Mon, Mar 25, 2019 - Page 1 News List

Cross-strait deal changes might be cleared by May

By Chung Li-hua  /  Staff reporter

The name plate for the Mainland Affairs Council is pictured in an undated photograph.

Photo: Chung Li-hua, Taipei Times

The Mainland Affairs Council’s proposed amendments to provide oversight mechanisms for cross-strait agreements are expected to be approved by the Executive Yuan on Thursday and could pass their three readings in the legislature by the end of May.

The draft amendments to the Act Governing Relations Between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area (臺灣地區與大陸地區人民關係條例) seek to make cross-strait agreements more difficult to enact by introducing a number of requirements, including requiring such agreements to be based on a proposal by the Executive Yuan and supported by two-thirds of legislators.

The proposals state that whenever a cross-strait political deal has been reached, it must gain the support of at least three-quarters of legislators in a meeting attended by at least three-quarters of them, and pass a national referendum in which at least half of the electorate votes in favor of the agreement.

The drafting of the amendments came in the wake of Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Wu Den-yih’s (吳敦義) Feb. 14 comment that the KMT would sign a peace treaty with China if it wins next year’s presidential election.

Preparations for the draft amendments were expedited after President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) on March 11 issued guidelines to counter China’s “one country, two systems” framework and called for increased protection of Taiwan’s democracy.

The Executive Yuan on Feb. 18 confirmed in a meeting that it would increase oversight over any cross-strait peace treaty and list the planned amendments as a priority for the current legislative session, which ends at the end of May.

The council is said to have sent the draft amendments to the Executive Yuan early this month where they were to be reviewed alongside draft amendments it submitted previously regarding holders of Chinese residency cards.

The council wants to ban holders of Chinese residency cards from standing in elections, holding a public post, serving in the military, working at a state-owned enterprise or working as a public-school teacher.

The restrictions would also apply to Taiwanese who have had a Chinese residency card in the past five years.

Cardholders would also be required to report to household registration offices in person or online within two months of the law’s implementation.

Late reporters could face a fine of between NT$10,000 and NT$50,000, and those found to have not reported could face a fine of between NT$20,000 and NT$100,000.

The two amendments are expected to be submitted to the Legislative Yuan for review on Thursday.

The Executive Yuan has taken steps to boost the nation’s protection because the KMT’s plan to sign a peace treaty poses a great risk for Taiwan’s sovereignty and security, an official familiar with the matter said yesterday.

“As Beijing intends to annihilate the Republic of China’s sovereignty, how could it be willing to sign any treaty that grants it equal standing and dignity?” the official said.

Any peace treaty would in reality be an agreement to surrender to unification with China, he said.

Comments will be moderated. Keep comments relevant to the article. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. Final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times.

TOP top