Thu, Jul 04, 2013 - Page 3 News List

DPP to brief diplomatic corps on cross-strait pact

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) yesterday reiterated its concerns about the cross-strait service trade agreement signed by Taiwan and China and said it would brief the diplomatic corps in Taiwan on the subject by the end of the month.

Rather than communicating with local service sectors that could be affected before signing the agreement, the administration of President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) tried to mobilize Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and government officials for nationwide seminars to calm public concerns after the pact was signed, DPP Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) said.

The DPP vowed to monitor the agreement, which has been opposed by academics, businesspeople and KMT lawmakers, clause-by-clause in the legislature and the party is planning to brief foreign representatives in Taiwan about the party’s position, DPP spokesperson Wang Min-sheng (王閔生) said after the party’s weekly Central Standing Committee meeting.

The briefing of the diplomatic corps was not specially arranged because it is a regular biannual practice, DPP Department of International Affairs director Liu Shih-chung (劉世忠) said.

The party has conducted biannual briefings about political developments in Taiwan to foreign representatives, with the most recent briefing held in December last year, Liu said, adding that the briefing would likely cover more than just the cross-strait service trade agreement.

Liu, DPP Policy Research Committee executive director Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) and Department of China Affairs director Honigmann Hong (洪財隆) would discuss the DPP’s domestic policies, including pension reform, foreign policy and Su’s visit to the US, as well as cross-strait issues, including the pact and a re-examination of the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA), which was signed in 2010.

The Ma administration held a similar briefing for the diplomatic corps last week, with several representatives wanting to know if the agreement would be revised in the legislature and be renegotiated.

A Central Standing Committee member, who declined to be identified because he was not authorized to speak on the matter, said the DPP is considering a policy recommendation to force the pact to be renegotiated, but the party understands that the approach could be risky.

The party is concerned that the Executive Yuan could cite Article 95 of the Act Governing Relations between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area (臺灣地區與大陸地區人民關係條例) and ignore the legislature.

The article stipulates that if the legislature fails to adopt a resolution within a month of it being requested, consent is deemed granted.

However, the text is vague and it would depend on how the various parties interpret the clause, the committee member said.

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