Ma challenges Tsai's past stance on China pact reviews
Central News Agency
2014-04-16 10:56 PM
Taipei, April 16 (CNA) When opposition heavyweight Tsai Ing-wen served as Taiwan's top China policymaker in 2003, she made a proposal that would have allowed some cross-strait agreements to skip review in the Legislature -- the opposite of what her party is proposing today, according to President Ma Ying-jeou. Speaking in his capacity as head of the Kuomintang (KMT), Ma said Wednesday that an amendment to the Act Governing Relations between Peoples of the Taiwan Area and Mainland Area that year requires legislative deliberation over new laws or amendments to existing laws required by agreements with China.

If no legal changes are required, cross-strait pacts must be sent to the Legislature for record and future reference, Ma said, adding that the stipulation was brought forth by KMT legislator Chen Shei-saint. That was not in the original draft bill proposed by Tsai, a former chairwoman of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), who was minister of the Mainland Affairs Council at the time, Ma said. That means that her version would have allowed many agreements to go into effect after signing without scrutiny in the Legislature. Tsai's spokesman Hung Yao-fu dismissed Ma's comments later in the day, saying that her proposal was the first move to grant any amount of Legislature oversight to cross-strait agreements. In a statement, Hung said that the increasing frequency of cross-strait exchanges in recent years means more is at stake, necessitating a better monitoring mechanism. Since Taiwan and China began rapprochement after Ma took office in 2008, 21 cross-strait agreements have been signed and have been consistently sent to the Legislative Yuan for screening or reference, according to the president. (By Lee Shu-hua, Justin Su and Evelyn Kao)

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