Sat, Jun 29, 2013 - Page 3 News List

SERVICES PACT: Survey shows discontent over cross-strait accords

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

During a press conference at the Legislative Yuan in Taipei yesterday, Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Pan Men-an shows a list highlighting which parts of Taiwan’s service sector could be hurt by the cross-strait service trade agreement.

Photo: Liu Hsin-de, Taipei Times

Almost half of the respondents to a public opinion poll released yesterday said a trade pact signed by Taiwan and China three years ago has not helped their livelihoods, with a similar proportion saying they do not support the recently signed cross-strait service trade agreement.

The survey was conducted on the eve of the third anniversary of the signing of the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA), which was inked on June 29, 2010, and sought people’s views on the ECFA and the follow-up service trade pact, which was signed on Friday last week in Shanghai.

Asked if the ECFA has improved their financial situation, as the administration of President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) has claimed, 48.9 percent of respondents said “no,” while 28.3 percent agreed, and 22.8 percent declined to answer, Taiwan Indicator Survey Research (TISR) said.

With regards to the service trade pact, only 24.9 percent of those polled agreed with the government’s claim that the positive effects would outweigh the negative ones, while 47.4 percent said the downsides would outweigh the positives, and 24.4 percent declined to answer.

Further breakdown of the poll’s results showed that Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) supporters tended to be more confident about the Ma administration, with 53.9 percent of them believing that benefits from the service trade pact would outweigh the economic damage it could do.

The fear of the impact of an inflow of Chinese investment and workers may have affected the public’s view of the pact as 47.9 percent of respondents said they did not support its signing, 16 percentage points higher than those who said they supported the agreement.

According to TISR, the results are in sharp contrast to a poll conducted in 2010 before the ECFA was signed, when the public support rate for the agreement stood at 47.1 percent, with 33.9 percent against the deal.

The cross-strait service trade agreement should not take effect before being screened by the Legislative Yuan, 64.2 percent of respondents said, while 16.2 percent said the pact should be implemented as soon as possible, and 19.6 percent declined to answer.

The poll, conducted on Tuesday and Wednesday, collected 1,008 valid samples and had a margin of error of 3.1 percentage points.

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