Taiwan Speaker Offers Concession to Student Protesters

Eva Dou:

In a concession to student protesters, Taiwan Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng said Sunday a review of a contentious services trade pact with China will be delayed until an oversight mechanism for cross-strait agreements is enacted.

The announcement is the largest gesture of conciliation from Mr. Wang since students stormed the legislature three weeks ago and barricaded themselves inside to protest the services trade agreement, which was signed last year.

The protesters have said negotiations between Taipei and Beijing weren’t transparent and demanded that the government set up a legally binding mechanism to oversee all cross-Strait deals, including the services trade pact, to ensure proper oversight and public input.

Pressure is mounting on the government to resolve an impasse over the trade pact that has moved thousands of students to camp inside and outside the legislature since March 18. More than 100,000 protesters gathered outside Taiwan’s Presidential Office Building in downtown Taipei last Sunday.