News / Asia

Taiwan Parliament Occupiers Seeking Transparency In China Trade Deal

  • Students protesting against a China Taiwan trade pact rally in front of a wall of police outside of the occupied legislature, in Taipei, Taiwan, March 20, 2014.
  • Students protesting against a China Taiwan trade pact occupy the legislative floor, in Taipei, Taiwan, March 20, 2014.
  • Students protesting a China-Taiwan trade pact barricade themselves in legislature in Taipei, March 20, 2014. (Xiaobei Zhang/VOA)
  • Students protesting a China-Taiwan trade pact sleep inside the legislature in Taipei, March 20, 2014. (Xiaobei Zhang/VOA)
  • A student occupying the legislature in Taipei told VOA his mother is worried that he is in the building, March 20, 2014. (Xiaobei Zhang/VOA)
  • Students protesting against a China Taiwan trade pact occupy the legislative floor, in Taipei, Taiwan, March 20, 2014.
  • Student protesters against a China-Taiwan trade agreement barricade the entrance to the legislature in Taipei, March 19, 2014.
  • Hundreds of students protesting a China-Taiwan trade pact surround the legislature in Taipei, March 19, 2014.
  • Students and other protesters collide with police inside Taiwan's legislature in Taipei, March 18, 2014.
Taiwan Protesters Occupy Legislature
Ralph Jennings
x
​Protesters are occupying Taiwan’s parliament for a second full day to block passage of a deal that would liberalize the island’s service trade with China. The aggressive protest is less about the widely supported trade pact than anger over a perceived lack of transparency.
 
The several hundred students who broke into Taiwan’s parliament on Tuesday night and remain inside Thursday are demanding a harder look at a pact to liberalize the service trade between their island and economic giant China. The deal that would open 144 service categories to the other side’s investors enjoys broad support, but protesters want a detailed examination before it clears parliament.
 
Protester Iris Chang, a Taipei resident and part of the group that broke into parliament on Tuesday, said Taiwanese people need more information.
 
“The government can’t just approve without the people saying yes or letting us know what exactly the law or the content is about. This is kind of like cheating on the citizens,” said Chang.
 
Negotiators from Taiwan and longtime political rival China approved the services trade deal in June. Taiwanese companies covered by the pact can take a controlling stake in joint ventures and expand banking, healthcare and tourism businesses in China. The agreement would help Taiwan’s larger companies but may hurt smaller ones as competitors from China open shop. Island officials believe the pact ultimately will modernize the service sector and create jobs.
 
Taiwan’s China policymaking body said most local business people back the deal, and a private survey in July found 59 percent support among Taiwan’s public.
 
Parliament has handled the deal slowly despite pressure from leaders on both sides as the two main political parties fight over how to vote on it. President Ma Ying-jeou’s Nationalist Party, which has a legislative majority, wants a quick package vote this month or next. The opposition Democratic Progressive Party advocates a more time-consuming item-by-item review that could strike clauses that might hurt local industry.
 
Raymond Wu, managing director of e-telligence, a political risk consultancy in Taipei, said the dispute boils down to protecting local business.
 
“Whether the people of Taiwan are willing and ready to open up the market and become more integrated regionally, this is the fundamental issue at stake,” said Wu.
 
The opposition is generally cautious toward China. Beijing has considered self-ruled Taiwan part of its territory since the Chinese civil war of the 1940s and demands eventual reunification.
 
Protesters gathered on Tuesday night because they say the Nationalists went back on their word after agreeing to an item-by-item review. After a break-in that night, about 400 people occupied the legislative podium with plans to stay for a hearing Friday, unless police force them out.

You May Like

Video Iran Nuclear Deal Becomes US Campaign Issue

Voters in three crucial battleground states - Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania - overwhelmingly oppose nuclear deal with Iran More

Al-Qaida's Syria Affiliate Reemerges

Jabhat al-Nusra has rebounded, increasingly casting itself as a critical player in battle for Syria’s future More

Lessons Learned From Katrina, 10 Years Later

FEMA chief Craig Fugate says key changes include better preparation, improved coordination among state, federal assistance agencies More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Notme Mabimb from: Taiwan
March 23, 2014 4:32 PM
Plz help Taiwanese !
Taiwan horrible "Legislature Yuan" and "Executive Yuan"!
Live: http://www.ustream.tv/embed/17557850
Live: http://tv.udn.com/news/live.shtml
Live: http://tw.pikolive.com/jtv/vmoretv
Ten thousands no weapons people vs Riot police !
Taiwanese life of Asia in the world.
Thank u !

by: Dave Wu from: Taipei
March 21, 2014 7:28 AM
Passing a legislation as a package deal without itemized oversight is not a way of a true democracy. Especially trying to do that in 6 seconds.
In Response

by: Sun flower from: Usa
March 21, 2014 12:44 PM
Totally agree!!

by: Shintaro Sakamoto from: Japan
March 20, 2014 5:59 PM
They are fighting for democracy of Taiwan since they know the pact with Beijing is a trap to take rights and interests from them.

by: jack kazadi from: DRC
March 20, 2014 1:40 PM
an agreement must be found to solve the crisis

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs