While Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng’s (王金平) promise yesterday to enact a law regulating pacts with China before resuming the process of deliberating the cross-strait service trade pact won kudos from the opposition, it was rejected by the Presidential Office and the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) caucus.
An hour or so after Wang, a KMT member, pledged that before the enactment of the law, which has been called for by the student-led protesters occupying the legislature, he will not hold any inter-party negotiation about the controversial trade pact, the KMT caucus told a press conference that it was not informed and was “shocked” to hear Wang’s pledge.
The KMT caucus said that those KMT members who were present during Wang’s talk did not know the content of his speech beforehand and “do not endorse the announcement that Wang has made.”
Photo: Chen Chih-chu, Taipei Times
KMT legislators Lin Hung-chih (林鴻池), Alex Fai (費鴻泰) and -Chiang Hui-chen (江惠貞), who accompanied Wang during his visit to the legislature, told the press conference that they were “startled” upon hearing Wang’s comments because they had had no idea what it was about beforehand.
The promise Wang made about not convening cross-party negotiations until the legislation of an oversight mechanism has been completed has been interpreted by the students and some media as concurring with the students’ demand of “legislation before reviewing [the service trade agreement],” said Lin, the KMT caucus whip.
“However, we have to emphasize that the KMT caucus’ stance has always been that the two [the legislation and the review] can be carried out on parallel tracks,” Lin said in a rebuttal to the interpretation.
Fei, the KMT caucus deputy secretary, said he felt the party was “betrayed and sold out” by Wang, who “did not communicate with the party caucus before releasing the statement and made us who stood beside him appear to blindly endorse his views.”
“Despite [Wang’s] assertion that he did not inform anyone about his statement before making it public, it seemed that DPP caucus whip Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘) and the students had all known about Wang’s intention before he went to the legislative chamber,” Fei added.
Lin also took the opportunity to underline the validity of all the conclusions made by the cross-party negotiations staged before Wang’s speech yesterday.
“DPP had agreed to have a clause-by-clause discussion and vote in last year’s inter-party negotiation. To say not to carry out negotiation anymore does not mean that the former ones are no longer binding,” Lin said.
He then called on the students to leave the Legislative Yuan immediately for the 10 versions of the draft bill on cross-strait agreements oversight mechanism “to be handed to the committee by the legislative floor meeting.”
Lin said the non-government version of the draft will also be included.
“You keep saying the legislation is to be done prior to the review, but the reality is that we cannot even legislate now with the floor being occupied,” he said.
When asked whether the KMT would, if the students retreated, positively respond to the their demand of “legislate first, review next,” Lin repeated that the two can be carried out simultaneously and that “the cross-strait service trade agreement was signed “not without a legal base,” referring to the Act Governing Relations between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area (兩岸人民關係條例), “according to which a total 19 [cross-strait] agreements have already been signed.”
Separately yesterday, Ker rebutted the KMT caucus’ remarks, saying that more than 20 KMT lawmakers stood behind Wang as he made his speech and that they all raised their hands with Wang after he completed the speech, chanting: “Taiwan, jia you [加油, an expression of encouragement],” several times.
Meanwhile, President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday called again for the early passage of the pact.
Ma had no knowledge beforehand of either Wang’s morning visit to protesters at the Legislative Yuan or his promise that the legislature will not review the pact until a law monitoring cross-strait agreements is enacted, Presidential Office spokesperson Lee Chia-fei (李佳霏) said.
Additional reporting by Rich Chang and CNA
SAFETY RISK: The government is working to categorize countries based on their COVID-19 cases and prevention efforts, which would determine quarantine periods The government plans to rank countries based on their COVID-19 risks to determine how to treat tourists and other travelers from those nations once Taiwan reopens its borders, but it is still working out the categories, a top health official told lawmakers yesterday. “We would divide countries around the world into several categories. One category would comprise those countries with very few confirmed COVID-19 cases, such as New Zealand and Palau. Travelers from the countries in this category would only need to practice self-health management,” Centers for Disease Control Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥) told a Legislative Yuan seminar hosted by
China would attack Taiwan if there is no other way of stopping it from becoming independent, Chinese General Li Zuocheng (李作成) said yesterday. Speaking at Beijing’s Great Hall of the People on the 15th anniversary of China’s “Anti-Secession” Law, Li, who is chief of the Joint Staff Department of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Central Military Commission, left the door open to using force. The 2005 law is China’s legislative basis for military action against Taiwan. “If the possibility for peaceful reunification is lost, the people’s armed forces will, with the whole nation, including the people of Taiwan, take all necessary steps to
SECURITY CONCERNS: The Telecom Technology Center ran black-box tests for the Executive Yuan on devices and software from Chinese, US and South Korean firms Network devices from several Chinese manufacturers are insecure and allow personal information to be leaked, testing commissioned by the Executive Yuan has shown. A variety of devices and software, including apps, from Chinese, US and South Korean manufacturers that are used by government agencies at the central and local level were subjected to black-box testing — in which the functionality of an application is examined without knowing about its internal structure, an information-security official said yesterday on condition of anonymity. The Telecom Technology Center conducted the tests, which simulated cyberattacks, to determine their resilience to the attacks, the official said. The center
CASH BOOST: Foreign spouses with residency permits are also eligible for the coupons, which can be bought at post offices or linked to digital payment options Stimulus coupons for Taiwanese and foreign spouses with residency permits can be ordered starting on July 1 and can be used from July 15 to Dec. 31, the Executive Yuan said yesterday. Aimed at boosting domestic spending, the coupons worth NT$3,000 (US$100.04) are to cost NT$1,000. “For our consumers, this is a very good deal as they get three times as much value for their money,” Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) told a news conference in Taipei. While the coupons are to have a wide range of uses, including at department stores, restaurants, book stores, night markets, beauty and hair salons, hotels, and to