Sat, Mar 14, 2009 - Page 1 News List

Ma wants to talk to Tsai about ECFA, but not in a debate

By Mo Yan-chih, Shelley Huang and Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  STAFF REPORTERS

A majority was concerned that an influx of low-priced goods and agricultural products as a result of improving economic cooperation with China would pose a serious threat to Taiwan’s manufacturing industry and cause unemployment to soar, the survey showed.

Almost 90 percent of those surveyed said the agreement should first be subject to discussion and supervision by the legislature, while only 6.7 percent disagreed.

Almost two-thirds said the government should hold a referendum on signing such an agreement, while 32.3 percent disagreed.

“Whether respondents considered themselves part of the pan-green or pan-blue camps or had no political inclination did not affect their opinion that the agreement should not be signed under a ‘one China’ framework,” Chen said.

Premier Liu Chao-shiuan (劉兆玄) said that while he hoped Ma and Tsai could discuss the ECFA issue, he did not think it was necessary for the Executive Yuan and Legislative Yuan to discuss whether the legislature had the right to review a draft before the government could be allowed to sign an agreement with China.

Liu made the remarks during a question-and-answer session with Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Yeh Yi-ching (葉宜津) in the legislature yesterday.

Yeh said Liu and his Cabinet should hold a debate with a legislative team led by Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平), who has said the government should seek a consensus on the draft agreement in the legislature before signing any deal.

The government’s position was that the pact would go to the legislature for ratification once it has been signed, Liu said.

“There is nothing I have to debate with Speaker Wang. We are not divided on this,” Liu said.

However, Liu said the government would hold further discussions about the ECFA issue with the public, civic groups and the legislature.

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