Sat, Jun 23, 2012 - Page 3 News List

TSU urges suspending talks with China

DIRECT DEMOCRACY:The party’s chairman said Beijing had to show democratic progress and that a referendum on the ECFA had to be held before talks could proceed

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Taiwan Solidarity Union Chairman Huang Kun-huei, right, is joined by the party’s caucus whip Lin Shih-chia in Taipei yesterday as he speaks about the lack of progress on an agreement to guarantee investments on both sides the Taiwan Strait to be negotiated within the framework of the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement.

Photo: Chien Jung-fong, Taipei Times

All negotiation on agreements between Taiwan and China should be suspended due to the lack of improvement in China’s legal system and the illegitimacy of the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA), the Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) said yesterday.

The ECFA, a cross-strait trade deal signed in June 2010, has not yet received the people’s mandate by being put to a referendum, TSU Chairman Huang Kun-huei (黃昆輝) told a press conference.

While the government argued that it does not require a referendum to approve the trade pact, a Supreme Administrative Court ruling on June 14 kept Huang optimistic.

The Supreme Administrative Court overruled the Taipei High Administrative Court’s dismissal of a lawsuit Huang had filed, which claimed the Referendum Review Committee’s veto of his application for a referendum on the ECFA was illegal, and ruled that the committee must review the application.

Huang said the ruling reaffirmed that the government has deprived people of their right to a referendum and caused the ECFA to be signed without a basis of public support, which means all subsequent deals would be illegal.

“Any cross-strait negotiation would have to wait until a referendum on the ECFA has been held,” he said.

Even if those talks continue, Huang said, the ECFA “has become a monopolized platform from which the princelings of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and the Chinese Communist Party reap big profits.”

The agreement does not benefit the people of Taiwan, he said.

Citing the latest negotiations on the cross-strait investment protection agreement as an example, Huang said the content of the deal on the table is opposed by small Taiwanese businesses and conglomerates alike because it fails to protect the personal safety and investments of Taiwanese businesspeople in China, Huang said.

China has neither made significant improvement on the fairness of its judicial system and law enforcement nor demonstrated its determination to protect personal safety, investment and intellectual property rights, he added.

Quoting Hon Hai Group chairman Terry Gou (郭台銘), who said the investment protection agreement “would be better left unsigned if it does not work,” Huang said many Taiwanese businesspeople do not support the agreement, but dare not make public comments due to pressure by Beijing.

Citing sources among Taiwanese businesspeople, Huang added that they complained about the lack of transparency of the cross-strait deals and negotiations and said only a handful of people who are close to the KMT officials could obtain details of the bilateral talks.

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