Lawmakers agree to amendments on transportation links

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  STAFF REPORTER

Tue, May 16, 2006 - Page 3

Legislators made some progress yesterday in reaching a consensus on amendments that would lift all restrictions on cross-strait direct transportation, as the pan-blue camp agreed to back down from its initial position of removing the ban on foreign participation in cross-strait transportation routes.

The consensus was reached during a negotiation yesterday convened by Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平).

However, legislators were still divided over a clause which would deprive the government of the authority to issue permits for Taiwanese vessels and aircraft to sail or fly to China as well as the three-month deadline for the amendments to go into effect after they clear the legislature.

"If the Executive Yuan can come up tomorrow [today] with a proposal that can gain the support of the pan-blue camp, we won't need to vote on the individual parts," Wang said.

The amendments, sponsored by the pan-blue camp, suggested revising the 28th, 29th and 30th clauses of the Statute Governing the Relations Between the Peoples of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area (兩岸人民關係條例). The amendments are scheduled for review in the legislature today, after the pan-green camp blocked a review last Friday.

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