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Taiwan: rejection of measures that could have damaged relations with Washington


The poll was being held as China stepped up military and political pressure on the island, which it considers a renegade province.

The main opposition party, Kuomintang (KMT), which has failed to shake off accusations it is too close to China, hoped the votes would demonstrate mistrust of the democratic government.

The two most controversial and high-profile referendums concerned the ban on pork meat containing ractopamine, and the relocation of the site of a liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant to protect a reef.

The Taiwanese government last year authorized pork imports in hopes of spurring a free trade agreement with the United States, where ractopamine, an additive for leaner, more protein-rich meat, is widely used. used, showing that the island is a reliable partner.

The government also said it would relocate the site of a power plant from Liquefied natural gas, which should enable it to ensure the energy needs of the island, in order to minimize its impact on a reef.

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A third vote was to restart a nuclear power plant, as the government pledged to stop using nuclear power.

Voters voted against the proposals, as recommended by the government, but turnout was low.

For a resolution to be adopted by referendum, it must obtain at least 25% of the votes, or around 5 million.

In the end, around four million people voted no to the four questions, a number greater than that of the ballots Yes.

The president of the formation Kuomintang Opposition Party Eric Chu admitted that the result of the ballot was not ideal, and apologized.

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