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#CongressOccupied Protesters Reject Taiwanese President's Proposed Solution

Written by I-fan Lin On 5 April 2014 @ 6:00 am | 2 Comments

In China, Citizen Media, East Asia, English, Governance, LANGUAGES, Law, Politics, Protest, Taiwan (ROC), TOPICS, TYPE, Weblog, WORLD

Protesters occupying Taiwan's legislature rejected a proposal put forward by President Ma Ying-jeou and his cabinet on April 3 that would “monitor” future trade agreements with China. 

Members of the #CongressOccupied movement called the plan “empty, insincere and deceptive” [1] as it gives neither room for citizen participation nor power to the Legislative Yuan to participate in the negotiation process or amend the agreement – in other words, negotiations on such agreements will remain in a “black box”. Protesters had listed a monitoring mechanism in their demands.

Opposition to the Cross-Strait Service Trade Agreement, which opens up Taiwan to more business with China, continues to rock the island since protesters first took over the legislature on March 18, 2014. Half a million [2] Taiwanese people rallied against the trade deal on March 30. 

The president pressed the ruling party to pass the agreement as soon as possible. He also refused to hold a citizens’ constitutional meeting [3] [zh] and called [4] the occupy movement criminal.

A man holding an angry bird. 'We do not have guns or bombs. All we have is anger. Is this why the government does not care about us?' Photo from GJ!!Taiwan. CC: NC. [5]

A modified Banksy artwork. “We do not have guns or bombs. All we have is anger. Is this why the government does not care about us?” Photo from GJ!!Taiwan. CC: NC.

April Chuang, a popular politics blogger, was very disappointed by the government, known as the Executive Yuan, and called their draft [6] [zh] “Regulation for NOT-monitoring cross-strait agreements.”

我敢打賭,到時候真正通過的監督條例頂多把立法院拉進來,還是一部不折不扣的不監督條例。

I can bet that the final version of this regulation would at most include the involvement of the Legislative Yuan to some degree, but it would still be a regulation with no monitoring mechanism.

The fact that President Ma refused to give power to the legislature to review the agreement has raised doubts among many whether he has given in to mainland China's “one country” principle. According to a widely held belief in Taiwanese political circles, China does not allow Taiwan's legislature to make any changes to cross-strait agreements because they do not recognize Taiwan as a country that has its own legislature.

Netizens were furious on PTT [7] [zh], Taiwan's largest bulletin board system. Some considered that the legislature's lack of power to monitor trade negotiations will hurt both the constitution and the sovereignty of Taiwan. For example, satyrs05 wrote:

這不是賣台約,什麼才是賣台約

If this agreement does not sell Taiwan, what kind of agreement will sell Taiwan?

Reporter Lee Chih-Te pointed out on Facebook [8] [zh] that President Ma refused to admit that Taiwan is a country in his press conference:

對於「服貿能不能退回重談」這個問題,馬政府的標準答案是:「傷害國際信用,使得以後我們談……人家都會懷疑」。[...]在周六的記者會上,連我在內我記得三次有人提出「為什麼不能重開談判」的問題,馬英九不是刻意畫錯重點,就是背誦標準答案。但馬英九和他的團隊始終沒有發現,這是人家一直在做球,做球讓你這個政府至少在措詞上保留由台灣主動發動兩岸服貿協議重談的可能性,再不會的話,我替你們造個句:「重談在國際上不是沒有先例,例如…(這些例如請中經院李淳教授去找一些),但這會讓兩岸關係付出重大代價。我們目前並不考慮重談。」

拜託馬政府,不管你想不想重談,求求你們改一下標準答案。不要讓自己成為中南海認證的兒皇帝。這是我的噩夢,我相信也是你的。

When asked about whether we can reject the current agreement and start negotiations anew, President Ma's standard answer is, “This action will hurt our credibility and make other people have doubts about us when they negotiate with us in the future.” [...] In the press conference on Saturday, I remember there were three reporters including me who asked President Ma why we cannot restart the negotiation process. President Ma either intentionally did not understand our question or just recited his standard answer. The Ma administration never understands that we are giving them chances to make it clear that Taiwan can reserve the right to restart the agreement. If they are unable to do so, I can put the sentence in words, “There are examples of other countries restarting negotiations, for example…, but this will hurt the cross-strait relationship seriously, so we do not consider the option of restarting negotiations.”

President Ma, I beg you. No matter if you want to restart negotiations or not, I beg you to change your answer. Do not become a powerless emperor controlled by Beijing. This is my nightmare. I believe it is yours as well.


Article printed from Global Voices: http://globalvoicesonline.org

URL to article: http://globalvoicesonline.org/2014/04/05/congressoccupied-protesters-reject-taiwanese-presidents-proposed-solution/

URLs in this post:

[1] “empty, insincere and deceptive”: http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/front/archives/2014/04/04/2003587233

[2] Half a million: https://globalvoicesonline.org/2014/03/31/half-a-milion-taiwanese-assemble-to-support-congressoccupied/

[3] hold a citizens’ constitutional meeting: https://www.facebook.com/NtuNewsEForum/posts/812876795408208?stream_ref=10

[4] called: http://www.appledaily.com.tw/appledaily/article/headline/20140403/35743072/205%E5%90%8D%E5%AD%B8%E7%94%9F%E7%BE%A4%E7%9C%BE%E9%81%AD%E8%AA%BF%E6%9F%A5%E6%9E%97%E9%A3%9B%E5%B8%86%E8%BD%9F%E9%A6%AC%E7%A7%8B%E5%BE%8C%E7%AE%97%E5%B8%B3

[5] Image: https://twitter.com/gjtaiwan/status/451624401138905088/photo/1

[6] called their draft: https://www.facebook.com/antiblacktw/posts/624366477634197?comment_id=66872591&offset=0&total_comments=2

[7] PTT: http://www.ptt.cc/bbs/Gossiping/M.1396418394.A.C02.html

[8] pointed out on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/notes/%E6%9D%8E%E5%BF%97%E5%BE%B7/%E5%A4%AA%E9%99%BD%E8%8A%B1%E6%9C%80%E6%85%98%E7%9A%84%E4%B8%80%E7%A8%AE%E6%94%B6%E5%A0%B4%E6%96%B9%E5%BC%8F/10201890075118124

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