MAC questions students’ draft oversight bill

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By Lauly Li, The China Post

TAIPEI, Taiwan — Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) Minister Wang Yu-chi (王郁琦) yesterday commented on the student-favored version of a draft bill for the closer monitoring of agreements signed between Taiwan and mainland China, saying that it has constitutional issues.

The Executive Yuan yesterday passed a draft bill proposed by MAC to strengthen supervision of government procedures in the signing of agreements with China. The draft bill was sent to the Legislative Yuan for deliberation later that day.

Wang told a press conference at the Executive Yuan that the Cabinet version of the draft bill took the essence of the student activists-favored version — proposed by the civic group Democratic Front Against the Cross-Strait Trade in Services Agreement — to strengthen the communication between the administration, the Legislature and the public.

Wang said the Cabinet’s version also offered a legal foundation for the national security mechanism to oversee the process of signing agreements with China. Constitutional Issues Wang said however, the civic group’s version is premised on the perception of the two sides of the strait as two countries, which is against the R.O.C. Constitution and violates the “1992 consensus.”

Wang said that the civic group’s version of the draft bill also used the United State’s congressional supervisory mechanism as a reference to stipulate that the government must gain the Legislature’s approval before signing agreements with China.

Noting that the U.S. Constitution is different from the R.O.C Constitution, Wang explained that the U.S. Constitution gives Congress exclusive power over trade activities between the states and with foreign countries, but the R.O.C Constitution gives such powers to the executive administration. Wang said moreover, if the civic group’s version of the bill were to be passed in the Legislative Yuan, the 18 previously signed and implemented agreements with China would have to be retracted.

“Then what are we going to do with the Cross-Strait Joint Crime-Fighting and Judicial Mutual Assistance Agreement? Are we going to send all the criminals extradited from China back to the other side of the strait in accordance with the civic group’s proposed bill?” Wang questioned. Negotiation Difficulties