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Taiwan premier reassures public over pork fears
Publication Date : 28-02-2013
The public has Taiwanese Premier Jiang Yi-huah's word that the central government will not loosen restrictions on US pork, said the president, Ma Ying-jeou yesterday.
Earlier yesterday, Democratic Progressive Party lawmaker Lee Ying-yuan called on the president to commit to the ban on pork imports containing ractopamine, ahead of a round of important trade talks between Taiwan and the United States in March. If the president does not commit to the ban, he is forcing the people to take to the streets, said Lee at the Legislative Yuan yesterday.
The premier has already given his word to maintain the ban, Ma said at the Kuomintang's (KMT) main headquarters Wednesday afternoon.
“A few days ago during an executive-legislative meeting, the premier said he will abide by predecessor Sean Chen's pledge that pork will not enter during his tenure,” Ma told the KMT Central Standing Committee and local media.
“Jiang even said he is willing to resign if he cannot fulfill his promise. These words are resolute and decisive, and I hope we can all be assured,” Ma continued.
On Monday, Jiang had quoted Chen's statement, “US pork (containing ractopamine) will definitely not be imported while I am serving as premier.” “This statement applies to me as well” said Jiang.
Ma was presiding yesterday at the KMT Central Standing Committee in the capacity of party chairman. At the party's invitation, the Council of Agriculture (COA) delivered a report on upcoming agricultural policy.
COA Minister Chen Bao-ji said there are no plans to alter the standing policy that pork and beef import restrictions are treated separately.
“It is regretful that there are rumours otherwise,” he said.