Wed, Dec 22, 2010 - Page 3 News List

CROSS-STRAIT TALKS: Poll respondents question envoy’s security details

VISIBLE PRESENCE:A police spokesman said on Monday only 211 officers were deployed for the envoy’s visit, as opposed to reports of more than 2,000

By Vincent Y. Chao  /  Staff reporter

Despite the threat of around-the-clock protests, most Taiwanese still find the security arrangements for Chinese envoy Chen Yunlin’s (陳雲林) visit largely disproportionate, a poll conducted by the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) suggests.

The survey found that 61.6 percent of Taiwanese believed it was “too excessive” to have hundreds of police officers protecting the Chinese envoy over the past two days.

The opinion was especially pronounced among DPP supporters, the poll found, with 88 percent holding the view, but only 42.7 percent among Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) supporters.

Roughly one-third of the public thought that the arrangements were “suitable.”

Contrary to initial reports, police authorities have denied that more than 2,000 police officers were ready to be deployed in areas of Taipei City over the three-day talks ending today.

While a Taipei City police spokesman said on Monday that the total number of police deployed amounted to only 211 officers, some DPP city councilors have alleged that the figure failed to account for reserve and backup squads.

The same DPP poll also found a large number of people saying they believed cross-strait agreements often fail to fulfill their stated promises. A majority of those polled said that they especially lacked confidence in parts of an agreement discussed yesterday.

Regarding an agreement on cross-strait crime-fighting and judicial assistance that was signed between cross-strait negotiators last year, 44.6 percent said that it did not fulfill its intentions. A greater number, 63.9 percent, felt the same way about a cross-strait food safety pact signed in 2008.

Furthermore, 87.6 percent said that they did not believe China had the means to stringently check exports of traditional medicine to Taiwan, as outlined in the cross-strait medical and health cooperation agreement signed yesterday.

Meanwhile, the DPP yesterday accused cross-strait negotiators of continuing to delay talks on a number of key issues including a cross-strait investment clause and a tax agreement for Taiwanese businesspeople working in China.

“Some of the agreements that have a direct impact on the public’s rights have not yet come under discussion,” DPP spokesperson Cheng Wen-tsang (鄭文燦) said.

Cheng said the government should especially vow to include the investment clause in the seventh round of talks to be held in China.

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