Taiwan leader defends controversial China trade deal
TAIPEI (AFP) - Taiwan's President Ma Ying-jeou on Thursday defended a controversial trade pact with China following protests against the deal, saying it would benefit the island's economy.
Ma's government has come under criticism for signing the agreement with Beijing to further open up the service sector trade, and scores of protesters gathered outside a hotel in Taipei where he was attending a conference on Thursday.
"There are many misunderstandings about the impact (of the pact)... there will be many more opportunities for our service sector in mainland China so it is essentially beneficial for Taiwan," Ma said at a separate meeting with a business organisation.
He said Taiwan would not open up to Chinese labourers or allow Chinese investor immigrants under the pact, which was expected to boost its service sector exports to China by 37 per cent.