Fri, Apr 27, 2012 - Page 11 News List

Public construction policy draws fire across party lines

By Loa Iok-sin  /  Staff reporter

The Public Construction Commission (PCC) came under fire from lawmakers across party lines and the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) at the Internal Administration Committee meeting yesterday over its relaxation of restrictions on Chinese investment in public construction projects.

According to a new policy announced by the commission last week, Chinese firms are classified into three categories: firms registered and located in China; firms funded by Chinese capital, but registered in Taiwan; and firms funded by Chinese capital, but registered in a third country.

The new policy allows the latter two types to invest or take part in bidding for public construction projects, although firms registered in China remain banned from doing so.

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Lee Chun-yi (李俊俋) said a breach of national security might occur if third-country firms funded by Chinese capital took part in bidding for oceanic geological research or a project to build a computer system for the Ministry of Economic Affairs, for example.

Another DPP legislator, Tuan Yi-kang (段宜康), said he was worried that it might compromise national security if Chinese capital invests in national defense projects.

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislators Wu Yu-sheng (吳育昇) and Johnny Chiang (江啟臣) also expressed similar concerns.

Responding to the criticism, PCC Deputy Minister Teng Min-chih (鄧民治) said “the government still has a mechanism to review and the right to approve or disapprove.” However, MAC Minister Lai Shin-yuan (賴幸媛), who was also at the legislative meeting, disagreed with the PCC.

“The MAC was never consulted when the PCC was making the policy,” she said. “I believe that the definition of ‘Chinese capital’ should be made more carefully.”

She added that the MAC would call on other government bodies — including the PCC — to further discuss the issue.

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