Taipei, June 9 (CNA) President Ma Ying-jeou on Monday urged lawmakers to move the trade-in-services agreement with China forward during a special legislative session, as the economics ministry confirmed that talks on other economic issues have been put on hold pending new progress.
The administration also outlined hopes that special legislation on Taiwan's free economic pilot zone project and a bill on oversight for cross-strait agreements can be put on the agenda of the special session, set to open June 13.
Speaking during a meeting with New York University law professor Jerome Cohen in Taipei, Ma called the measures "very important" to the people and crucial to Taiwan's economic development and relations with China.
The comments came amid reports that the delay in ratifying the trade pact, signed by representatives from Taipei and Beijing in June 2013, has led China to suspend negotiations on all other proposed agreements, including an anticipated trade-in-goods pact and dispute settlement arrangement.
Deputy Economics Minister Duh Tyzz-jiun confirmed that the two sides have not had any talks on the goods agreement for two months.
Beijing has taken a reserved attitude in light of the controversy triggered by the services pact in Taiwan, he said.
In March, an attempt by the ruling Kuomintang to push that agreement through the Legislature sparked extended protests that led to occupation of the legislative complex by student-led demonstrators.
The protest ended only after the government promised to establish a law that would subject cross-strait negotiations to stricter oversight.
(By Kelven Huang, Huang Chiao-wen and Y.F. Low)ENDITEM/WH
Related:●June 9: Trade-in-goods pact with China unlikely this year: official