REFERENDUMS 2021/China in no position to interfere in Taiwan's referendum: MAC

12/16/2021 10:48 PM
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Campaigners against state-run oil refiner CPC Corp. Taiwan
Campaigners against state-run oil refiner CPC Corp. Taiwan's LNG receiving terminal demonstrate in front of the Presidential Office on Dec. 12. CNA file photo

Taipei, Dec. 16 (CNA) Taiwan's government said Thursday that an upcoming national referendum is an internal matter in a democratic nation, and China is in no position to "interfere" in the process.

Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) spokesperson Chiu Chui-cheng (邱垂正) made the statement at a press briefing, when asked to comment on Beijing's criticism of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) administration, which is campaigning for a "no" vote on all four referendums that will be held Saturday.

China should be aware that the Dec. 18 referendum is an "internal affair in democratic Taiwan" and that Beijing is "in no position to comment on or interfere in it," Chiu said.

His comment came a day after China's Taiwan Affairs Office spokesperson Ma Xiaoguang (馬曉光) accused President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) of engaging in scaremongering and promoting anti-China sentiments at a rally in Tainan last Sunday.

At the rally, Tsai said that one of the referendums, which seeks to ban imported pork products containing the livestock drug ractopamine, would have significant impact on Taiwan's trade relations with the United States and other countries, if it is passed.

Moreover, it could lead to growing economic dependence on China, as Taiwan would be seen by other trade partners as flouting international trade rules, Tsai said.

Despite the efforts of the current DPP administration, China remains Taiwan's largest importer, accounting for 43.9 percent of Taiwan's total exports in 2020, an annual increase of 14.6 percent, according to Ministry of Economic Affairs data.

In 2021, the Taiwan government lifted its ban on pork imports containing ractopamine, arguing that the decision was in line with an international trend adopted by some 109 countries around the world.

The referendum on pork imports, initiated by the opposition Kuomintang, aims to overturn the government's decision. It will be voted on Saturday, along with three others related to the country's energy policies and the arrangements for future referendums.

(By Teng Pei-ju)



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