentioning, it will also be influencing our national security and the basic values of freedom of expression in Taiwan.

5. The DPP reiterates four principles concerning the Cross Strait Services Trade Agreement, which are: equal opening, fair competition, safeguard people’s livelihood and ensure national security.

The DPP has called for “equal opening” to distribute the same proportion of markets that are being opened, including cross-border services and the adjustment to the ratio of commercial presence by Chinese industries in Taiwan. Furthermore, the agreement should not be limited to just some provinces in China, like Fujian and Guangdong provinces, but rather, it should encompass the entire China.

In June of last year, when the trade agreement was signed, Taiwanese academics with expertise on trade and several civic groups raised many substantial standpoints. These included a call for regulatory measures for the supervision of trade pacts between Taiwan and China and implementing regulations concerning Chinese investments into Taiwan. After holding several technical meetings, the DPP Legislative Caucus issued two bills, the “Bill on Pacts between Taiwan and China” and the “Bill on Relations between Peoples from the Cross Straits”. These bills, however, although having entered into the Procedural Committee, did not reach deliberation. 

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