Sat, Jul 30, 2016 - Page 3 News List

Wang Jin-pyng confirms report on bid to head SEF

By Alison Hsiao  /  Staff reporter

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) yesterday continued to equivocate about his inclination to serve as Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) chairman, while reiterating the importance of negotiations in response to the recent legislative gridlock.

Wang was asked by reporters on the sidelines of a KMT caucus meeting about a recent report alleging that he provided documents to other KMT lawmakers about the viability of him assuming the role and continuing to hold a legislative seat.

He confirmed the report, saying he provided the analysis, because people “cannot just throw words around, so [documents about] the regulations were presented to let them understand how it works.”

However, Wang added that he would not discuss the issue with the media.

“Now is not the time for that discussion. Cross-strait interactions are not going well,” he said.

When asked if he agrees with remarks made on Thursday by Taiwan External Trade Development Council chairman Francis Liang (梁國新) about a chilly cross-strait relationship, Wang said the public can indeed see and feel that there are “black clouds” hanging over cross-strait relations.

Wang last month said he was approached about heading the SEF by President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) emissaries, although in March he denied that any such offer had been made.

The former legislative speaker also reiterated that the legislature cannot function properly without cross-caucus negotiations.

“There was a time when there were six party caucuses, which together proposed more than 6,000 motions on the budget for government agencies, and the legislature spent a total of 15 days negotiating to build a foundation of mutual trust,” he said.

Wang said it is not easy to integrate the opinions of government agencies, the legislature and the caucuses, but added that without negotiations, the legislature does not have time to deal with that many motions, with the drag hurting legislative efficiency.

Wang on Thursday said that, in the past, the legislature would have more than 2,000 state-run enterprise budget-related motions, but votes were only carried out after about 40 cross-caucus negotiations.

Negotiations must be carried out during normal legislative sessions, not crammed in during an extraordinary session, Wang said, adding that the stalemate between the ruling and opposition parties is the accumulated product of the past several months and stressed the importance of mutual respect and discussion between party caucuses and lawmakers.

According to the Chinese-language Liberty Times (sister newspaper of the Taipei Times), Wang on Wednesday said that the legislative gridlock had to some extent helped to “vindicate” him, as former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and “deep-blue” KMT members used to suspect Wang’s cross-caucus negotiation efforts of being an attempt to offer the then-minority Democratic Progressive Party caucus assistance.

The negotiations are intended to prevent endless voting and impasses on budget bills, such as what we are experiencing now, he said.

“This could help the deep-blue members understand what I have done for the party,” he added.

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