The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus is likely to put forward a draft bill aimed at monitoring agreements between Taiwan and China, a meeting of party officials and party members said on Tuesday.
“We will not change the title of the bill, retaining the term ‘cross-strait.’ The bill will emphasize the effectiveness of assessing in advance any negotiations with China over bilateral agreements,” DPP Policy Committee deputy executive director Shih Ke-he (施克和) said.
This indicates a more “moderate” version compared with previous DPP proposals that used the word “treaties” — implying that Taiwan and China are two separate countries — a stance that was criticized for not being in accord with the Constitution.
The DPP caucus plans to put the finishing touches to its latest draft tomorrow and if all goes to plan the bill would be proposed in the legislature next week, Shih said.
With the DPP holding a majority in the legislature, the bill is likely to pass.
Under the terms of the bill, a government agency seeking to sign a deal with China would be required to make the content of proposed talks with China known to a legislative committee, including a potential deal’s theme, aims, main content, timetable, possible impact on national security, stake holders, and possible influences on stakeholders.
DPP caucus whip Chen Ting-fei (陳亭妃) said the bill is comprehensive and well-rounded, adding that it is the party’s “strongest-ever bill.”
The Executive Yuan is required to report to the Legislative Yuan “the entire framework” of a proposed executive branch deal with China before negotiations begin, Chen said.
Once negotiators have concluded talks in Taipei or have returned to Taiwan from China, each provision of a proposed agreement will be deliberated by lawmakers, who can either express their own views or hold public hearings to garner public opinion, she said.
Public hearings are aimed at increasing participation in the political process during which “all provisions of proposed cross-strait agreements will be made known to the public, something that has never been done before,” she added.
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