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 (
"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 (
People First Party Legislator Lee Hung-chun (
DPP caucus whip Chen Chin-jun (
"The DPP supports gradual progress toward cross-strait direct transportation links, but we cannot sacrifice Taiwan's sovereignty in the process," Chen said.