Tue, Apr 28, 2009 - Page 1 News List

DPP chief slams cross-strait talks as failure

LITANY OF COMPLAINTS Tsai Ing-wen said the government should allow for a legislative review of the pacts as she urged the public to join a rally on May 17

By Rich Chang, Flora Wang and Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTERS

Democratic Progressive Party Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen makes a recording in Taipei yesterday calling on the public to participate in an anti-government demonstration scheduled for May 17.


Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said yesterday that Sunday’s round of cross-strait talks were a failure that made concessions on sovereignty but did not help Taiwanese businesses.

Tsai said the failure of the talks was inevitable given President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) “mindset.”

She said the Ma government made four mistakes: It made concessions on sovereignty before the talks; it relied too much on China’s goodwill and the Chinese economy; it avoided consultation with or supervision from the legislature and opposition parties; and it had no way of ensuring that national security officials and the government’s negotiators had no conflict of interest.

Tsai said Ma had made a comment supporting Chinese President Hu Jintao’s (胡錦濤) speech marking the 30th anniversary of Beijing’s “open letter to Taiwanese compatriots,” which highlighted the “one China” principle, and which was a concession on sovereignty.

The government also gave up negotiations on the “fifth freedom of the air,” essentially implying that cross-strait flights are domestic flights, she said.

The DPP leader also criticized the government for failing to ink an extradition agreement with China and said the latest financial agreement would only give Taiwan nominal equality because the terms were unfavorable to Taiwan.

Tsai called on the public to join a rally on May 17 against the Ma government’s China-leaning policies and “poor performance.”

Meanwhile, DPP Legislator Gao Jyh-peng (高志鵬) said if the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) government avoided putting the three agreements to a legislative vote and allowed them to be enacted by default, it would face a huge protest on May 17.

DPP complaints

The Ma government made concessions on sovereignty before Sunday’s round of cross-strait talks.

The government relied too much on China’s goodwill and its economy.

The government avoided consultation with or supervision by the legislature and opposition parties.

The government has no way to confirm that national security officials or its negotiators do not have a conflict of interest over matters discussed at the talks.

The government did not negotiate on the “fifth freedom of the air.”

Article 95 of the Statute Governing Relations Between Peoples of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area (兩岸人民關係條例) stipulates that a cross-strait agreement automatically takes effect 30 days after being signed if the legislature does not reject it within that period.

Gao warned the government against allowing the pacts to take effect on June 25, saying the four agreements signed at the previous round of talks were enacted by default last December despite the DPP’s opposition.

He said Article 63 of the Constitution granted the legislature the power to decide by resolution on treaties, and if the KMT-dominated legislature stalled a legislative review of the three new agreements or rejected the legislature’s resolution powers, the DPP and the public would make their voices heard on the streets.

Gao said the legislature should immediately review the pacts and summon National Security Council (NSC) Secretary-General Su Chi (蘇起), Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) Chairman Chiang Pin-kung (江丙坤), Mainland Affairs Council Chairwoman Lai Shin-yuan (賴幸媛) and other officials for questioning.

Presidential Office Spokesman Wang Yu-chi (王郁琦) said that Su was unlikely to report to the legislature because Ma disagreed with the DPP’s request, which he thought was “unreasonable.”

The president believed that if Su complied with the request it would create a constitutional controversy because Su was an adviser, not a decision maker, Wang said.

Except during reviews of the NSC’s budget and its organic law, Su was not legally required to report to the legislature, Wang said. If the DPP legislative caucus made an official request, Ma would instruct Su to ignore it, the spokesman said.

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