China / HK Macao Taiwan

Taiwan will not reopen service pact talks

(Xinhua) Updated: 2014-04-17 20:21

TAIPEI - Taiwan's mainland affairs office has said it will not renegotiate its signed service trade pact with the mainland, despite Taiwanese students' protests on the matter.

A statement issued by the office on Wednesday evening added its weight to a mainland spokeswoman's similar remarks earlier that day.

Hundreds of students stormed into Taiwan's legislative chamber on March 18 in protest at what they see as "undemocratic" tactics used by the ruling Kuomintang to speed up the ratification of the pact.

Fan Liqing, spokeswoman of the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council, told a press conference that the service trade pact is a signed agreement and there is no precedent for renegotiating a signed pact.

The authority of agreements reached by the mainland-based Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits and the Taiwan-based Straits Exchange Foundation must be maintained, she said.

Responding to a question on attempts at supervising cross-Strait agreements, Fan said "Taiwan independence" forces are using supervision as a disguise and attempting to legalize the "one country on each side" idea in order to meet their goal of hampering cross-Strait negotiation and the peaceful development of cross-Strait relations.

However, the statement from Taiwan's mainland affairs office said it fully respects the opposition's call for vetting of the service trade pact by the legislative body and noted that a draft oversight regulation concerning the signing of cross-Strait agreements has been submitted to the legislative body.

In a bid to put the service trade pact into effect as early as possible, the statement suggested that the legislative body deliberate on the draft oversight rules and the service pact at the same time.

Taiwan leader Ma Ying-jeou also said on Wednesday that he believed the service pact can stand up to future tests and would benefit Taiwan.

Signed by the two sides in June 2013, the service trade pact aims to further normalize and liberalize service trade between the mainland and Taiwan, as well as open up mutual markets in the service sector

Under the agreement, the mainland will open 80 service sectors to Taiwan, while Taiwan will open 64 sectors to the mainland.

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