Mon, Jan 09, 2006 - Page 3 News List

KMT to focus on making direct transport legal


Changing the law to allow for direct transportation links across the Taiwan Strait will be the opposition pan-blue alliance's top priority before the legislature concludes its current session Jan. 13, a senior Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) official said yesterday.

Tseng Yung-chuan (曾永權), KMT legislative caucus whip, said party Chairman Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) has indicated that if the Legislative Yuan fails to amend the law governing cross-strait relations, he will launch a campaign to hold a referendum on opening direct transportation links with China.

Therefore, Tseng said, his caucus will work with its People First Party (PFP) ally in trying to add a "direct transportation" provision to the law, an amendment that would force the government to lift its restrictions on direct flights and shipping links across the Strait.

However, he was not optimistic about the prospect of amending the law to that effect because the Mainland Affairs Council remains opposed to the idea.

Without support from the governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) , the amendment proposal would automatically go into the so-called "four-month negotiation period" during which the ruling and opposition parties would dicker over details of the amendment.

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