Tue, May 26, 2009 - Page 1 News List

DPP lawmakers block infrastructure amendment review

By Shelley Shan  /  STAFF REPORTER

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislators boycotted a Transportation Committee meeting yesterday to show their opposition to a proposed amendment to the Act for Promotion of Private Participation in Infrastructure Projects (促進民間參與公共建設法) that would allow Chinese investment in public construction works.

DPP Legislator Yeh Yi-ching (葉宜津) said the committee had passed a resolution asking the Public Construction Commission (PCC) to hold a hearing on the amendment. The commission held a hearing but did not include suggestions and recommendations made by experts at the hearing in its report, she said.

The amendment presented to legislators yesterday did not specify in what areas Chinese companies would be allowed to invest or what areas they would be barred from, Yeh said.

“However, a commission press release on May 11 said 11 areas related to infrastructure at the proposed [Taoyuan] airport zone, seaports and tourism and entertainment would be opened for Chinese investment following the build-operate-transfer [BOT] model,” she said. “Are you planning on selling Taiwan to China or what?”

She said it would be inappropriate to review the amendment article by article so the commission should redo its proposal and resubmit it.

Yeh’s motion was quickly seconded by her DPP colleagues, including some non-committee members. They accused the government of planning to outsource Taiwan’s mountains and seas to China as a BOT project.

Enraged by the words of the committee chair — Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Tsao Erh-chang (曹爾忠), who said the proposed amendment was legitimate and legal — the DPP committe members took Tsao’s seat and blocked Public Construction Commission Chairman Fan Liang-shiou (范良銹) from responding to accusations from legislators.

“I’m not selling out Taiwan [to China],” Fan said.

DPP Legislator Kuo Wen-chen (郭玟成) stood on the chairman’s desk and yelled at KMT legislators who had accused him of making a show.

Tsao was forced to dismiss the morning session of the committee meeting because of the uproar. The afternoon session did not review the amendment because of the DPP boycott. Tsao said the committee would resume its review tomorrow.

Fan said the 11 areas proposed for Chinese investment had been drawn up through interdepartmental discussions.

“There was no way that the commission had the authority to unilaterally decide on issues regarding Chinese investment,” Fan said.

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