Taiwan legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) announced this morning that he would conduct no further discussions in the legislature concerning trade with China until a new law was passed providing oversight affecting all international trade agreements.
This type of legislation, supporting the DPP (民進黨) and Sunflower movement’s request for transparency, would be a significant change in Taiwan’s legislative process. The Executive branch, led entirely by non-elected appointees spare the President, has historically conducted all trade agreements in secret.
Sunflower student leaders Lin Fei-fan (林飛帆) and Chen Wei-ting (陳為廷) followed Wang’s announcement with a joint statement to the press, that, in light of their request for trade transparency being promised by the legislature’s speaker, the students would leave the legislature’s chamber this Thursday.
President Ma and Wang, both members if the ruling members of the KMT (國民黨) party, have a history of conflict. Other KMT legislators quickly denounced Wang as having supposedly “sold them out” in his announcement that the legislature should provide oversight and transparency in trade agreements, particularly with China.
A bill relating to these measures was approved by the Executive Yuan, which introduces Taiwan’s legislation, last Thursday, though was met with opposition by Lin Chun-hsien (林俊憲), who claimed that the proposed transparency measures would be “in name only”. The discussion continues. Now, after students accepted Wang’s commitment to creating a robust monitoring system for trade agreements, that discussion should be able to resume in the legislative chamber at the conclusion of this week.
The Sunflower students have made it clear that this is not the end of the movement, it is the beginning. Organizers plan to spread their growing trend of gatherings throughout Taiwan and to continue to discuss talking points of freedom, transparency, and the accountability that any democracy must have to its own people.
- Student leader pledges nonviolent protest Sun. (thedailyblogreport.wordpress.com)
- Taiwanese students display remarkable restraint and organization during “Sunflower Movement” (ireport.cnn.com)
- Taiwan student protestors go on Reddit to promote and spread the Sunflower Movement (thisweekinasia.wordpress.com)
- LEGISLATIVE SIEGE: Wang-Ma feud reaches ’round two’ (taipeitimes.com)
- Executive Yuan passes oversight bill (taipeitimes.com)
- Sunflower Movement: A day on the ground in Taiwan protest (photos) (chinadailymail.com)