Taiwan Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng has promised to set an oversight mechanism in place before the parliament begins reviewing any trade pacts with China, a positive sign for student protestors who occupied Taiwan’s legislature on March 19 in opposition to a controversial cross-strait agreement with Beijing.
The protestors said that negations between Taipei and Beijing weren’t transparent and demanded that the parliament pass laws to oversee and regulate documents signed between Taiwan and China.
Wall Street Journal reports:
Mr. Wang said ruling and opposition party negotiations on the trade pact—which are crucial for its passing—would be delayed until legislation for monitoring agreements with China is enacted. Mr. Wang didn’t say when the law could be passed.
Student protesters on Sunday called Mr. Wang’s announcement “substantial progress” but said they would continue to occupy the legislature as it wasn’t clear if Mr. Wang supported their version of the draft oversight bill.
“If Mr. Wang backs the version we support, we would consider leaving,” said Chen Rui-Guang, a spokesman for the student protesters.
A foreseeable end to the protests is good news to Taipei’s mayor Hua Lung-bin, who said “If (Wang’s promise) to have the cross-strait service trade pact deliberated after a supervisory law is passed will eventually dissolve the disputes, we are glad to see this through,” according to the China Post.
The Chinese Buddhist monk Hsing Yun agreed that it was time to throw in the towel, and former presidential advisor Rex How, who supported the students and even resigned from his position in protest to the government, urged students to make an ‘honorable retreat’ from their occupation:
“Now is the time to consider making an honorable, successful shift to the bigger chamber of society instead of limiting yourselves to just the chamber of the Legislative Yuan,” said How.