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Taiwan Voters Align With All Government Positions in Referendum


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Dec 18, 2021  •  27 minutes in the past  •  2 minute learn  • 

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(Bloomberg) — Taiwanese voters aligned with the place of President Tsai Ing-wen’s authorities on 4 points in a weekend referendum, a win for the chief forward of elections subsequent 12 months. 

More than 50% voters mentioned “no” to reimposing a ban on imports of pork containing hint quantities of ractopamine, a feed additive utilized by many U.S. producers. 

A “yes” outcome would have offered Tsai with the dilemma of conforming to the individuals’s will and probably upset Taiwan’s most essential political and navy backer, or preserve the doorways open to U.S. pork and danger a home political backlash lower than a 12 months earlier than key regional elections. Maintaining Washington’s assist is especially essential as Beijing ramps up a strain marketing campaign on the democratically dominated island that the Communist Party considers a breakaway territory regardless of by no means having dominated it.

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For many years, the U.S. had been pushing Taipei to open its market to pork containing ractopamine, saying Taiwan’s ban was the most important obstacle to a bilateral free commerce settlement. In an effort to nudge the U.S. towards beginning formal commerce talks, Tsai overturned the ban final 12 months, triggering fierce debate in Taiwan about issues the drug can hurt individuals who devour meat raised with it.

The Tsai administration had urged the general public to reject a brand new ban, saying the transfer is in Taiwan’s finest pursuits as it will increase U.S. commerce relations.

“Taiwan’s people hope to walk out to the world and actively participate in international society,” Tsai mentioned in a briefing after most votes had been counted Saturday night. 

The result’s useful for Taiwan’s pledge to hitch the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, or CPTPP, and elevate bilateral trades with the U.S., in accordance with John Deng, a minister with out portfolio. He spoke at a separate briefing on Saturday.

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Taiwan Applies to Join Pacific Trade Deal Days After China

Voters additionally Taiwan shouldn’t activate the Lungmen Nuclear Plant that was nearly accomplished however then mothballed in 2014 because of rising anti-nuclear sentiment in the wake of the Fukushima catastrophe three years earlier. They additionally voted “no” as to if the state-controlled vitality firm CPC Corp ought to transfer a deliberate $2 billion liquefied pure fuel import terminal from its proposed location beside a 7,000-year-old algal reef on Taiwan’s northern coast. 

Environmental activists have criticized the injury the venture will trigger the reef and its close by ecosystem however the authorities mentioned growing LNG imports is essential to lowering the financial system’s reliance on coal whereas phasing out nuclear vitality. 

The fourth difficulty on the poll was whether or not referendums ought to be held in conjunction with nationwide elections if a proposal was accepted by the Central Election Commission lower than six months forward of a ballot.

About 8 million individuals participated in Saturday’s referendum, lower than half of the 19.8 million residents who had been eligible to vote. In order for a query to be permitted, at the least 4.95 million individuals should vote in favor, with extra individuals selecting sure than no. All 4 points didn’t attain the minimal votes for the initiatives to go.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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