Wed, Apr 29, 2009 - Page 3 News List

Lawmakers to ratify, not review, new accords: MAC

By Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTER

The three agreements Taipei signed with Beijing on Sunday are likely to be ratified, rather than reviewed, by the legislature, the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) Deputy Minister Liu Te-shun (劉德勳) said yesterday.

Liu said the agreements on regular charter flights, financial cooperation and crime-fighting are likely to be ratified by the legislature because they do not involve legal revision.

The joint statement on Chinese investment in Taiwan does not require legislative supervision, he 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.

Liu said the ratification would take about 37 days. The council would send the three pacts to the Executive Yuan, which would forward them to the legislature.

The legislature’s Procedure Committee, which meets on Tuesdays, would then decide when to tackle the matter. The full-house legislative session, on Tuesdays and Fridays, would then send them to the committee for ratification, Liu said.

However, if the opposition proposes reviewing the agreements or wants cross-party negotiations, Liu said, the review process could take 51 to 86 days.

Asked about the government’s plan to sign an economic cooperation framework agreement (ECFA) with Beijing, Liu said both sides touched on the issue during 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) in Nanjing on Sunday.

Both sides agreed to get ready for discussion, although the term ECFA was not used in the press releases issued by each side, Liu said.

Liu said the term ECFA was temporary and could be changed.

Meanwhile, Vice President Vincent Siew (蕭萬長) said he was confident the economy would recover as the international environment was turning favorable and the government’s policies were on the right track, including short-term job creation programs and taxation reforms, and mid- and long-term packages to reorganize industrial structures.

The government would make efforts to develop six emerging industries — cultural creativity, tourism and travel, medical care, refined agriculture, green energy and biotechnology — and encourage the private sector to join forces, he said.

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