Fri, Apr 03, 2009 - Page 3 News List

MAC acknowledges difficulties in inking accords with China

By Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTER

With the third round of high-level cross-strait talks approaching, the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) yesterday admitted there were difficulties in signing four agreements with Beijing, including regular aviation flights and financial cooperation.

MAC Deputy Chairman Liu Te-shun (劉德勳) said Taipei hoped to sign three memoranda of understanding (MOU) on banking, securities and futures, and insurance with Beijing. Both sides had also engaged in talks covering currency exchange and a clearing mechanism for the Chinese yuan.

However, because of some “technology issues” and differing industry demands, Liu said the two sides had agreed to sign a general financial cooperation agreement instead. The pact would include common areas in banking, securities and futures, insurance and currency exchange.

Individual financial supervisory agencies would then follow up by making more detailed arrangements, such as inking separate MOUs on banking, securities and futures, and insurance.

On regular aviation flights, Liu said progress had been limited because of several sticking points. He did not elaborate.

As for cooperating in combating crime and providing judicial assistance, Liu said both sides would seek to establish a communication mechanism for judicial cases and an institutionalized cooperation framework in investigation, intelligence exchange and extradition of criminals.

The purpose was to ensure people's rights on both sides of the Taiwan strait and upgrade the effectiveness of judicial cases, he said.

The meeting between Straits Exchange Foundation Chairman Chiang Pin-kung (江丙坤) and Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait Chairman Chen Yunlin (陳雲林) will be held next month or in June. The preparatory meetings will decide the time, place and agenda of the Chiang-Chen meeting.

Whether the agreements will need legislative review or merely ratification will depend on their content, Liu said.

Article 5 of the Act Governing Relations between the Peoples of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area (台灣地區與大陸地區人民關係條例) states that all treaties that require legal revision or legislation must be reviewed by the legislature. Those that do not require revision or legislation must be ratified by the legislature.

Asked about the administration's plan to sign an economic cooperation framework agreement with Beijing, Liu said both sides were still studying the issue, communicating with the public and consolidating consensus.

Liu added that the fourth Chiang-Chen meeting “will definitely touch on the issue.”

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