Tue, Feb 26, 2019 - Page 3 News List

Joining Chinese talks against the law, MAC warns

By Chung Li-hua and Sherry Hsiao  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

The Mainland Affairs Council logo is displayed on a wall in an undated photograph.

Photo: Taipei Times

It would be illegal for Taiwanese to join Chinese drafting committees for a “Taiwan basic law” or a plan for implementing the “one country, two systems” framework in Taiwan organized by China, the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) said on Saturday.

In a speech last month marking the 40th anniversary of the “Message to Compatriots in Taiwan,” Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) proposed five points for the peaceful development of cross-strait ties and peaceful unification.

He said he would explore a plan to implement the “one country, two systems” framework in Taiwan, and called for dialogue between political parties and representatives from Taiwan and China.

Pro-unification groups in Taiwan, including the Labor Party, the Cross-Strait Peace & Development Union and the Chinatide Association, discussed Xi’s five points at a Cross-Strait Peaceful Development Forum held in Taipei on Jan. 15, sources said.

Xinhua news agency reported that during the forum, Chinatide Association council chairman Hsu Yu-chia (許育嘉) said that “patriotic, pro-unification forces” in Taiwan should actively shape a vision and image of the “one country, two systems” framework, and promote it to Taiwanese to achieve maximum public support.

Over the past month or so, Chinese government agencies responsible for Taiwan policies have held several discussions, sources said, adding that after the Chinese National People’s Congress (NPC) and the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) next month, the agencies are to invite academics from Taiwan to travel to China to discuss a plan to implement “one country, two systems.”

During the drafting stages of the Hong Kong Basic Law, a drafting committee and a consultative committee were formed, the MAC said.

If Taiwanese joined a drafting committee for a “Taiwan basic law” or a plan to implement “one country, two systems,” they would be acting in violation of Article 33-1 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 could be fined between NT$100,000 and NT$500,000, with the possibility of consecutive fines, it said.

Individuals or groups who sign agreements involving public authority or political issues with China without the authorization of the government would be contravening Article 5-1 of the act, it said.

The MAC added that it would follow the NPC and the CPPCC closely to see if a “Taiwan basic law” or other related draft acts are proposed.

Following Xi’s speech, New Party Chairman Yok Mu-ming (郁慕明) said that he would be willing to travel to China to take part in political negotiations.

However, on Thursday last week, MAC Minister Chen Ming-tong (陳明通) directly warned Yok not to “test the law.”

The government does not allow unauthorized negotiations or private individuals to sign political agreements with China, he said.

Taiwanese are also prohibited from joining organizations established by Chinese political parties and government agencies, or the Chinese military, he added.

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