President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday said he regrets that the cross-strait service trade agreement signed nine months ago is still stalled in the legislature and he is worried the delay could hurt Taiwan’s credibility in the international community.
“We will be unable to take the consequences,” Ma said, adding that the delay could lead to other trading partners to question Taiwan’s sincerity in pushing for trade liberalization.
Legislative committees began a joint review of the pact on Wednesday, but amid scuffles between lawmakers, no progress was made.
More confrontations are expected when the legislature continues the review next week.
Ma said that the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) signed in 2010 has proven a great boost to Taiwan, but added that the pact only covers a small number of goods. Items covered by the agreement have shown growth despite the sluggish economy, and some businesses would not have survived without the deal, he said.
The government is hoping to complete a commodity trade pact this year, but if the service trade deal does not clear the legislature soon, the commodity trade pact would be affected, he said.
Taiwan must reform and open up in areas in which it does not have to rely on others to become more competitive, he said.
Ma said that trade with New Zealand has increase 73 percent since a bilateral economic cooperation agreement was signed with the country last year.
“No matter whether we like it or not” the cruel fact is that Taiwan relies on exports for 70 percent of its economic growth and unemployment will result if exports are poor, he said.
Meanwhile, Legislative Yuan Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) said he hoped Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and opposition lawmakers could sit down to exchange views on the service trade deal, although it would be difficult.
China appears to have built mockups of a port in northeastern Taiwan and a military vessel docked there, with the aim of using them as targets to test its ballistic missiles, a retired naval officer said yesterday. Lu Li-shih (呂禮詩), a former lieutenant commander in Taiwan’s navy, wrote on Facebook that satellite images appeared to show simulated targets in a desert in China’s Xinjiang region that resemble the Suao naval base in Yilan County and a Kidd-class destroyer that usually docks there. Lu said he compared the mockup port to US naval bases in Yokosuka and Sasebo, Japan, and in Subic Bay
Police are investigating the death of a Formosan black bear discovered on Tuesday buried near an industrial road in Nantou County, with initial evidence indicating that it was shot accidentally by a hunter. The bear had been caught in wildlife traps at least five times before, three times since 2020. Codenamed No. 711, the bear received extensive media coverage last year after it was discovered trapped twice in less than two months in the Taichung mountains. After its most recent ensnarement last month, the bear was released in the Dandashan (丹大山) area in Nantou County’s Sinyi Township (信義). However, officials became concerned after the
The majority of parents surveyed in northern Taiwan favor the suspension of all on-site classes at schools from the junior-high level and below amid a surge in domestic COVID-19 infections, parent groups said yesterday. About 84.4 percent of respondents in a survey of 2,912 parents in northern Taiwan, where the outbreak is the most serious, said they supported suspending classes, the Action Alliance on Basic Education, the Taiwan Parents Protect Women and Children Association, and the Taiwan Love Children Association said. The groups distributed questionnaires to parents in New Taipei City, Taipei, Keelung, Taoyuan and Hsinchu city and county from Saturday morning
DETERRENCE: US National Security Council Indo-Pacific Coordinator Kurt Campbell said cross-strait affairs are on the agenda at the US-ASEAN Special Leaders’ Summit The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) yesterday thanked the Czech Senate for passing a resolution supporting Taiwan’s inclusion in the WHO and other international organizations for the second consecutive year. The resolution was passed on Wednesday with 51 votes in favor, one opposed and 11 abstentions. In addition to the WHO, it also called for Taiwan’s participation in the “meetings, mechanisms and activities” of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, the International Civil Aviation Organization and Interpol. In its opening, the resolution states that the Czech Republic “considers Taiwan as one of its key partners in the Indo-Pacific region,” while noting its