Taiwan’s president warns stalled trade pacts with mainland China damaging economy

Agreements sparked protests last year among opponents of closer ties with Beijing

South China Morning Post
Date: 02 June, 2015
By: Agence France-Presse in Taipei

President Ma Ying-jeou warned Tuesday of damage to Taiwan’s economy if the

President Ma making his remarks at a technology fair in Taipei. Photo: AFP

President Ma making his remarks at a technology fair in Taipei. Photo: AFP

legislature does not pass controversial trade deals with mainland China, which have stalled in the wake of mass protests.

His comments come as tensions remain high over increased mainland influence on the island.

“I would like to voice my concern over related agreements with China still under deliberation in the legislature,” said Ma, speaking at the opening ceremony of Computex, Asia’s largest tech fair, in the capital Taipei.

The pacts are on hold after a service trade deal with Beijing sparked huge rallies and the three-week occupation of parliament last year, reflecting growing unease over Taiwan’s warming ties with Beijing.

Ma said the passage of the agreements should accelerate, particularly in the wake of a free trade deal signed between China and South Korea on Monday.

That agreement would impact Taiwan’s traditional industries, including textiles, said Ma.

“It took them only three years [to reach the agreement]. Look at our service trade agreement with the mainland, which is still lying in parliament,” he said.

The pact is on ice as a concession to protesters, who said it had been passed in secret.

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