Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) reiterated yesterday that human rights protection and implementation should play a crucial role in the cross-strait talks on an investment protection agreement.
“The government should make sure that the pact is not another empty agreement,” Su said after the party’s weekly Central Standing Committee meeting.
The majority of the 16 agreements signed in the past four years were not implemented, which makes Beijing’s determination to enforce the clauses on personal safety questionable, Su said.
The DPP first proposed signing a cross-strait investment protection agreement in 1992, because personal safety and basic human rights of Taiwanese in China were not protected, Su said.
“We still insist today that personal safety, including detention notifications within 24 hours, visiting rights for families, rights to hire lawyers and to have a lawyer present during questioning should be prioritized,” he said.
The government should also prioritize the institutionalization of Chinese investment in Taiwan, Su said, because Beijing has been strategically deploying its sovereignty wealth funds and investments from state-run companies worldwide.
“These investments entail a risk to national security for Taiwan if Chinese invest in sensitive industries,” he said.
The DPP has listed regulations institutionalizing Chinese investment inflows as a priority item on the legislative agenda in the next session, Su said.
The party’s Central Standing Committee yesterday also reached a resolution on the case of Bruce Chung (鍾鼎邦), a Taiwanese businessman and Falun Gong practitioner who has been detained in China since June 18, demanding that the government raise the issue with Chinese officials in today’s negotiations and pledging to support rescue efforts.
Separately yesterday, former DPP chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) urged President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) to speak out about Chung’s detention and Beijing’s behind-the-scenes maneuvering to remove Republic of China flags from an Olympics promotional event in London.
“A government that only appeases China or asks for favors from China will never win Beijing’s respect nor reassure Taiwanese,” she said in a press release.
Tsai, who is known as a tough negotiator and an international trade expert, questioned the substance of the proposed cross-strait investment protection and promotion agreement.
Tsai said Ma needs to explain why Taiwan and China could not solve trade disputes in an international arbitration mechanism despite the fact that both are WTO members.
The government should explain how person-to-person disputes would be arbitrated in a third country before China amends its domestic law and how person-to-government dispute settlement would be implemented and legally binding without an international arbitration mechanism, she said.
Tsai also questioned why a clause demanding that China notify Taiwan’s government and the families of Taiwanese who have been detained could not be written into the agreement and why the clause could not cover all Taiwanese people.
The Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) has failed to play a neutral role in the eight rounds of negotiations thus far, she said, adding that SEF Chairman Chiang Pin-kung (江丙坤) had a conflict of interests and was overly influenced by his role as deputy chairman of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT).