Sat, Apr 05, 2014 - Page 1 News List

Academics, DPP deny trying to change ‘status quo’

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  Staff reporter

Academics and the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) yesterday rejected Premier Jiang Yi-huah’s (江宜樺) criticism that their proposals on establishing a mechanism to monitor cross-strait agreements were aimed at providing a legal basis for defining Taiwan and China ties as state-to-state relations.

Jiang on Thursday described the version sponsored by the Democratic Front Against Cross-Strait Trade in Services Agreement — one of the groups leading the ongoing legislative siege against the cross-strait service trade agreement — as a bill designed to change the “status quo.”

“The purpose of the [civic group’s] bill is to provide a legal text to define cross-strait relations as ‘state-to-state relations,’ which is inconsistent with the Constitution,” Jiang told a press conference on Thursday when asked about the group’s proposal.

As opposed to the government’s proposed oversight bill — which defines a cross-strait deal as one between the “Taiwan area” and the “Mainland area” — the civic group’s proposal states that it is one signed between the “Republic of China (ROC) government in Taiwan” and the “People’s Republic of China (PRC) government on the mainland.”

Another proposal drafted by the DPP terms a cross-strait deal as an agreement signed between “Taiwan and the People’s Republic of China (China).”

In response to Jiang’s remarks, Lai Chung-chiang (賴中強), convener of the Democratic Front Against Cross-strait Trade in Services Agreement, denied that the group’s proposal would change the status quo.

“In fact, the civic group’s version affirms President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) repeated call for China to recognize the existence of the ROC,” Lai said.

Chiou Wen-tsong (邱文聰), an associate research professor at Academia Sinica Institutum Jurisprudentiae, said the group’s proposal conforms to the concept of “mutual non-denial of jurisdiction,” which President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) has advocated as an effective approach to handling cross-strait relations.

Jiang’s comments appear to be a diversionary tactic to draw the public’s attention away from establishing a mechanism to effectively supervise cross-strait negotiations, Chiou said.

The group’s proposal does not seek to address the nature of Taiwan and China relations, but only to regulate interactions and exchanges between the two governments on both sides of the Taiwan Strait, he added.

Meanwhile, DPP Legislator Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁) said that the Ma administration refuses to consider cross-strait ties as “state-to-state” relations or between “two states” because of its “communist-phobia.”

If the proposals presented by the civic group or the DPP were aimed at institutionalizing state-to-state relations, “does it follow that the government’s version would provide a legal basis [for China’s claim that] Taiwan is part of China?” Chen asked.

Chiang Huang-chih (姜皇池), professor of international law at National Taiwan University, said that if the government’s oversight bill is enacted, the legislature would not be able to review the cross-strait service trade pact.

The government’s oversight bill does not give the legislature the power to review a cross-strait deal where its contents do not require any legal amendment or any new legislation, and would consider an agreement to be already ratified by the legislature if the review process went beyond six months, Chiang said.

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