Taiwan premier says won't withdraw China trade pact
Published on Mar 22, 2014 7:08 PM
TAIPEI (AFP) - Taiwan's Prime Minister Jiang Yi-huah said on Saturday the government will not withdraw a contentious trade pact with China, rejecting calls from protesters occupying parliament to stop its ratification.
In the first direct dialogue between the government and protesters, Jiang walked to the parliament building surrounded by bodyguards as some protesters jostled and shouted "step down" in footage broadcast live on local television.
"The cabinet sent the service trade pact to parliament because we think it will help Taiwan's liberalisation and internationalisation. We do not plan to withdraw (it)," Jiang told the crowd gathered on the streets outside.
Jiang added that he would however support a thorough article-by-article review of the pact by parliament, as some protesters shouted "send back the pact".
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