Thu, Dec 12, 2013 - Page 3 News List

Groups bid to stop ‘hasty’ service trade pact passage

By Lee Yu-hsin and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

With the end of the current legislative session looming, events aimed at mounting pressure on President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) administration to stop the legislature from hastily ratifying the cross-strait trade service pact are to be held all through next week, Democratic Front Against Cross-Strait Trade in Service Agreement convener Lai Chung-chiang (賴中強) said yesterday.

Two events are to be launched simultaneously in northern and southern Taiwan in a bid to draw the largest crowds possible, and culminate with a rally in Taipei, Lai said.

Lai said that among the groups set to attend the events are the Taiwan Association for Human Rights, Big Citizen is Watching You, the Black Island Youth Alliance and the Taiwan Labor Front.

“Although the legislature held public hearings on the agreement, the Ma administration is still unwilling to make public the records of the negotiations on the pact,” Lai told a press conference yesterday.

Lai said his group is asking the legislature to consider acts on assessing the impact of and remedial methods for economic liberalization; the signing and oversight of cross-strait accords; and regulations on Chinese investment in Taiwan before the service pact is ratified.

The legislature should also enforce the Employment Service Act (就業服務法) for Chinese employees in Taiwan, ordain a ceiling for the total amount of Chinese workers allowed in Taiwan and amend the Merger and Acquisition Act (企業併購法) to protect Taiwanese’s right to work and their right of organization, Lai added.

“If such measures are not put in place, the legislature should refuse to ratify the agreement,” he said.

Association executive secretary Chen Yuchi (陳郁琦) said he plans to launch a signature drive with Greater Kaohsiung legislators and ask for their support at the rally.

The association also plans to canvass for public support on Thursday next week at Sanmin Park in the municipality’s Sanmin District (三民) to show the government Greater Kaohsiung residents’ opposition to the agreement.

“The ‘concessions’ China agreed to make to Taiwan in the service pact are not as significant as the ones it agreed to make to other nations it has free-trade accords with and even worse than the concessions stipulated in the deal it offered to Pakistan,” National Taiwan University economics department chairwoman Jang Show-ling (鄭秀玲) said.

Jang said she plans to detail how China stands to be the sole beneficiary of the service agereeent at a seminar to be cohosted by the university’s Public Economics Research Center and the Institute of Journalism on Dec. 20.

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