Taiwan voters back government on US pork referendum

Taiwan’s president Tsai Ing-wen scored a political victory over the weekend as 4 referendums backed by the opposition in opposition to key insurance policies of her government together with permitting US pork imports did not cross.

The consequence averts the danger of undermining Tsai’s push for Taiwan’s inclusion in a regional commerce pact, nearer commerce relations with Washington and efforts to modify extra energy technology from coal to pure gasoline.

Taipei is pushing for talks with the US on a possible bilateral commerce deal, and just lately utilized to hitch the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). Both steps are essential for Taiwan to forestall China’s efforts at isolating the nation from hurting its trade-reliant economic system.

For the Kuomintang, Taiwan’s largest opposition get together which had campaigned forcefully for the votes as a rejection of Tsai’s government, the end result marks one other devastating defeat following its loss within the January 2020 presidential election.


The 4 questions on the poll, two of which have been initiated by KMT lawmakers and two others backed by the get together, failed each to draw a enough turnout and to go the best way the get together had pushed for.

Just over 40 per cent of voters who went to the polls rejected a proposal to ban imports of meat containing the feed additive ractopamine, which is used to advertise progress and muscle leanness.

They additionally rejected a proposal to restart a mothballed nuclear energy plant and transfer an LNG terminal beneath building to keep away from impression on an algal reef, with between 51 and 52 per cent of votes solid in opposition to it.

A fourth proposal, for referendums to be held concurrently with elections, was defeated with 57 per cent of votes.


Political observers mentioned the end result displays a profitable mobilisation effort by Tsai’s Democratic Progressive get together. Tsai herself had implored folks till the ultimate day to “cast four Nos”.

Despite her private appeals throughout the marketing campaign for voters to reject all 4 referendums, Tsai mentioned: “There are no winners or losers in referendums, only the question of the nation’s future path.”

She mentioned in a press release after the polls that the vote had despatched the message that the Taiwanese folks “want to go out into the world and actively participate in international affairs”.

If the pork import referendum had handed, Tsai’s government might have been pressured to reimpose an import ban, a transfer that commerce consultants mentioned would have undermined Taiwan’s credibility in worldwide commerce organisations.


Apart from the respective points on the poll, the vote marked a minimal impact of referendums in Taiwan politics. The DPP, a significant pressure behind introducing parts of direct democracy within the nation’s political system, used its legislative majority two years in the past to decouple referendums from basic elections after the KMT appeared to have benefited extra from current referendums. Saturday’s vote was the primary take a look at of the brand new system.

Eric Chu, KMT chair, mentioned the referendum outcomes had carried out huge injury to Taiwan’s democracy and denounced Tsai as a dictator within the guise of a democracy.

“For Taiwan’s ‘democratic dictatorship’ government, this is a victory, but for every civic group that strives to deepen democracy, for every grassroots citizen, this does very big harm,” he mentioned. “Referendums are dead. After today, it will be very difficult for any referendum to pass under this ‘bird cage’ referendum system.”

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