The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) yesterday praised Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) for having “concretely responded” to protesting students’ demands to enact a law overseeing all cross-straits agreements before reviewing the controversial cross-strait service trade agreement.
Flanked by governing and opposition lawmakers, Wang visited the students, who have been occupying the legislative chamber since March 18 in protest against the government’s handling of the service trade pact, and announced he would not call a “consultative meeting” between legislative caucuses before the oversight law has been legislated.
“Over the 20 days, the DPP repeatedly called on President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) to face the students and respond to their appeals to end the standoff. Unfortunately, Ma neglected the students and public voices that support the students,” DPP Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) told a press conference yesterday afternoon held at the party’s headquarters.
“I believe the latest development is the first step toward an all-satisfying solution” to the current impasse at the legislature, where students protesting the service trade agreement are facing mounting pressure to return the main chamber to lawmakers.
Students have not just been protesting the “black-box procedures” for negotiating the pact with China and its contents, but also highlighting “serious trouble” in the country’s constitutional democracy, in that it no longer serves as a tool to solve problems when the popularly elected government has been adamant in pushing ahead a policy in violation of the majority of the public’s opinion, Su said.
As the majority view of the public has been “trampled upon” repeatedly, injustices against the younger generation have not been addressed and social justice remains illusive, as improvements in cross-strait ties have churned out benefits for only a few, Su added.
He lauded the students for “having done a good job” at this juncture in history.
Su added that the DPP hopes different versions of draft will be discussed and reviewed in the legislature and that during the review process, lawmakers will be able to conduct dialogues with students and respond to their appeals as well as accept voices from the public, and thereby produce a bill that could successfully monitor cross-strait exchanges.
Separately yesterday, Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海) chairman Terry Gou (郭台銘) said in an e-mailed statement that he admires Wang’s wisdom and feels sympathy for the students.
Gou, whose company assembles Apple Inc’s iPhones at factories in China, called on the students and all political parties to learn to let go of their differences so Taiwan can move forward.
Additional reporting by Bloomberg