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

    Top US General: Turkish Media Report ‘Absurd'

    General Dunford rejects ‘irresponsible' claims of coup involvement by former four-star Army General Campbell, who led NATO forces in Afghanistan before retiring earlier this year

    Video Saving Ethiopian Children Thought to Be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at efforts of one African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children

    Protests Over Western Troops Threaten Libyan 'Unity' Government

    Fears mount that Islamist foes of ‘unity' government plan to declare a revolutionaries' council in Tripoli

    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.
    London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunitiesi
    X
    VOA News
    July 25, 2016 5:09 PM
    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Four Brother Goats Arrive in Brooklyn on a Mission

    While it's unusual to see farm animals in cities, it's become familiar for residents of Brooklyn, New York, to see a little herd of goats. Unlike gas-powered mowing equipment, goats remove invasive weeds quietly and without adding more pollution to the air. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this is a pilot program and if it proves to be successful, the goat gardener program will be extended to other areas of New York. Faith Lapidus narrates.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora