Fri, Feb 27, 2009 - Page 1 News List

Wang opposes CECA without review

NO RUBBER STAMP The legislative speaker said any pact should be assessed by lawmakers first to avoid controversy as this would be more acceptable to the public

By Flora Wang and Jenny W. hsu  /  STAFF REPORTERS

“The government continues to threaten the public, [saying] that Taiwan will be ostracized and its economy will remain in a slump without a CECA with Beijing. I’d like to ask how they reached such a conclusion,” he said.

The Ma administration insists on comparing a CECA to the EU, Huang said, but it needs to ensure that the nation’s sovereignty will be safeguarded. Any pact cannot be signed under the “one China” framework that Chinese President Hu Jintao (胡錦濤) has demanded.

In addition, Taiwan should follow the EU’s example by holding a referendum on the CECA, he said.

Huang said the government should first discuss the content of the pact with the legislature behind closed doors before starting negotiations with Beijing. After the talks with China, the pact should return to the legislature for further scrutiny and finally be put to a referendum, Huang said.

“Ma must tell the public the truth about a CECA and propose compensation plans for anyone that might be hurt by the pact. We will fight the government until the matter is resolved,” he said.

Cabinet Spokesman Su Jun-pin (蘇俊賓), in response to questions from reporters yesterday, said the government would elicit public opinion before signing a CECA and that the pact would not take effect without being ratified by the legislature.

“People have the right to know and the right not to be misled. The government will incorporate public opinion on the pact when negotiating the issue with China. The government will also make public all information and details of the pact,” Su said.

Su was more hesitant on Wang’s call for a bill that would set the procedures for sealing pacts with China — likely by strengthening the legislature’s influence.

“Whether such a bill is necessary is under deliberation, but the Executive Yuan and the legislature will work out a solution in this regard,” Su said.

Presidential Office Spokesman Wang Yu-chi (王郁琦) said yesterday the government would handle cross-strait agreements in accordance with the law.

Separately, former Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) chairman Hong Chi-chang (洪奇昌) praised the government’s efforts to increase economic cooperation with China, but called on it to ensure national interests would not be affected by a CECA.

He also suggested that the government seek to sign an FTA with ASEAN countries.

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY SHIH HSIU-CHUAN AND MO YAN-CHIH

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