More than 60 percent of the public does not accept easing the ban on imports of US meat products containing the livestock feed additive ractopamine as a prerequisite to resuming trade negotiations between Taiwan and the US, a public opinion survey found.
According to the poll results released by Taiwan Indicators Research Survey (TIRS) yesterday, 63.4 percent of respondents disagreed with the government’s claim that easing the ban on US beef imports was necessary for the resumption of Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) negotiations with the US.
The survey, conducted between Wednesday and Thursday last week found that only 26.5 percent of respondents said they accepted the precondition.
However, 67.3 percent of respondents said it was necessary for Taiwan to seek trade agreements with foreign countries, while only 18 percent disagreed.
Under pressure from President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), who also serves as Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) chairman, to amend the law to ease the ban, KMT lawmakers could find themselves facing a dilemma as the survey showed that 47.8 percent of the party’s supporters did not support using US beef as a trade-off for TIFA talks, while 45.4 percent said they did.
The pressure on KMT -lawmakers appears to be mounting as 46.8 percent of the respondents said they support recalling legislators who favor relaxing the ban compared with 39.4 percent who did not support a recall.
TIRS said a further a breakdown of the results showed that 51 percent of respondents who live south of Yunlin County were in favor of a recall, as were more than 30 percent of pro-KMT respondents.
A regular survey on Ma and Premier Sean Chen’s (陳冲) approval ratings found that both men are still struggling to regain popularity, with Ma’s approval rating at 22.7 and Chen’s a dismal 18.4 percent.
Both ratings were down from the May 23 Taiwan Mood Barometer Survey, a bimonthly poll which covers a range of economic and political issues.
The TIRS poll collected 1,006 samples and had a margin of error of 3.1 percentage points.
A video allegedly featuring retired general Kao An-kuo (高安國) calling on Taiwanese military officers to surrender to China and overthrow the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) government has sparked outrage and calls for him to be charged with treason. The video, titled “A message to Taiwanese military officers,” allegedly shows Kao saying: “I call on commanding officers of our military troops to stand up for Chinese nationalism, to take up this duty under heaven’s mandate to save Taiwanese from oppression and terrible suffering.” Dressed in military fatigues and a beret, the lieutenant general called on officers to overthrow the “fraudulent DPP regime,”
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday rejected the claim Beijing has been making about Taiwan’s status, while thanking US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman for raising concerns about Taiwan during her meeting with Chinese officials. Sherman met with Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi (王毅) on a visit to Tianjin on Sunday and Monday, with Wang urging Washington not to infringe on China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. Taiwan is part of China, a fundamental fact that would never change, and China has the right to take any action needed to restrain Taiwanese independence, Wang said, urging Washington to abide
HASTY REVIEW CLAIMS: Medigen’s vaccine, which is to start phase 3 clinical trials later this year, should not have received emergency use authorization, Hau said Former Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) vice chairman Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) is to appeal the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) authorization of Medigen Vaccine Biologics’ COVID-19 vaccine, he said yesterday. The administration on July 19 granted Medigen emergency use authorization, even though the drugmaker had not yet completed phase 3 clinical trials. The government should not authorize the use of a vaccine that has not completed phase 3 trials, Hau said in Taipei on the sidelines of an event to distribute boxed meals with former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and Broadcasting Corp of China chairman Jaw Shaw-kong (趙少康). Hau said the government had politicized
ELDERLY AT RISK: Centers for Disease Control Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang said 90 percent of those who died in a local outbreak were aged 60 or older Taiwan won plaudits for its successful containment of COVID-19 last year, which made its recent virus resurgence all the more surprising. Data show that it was unusually deadly, as well. While Taiwan has seen fewer than 800 COVID-19 deaths in total, 500 of them occurred last month alone, amid its biggest virus wave to date. The pathogen got through the stringent border curbs that had kept local infections at bay for most of last year, seeding an outbreak that tore through the then-largely unvaccinated elderly population. This pushed the case-fatality ratio to as high as that seen in Italy and the UK