Penghu Islands, mainland direct link coming within 3 months

Hsieh Kuo-lien,The China Post

The Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) and Legislative Yuan yesterday pledged to lift bans on direct transportation, trading, and postal links between Penghu Islands and mainland China within three months. MAC Chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen and leaders of ruling and opposition parties’ legislative caucuses debated the issue for hours before making the decision in the evening. Independent Legislator Peter Lin of Penghu County said that opening of the mini three links would have positive impact on development of private industry on Penghu Islands. Lin said that the mini links would also help residents in Penghu County fight against the slower economy. The government opened the mini three links between the mainland Chinese province of Fujian and the Taiwan-controlled Kinmen and Matsu Islands in early 2001. Earlier yesterday, the Legislature also decided to pass the legislation regulating the direct three links between Taiwan and the mainland by November. Legislators of the opposition Kuomintang (KMT), People First Party (PFP) last week worked out a plan to soon add the “three-links clause” into the Statue Governing the Relations Between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area. Please see LINK on page

They went into a bitter dispute in the morning with their colleagues of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), who vehemently objected to immediate changes of the law. Following a meeting, the caucus leaders of the KMT, PFP, DPP, the Taiwan Solidarity Union and independent lawmakers reached the consensus on how to make the changes in the law. The Cabinet, according to the agreement, has to work out its version of proposed three-links clauses before the beginning of next legislative session. The proposal will top the Legislature’s agenda in the next session, according to the agreement. The caucus leaders pledged to make their final call by the end of November.