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Legislature to deliberate draft bills on monitoring cross-strait pacts

ROC Central News Agency

2017/03/21 21:35:29

Taipei, March 21 (CNA) The Legislature will hold a committee meeting on Wednesday and Thursday to discuss six drafts of a bill on monitoring agreements between Taiwan and China, government and political party sources said on Tuesday.

Premier Lin Chuan (林全) said the Cabinet supports the ruling Democratic Progressive Party's (DPP) version titled "Draft Bill on Monitoring the Signing of Cross-Strait Agreements."

A more contentious version was put forth by the minority New Power Party (NPP) -- "Draft Bill on Handling the Signing of Agreements between Our Country and the People's Republic of China (PRC)."

The draft did not stipulate whether "our country" is Taiwan or the Republic of China, but is certain to incur the wrath of China for promoting the idea of "two countries" in defiance of Beijing's "one China" principle.

The People First Party (PFP), another minor party, proposed its "Draft Bill on Monitoring Across-Strait Agreements."

The main opposition Kuomintang (KMT) legislative caucus did not produce a draft proposal on the bill, instead allowing two legislators to put forth "private" bills.

DPP lawmaker, Yu Mei-nu (尤美女) presented her own version of the bill to the nation 's 113 legislators.

Liao Kuo-tung (廖國棟), KMT caucus whip, said cross-strait trade and investment are crucial for stabilizing bilateral ties and developing Taiwan's economy.

Without a law to monitor cross-strait trade and investment deals, including the trade-in-services agreement which was signed in 2013 as a follow-up on the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA), but never secured legislative approval, all negotiations between Taiwan and China have hit a logjam, Liao said.

The Sunflower movement of 2014 ended with a call to pass a cross-strait pact monitoring bill and yet the ruling DPP has failed to introduce any policy that reassures the people, Liao said, adding "that is why we are demanding the issue be deliberated."

Chen Yi-chieh (陳怡潔), PFP caucus whip, said it is questionable how useful a bill will be -- even if it clears the legislative floor soon -- now that all official contacts between the two sides have been suspended by China.

"What is more important is to find common ground with China and resume official talks," Chen said.

(By Chen CHun-hua, Wang Cheng-chung, Liu Kuan-ting, Wen Kui-hsiang and S.C. Chang)

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