Premier supports Aboriginal pact across the Strait

COOPERATION::A Sediq lawmaker questioned the delay in pushing the idea and the Aboriginal affairs council’s promise to evaluate its feasibility

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  Staff reporter

Sat, Oct 26, 2013 - Page 3

Premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺) yesterday expressed his support for a cooperation agreement between Aboriginal peoples on both sides of the Taiwan Strait.

Jiang said he would be happy to see the issue being put on the agenda for cross-strait negotiation and would push the Council of Indigenous Peoples and the Mainland Affairs Council to evaluate its feasibility.

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Kung Wen-chi (孔文吉), a Sediq Aborigine, renewed the initiative during a question-and-answer session with the premier at the legislature, during which he complained about the delay in pushing the idea.

The agreement between New Zealand and Taiwan on economic cooperation, which included a chapter on cooperation between Aboriginal peoples in both countries, prompted him to renew the initiative, Kung said.

“It’s been about two years since we have asked the Council of Indigenous Peoples to consider the possibility of signing such an agreement, but we have no idea what the status of its assessment is,” Kung said.

Kung said he was told by groups he has contacted in China that Beijing “very much welcomed” the idea of signing an accord on the issue with Taiwan.

Council of Indigenous Peoples Minister Mayaw Dongi (林江義) said the council only initiated contact with its counterpart in China in 2011 — a relatively slow start compared with other issues on the cross-strait agenda.

“So far cross-strait exchanges related to Aborigines have been limited to exchanges involving academics and experts, but we aim to expand the scope of exchanges to issues related to publications, preservation of cultural heritage and industry development,” Mayaw said.