Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislators yesterday said that the Mainland Affairs Council had been completely “out of the loop” on four agreements signed between four Taiwanese organizations and visiting Sichuan Province Governor Jiang Jufeng (蔣巨峰) on Monday.
DPP Legislator Chen Ming-wen (陳明文) said the recent influx of visits by Chinese provincial governors was intended by the Chinese -government to create an atmosphere of provincial-level meetings, in which Taiwan would be included.
Chinese media have been describing the agreements as -“Sichuan-Taiwan” agreements, which downgrades Taiwanese sovereignty to the provincial level, Chen said.
Furthermore, despite its role as the unit in charge of cross-strait negotiations, the council was completely left in the dark as the four agreements were being signed, he said.
The agreements were witnessed by former Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) chairman Wu Poh--hsiung (吳伯雄), Chen said, adding that the council played no role whatsoever in their signing.
On Mainland Affairs Council Minister Lai Shin-yuan’s (賴幸媛) assertion that the agreements were signed by civic organizations, Chen said this was false, because the four entities that had signed the agreements included the Taiwan Academy of Banking and Finance (TABF), Taoyuan International Airport Corp (TIAC), EVA Airways Corp (長榮航空) and the Center for Environmental Restoration and Disaster Reduction (CERDR) at National Chung Hsing University (NCHU).
TIAC and TABF are g-overnment-owned entities, Chen said.
Clause 5, Article 1 of the Statute Governing the Relations Between the Peoples of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area (兩岸人民關係條例) stipulates that unless authorized by the council, no local government agency, civil servants or people’s representative may sign or talk about agreements with the citizens, organizations, corporations or other agencies “in the Mainland area.” At the same time, Taiwanese corporations, organizations or other agencies cannot sign agreements pertaining to civil rights or political issues unless authorized by the government.
DPP Legislator Chiu Yi-ying (邱議瑩), who presided over the press conference, requested that the council investigate the matter and provide an explanation on whether the TABF and TIAC had cooperated with the proper government units, as required by law, or if they had directly signed the agreements with China.
Chiu also accused the council of turning a blind eye to print media that used half or full-page “features” introducing the economic potential of Sichuan, which may have constituted illegal product placement.
Lai said such product placement was indeed against the law, but that it was not the council’s jurisdiction to fine wrongdoers and it would hand the matter over to the appropriate agencies.
TRANSLATED BY JAKE CHUNG, STAFF WRITER