Fri, Mar 24, 2006 - Page 3 News List

DPP lawmakers plan to boycott China policy debate

ANGRY The legislators say the Cabinet's adoption of a new cross-strait investment policy on Wednesday negates the need for the party to hold a debate on China policy

By Jewel Huang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Some Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmakers yesterday said they would not attend a planned party debate on cross-strait policies in protest at the Cabinet's recent announcement on its "active management, effective opening" economic policy.

The DPP plans to hold a debate on China policy next weekend. The legislators said that it would be meaningless to take part in the debate given that the administration has already finalized its policies.

On Wednesday, the Executive Yuan announced a plan to adopt a more rigorous approach in its implementation of the "active management, effective opening" policy. Beginning on June 30, China-bound investment projects exceeding US$20 million or involving sensitive technology will be subject to a tougher approval procedure.

DPP Legislator Julian Kuo (郭正亮) yesterday said it was arbitrary and reactionary for the Cabinet to make the announcement without consulting the DPP's legislative caucus and the party.

"The Cabinet has negated the DPP's democratic mechanism and I refuse to endorse its decision," Kuo said. "To show my strong opposition, I will quit the DPP's debate on China policy that I had already signed up for."

Kuo said Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) must have known about the policy, as the news conference to announce it was jointly held by Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) Chairman Joseph Wu (吳釗燮), Ministry of Economic Affairs Vice Minister Shih Yen-shiang (施顏祥) and Financial Supervisory Commission Vice Chairman Lu Daung-yen (呂東英).

"In view of this situation, I think it is meaningless to go on with the debate," he added.

DPP Legislator Lee Wen-chung (李文忠) yesterday made similar comments.

Lee said the Executive Yuan should postpone its adoption of the new China investment policy until the DPP reaches a conclusion, and then the Presidential Office, Executive Yuan and legislative caucus come to an agreement on it.

"Otherwise it will be redundant for us to debate this topic," Lee said.

DPP caucus whip Chen Chin-jun (陳景峻) urged the Executive Yuan to prepare a plan to help Taiwan's industries upgrade, saying that otherwise companies will use underground channels to invest in China and the money they earn will not flow back to Taiwan.

DPP spokesman Tsai Huang-liang (蔡煌瑯) yesterday said the party is concerned that the debate might be aborted or postponed.

"It is just as if a baseball game is about to begin, yet the players call it quits," Tsai Huang-liang said.

But Lo Cheng-fang (羅正方), deputy executive of the DPP's Policy Development Committee -- who is responsible for setting the agenda for the debate -- said yesterday the party is communicating with the disgruntled lawmakers and the debate would not be canceled.

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