Fri, Mar 28, 2014 - Page 3 News List

TRADE PACT SIEGE: Tsai denies having allowed pacts to escape review

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Former Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) denied the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) claim that she was the official responsible for establishing the mechanism that allows cross-strait agreements to be sent to the legislature for reference rather than being reviewed.

The KMT said that its insistence that the cross-strait service trade agreement only needed to be sent to the Legislative Yuan for reference was based on an amendment 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) initiated when Tsai served as Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) minister in 2003.

The amendment stipulates that all cross-strait agreements that require legislative amendment must be deliberated by the Legislative Yuan, Tsai said in a press release issued by her office late on Wednesday, adding that the claim was a smear campaign and a misrepresentation of the facts.

Tsai added that the political environment in 2003 and now are drastically different because President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) administration has been accelerating cross-strait engagement and liberalization without regard to national security since 2008.

Establishing a monitoring mechanism on cross-strait negotiations in the legislature is crucial to ensure the transparency of such talks and protect the interests of Taiwanese, she said.

“If the KMT was keen on establishing the mechanism, it should explain why it has been blocking the legislation related to the mechanism and why every trade agreement, including Taiwan’s accession to the WTO and its free-trade agreements with New Zealand and Singapore, has been deliberated in the Legislative Yuan, while the service trade pact can evade legislative review as an executive order,” Tsai said.

The former DPP presidential candidate called on Ma to heed the people’s demands and restore constitutional order as soon as possible.

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