Fri, May 12, 2006 - Page 3 News List

Pan-blues threaten action on links

WARNINGThe KMT and PFP threatened to use their majority in the legislature to pass amendments to the clauses referring to direct transportation links with China

By Jewel Huang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Mainland Affairs Council Chairman Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) yesterday urged the legislature not to put to a vote today an amendment proposal that would allow direct transportation links between Taiwan and China.

Such forcible action was unhelpful since the issue had to be negotiated by the governments of both sides, Wu said. He made the comments in response to a claim by the pan-blue camp that it was ready to use its legislative majority to pass the amended clauses governing cross-strait direct transportation links today.

According to the amended 28th, 29th and 30th clauses in the Statute Governing the Relations Between the Peoples of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area (兩岸人民關係條例) proposed by the pan-blue camp, all of the restrictions on cross-strait transportation would be lifted effective three months after the bill was amended.

In a bid to prevent the amendments from being passed, Wu visited Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) yesterday morning and lobbied him to delay the process.

"Considering that China has been refusing to negotiate with Taiwan, a forcible vote would not help to facilitate cross-strait direct links," Wu said.

"Issues such as which national flags would appear on the ships will arise. If the government has shelved the matter and these amendments are passed it will only increase the pressure on us. It is not helpful ... at all," Wu added.

Wang showed his support for Wu, and urged the pan-blue camp to think twice before passing amended clauses in today's legislative session.

"I just hope that the opposition parties consider the common interests of Taiwan and China before they vote on those clauses. Otherwise, I'm afraid that the public won't accept the revision," he said.

A debate on the issue will take place this morning before the legislative session commences.

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus proposed that the revisions should only become effective after the government has negotiated with China.

But Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) caucus whip Pan Wei-kang (潘維剛) criticized the DPP's proposal, saying it showed "little sincerity and aims only to delay direct transportation links," adding that her party's caucus would forcibly pass the relevant clauses by mobilizing all of its legislators to vote.

People First Party Legislator Lee Hung-chun (李鴻鈞) vowed to do the same.

DPP caucus whip Chen Chin-jun (陳景峻) said his caucus would do everything possible to prevent the pan-blue camp from passing the clauses.

"The DPP supports gradual progress toward cross-strait direct transportation links, but we cannot sacrifice Taiwan's sovereignty in the process," Chen said.

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