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Cross-strait peace pact bill not targeted at any person: Premier

2019/02/19 17:53:26

Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌, CNA photo)

Taipei, Feb. 19 (CNA) The government's push to prioritize a bill during the Legislature's current session that would subject any peace agreement with China to a national referendum was not targeted at any person, Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) said Tuesday.

The proposed amendment will be applied to all people and parties in the country, Su said, warning that China has not renounced the use of force against Taiwan, and that "we should be careful."

The proposal was one of 47 bills the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) government and party legislators agreed Monday to prioritize for review during the session, which started last Friday.

It would amend the Act Governing Relations between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area to require that a national referendum be held before any cross-Taiwan Strait peace agreement can be formally signed.

The push to get the amendment passed early this session came after opposition Kuomintang (KMT) Chairman Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) said on Feb. 14 that the KMT could sign a peace treaty with Beijing in accordance with the law if the KMT regains the presidency in 2020.

On Monday, Wu reiterated that if the KMT were to regain power, the party would be willing to negotiate a peace agreement with China on the premise of safeguarding the rights and sovereignty of the Republic of China.

The KMT argued that the proposed legislation targeted Wu because Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) head Chen Ming-tong (陳明通) said the MAC decided to raise the threshold for signing such an agreement after Wu made his proposal.

Chen on Tuesday defended the bill, which was proposed by his agency, saying that political issues related to China require high degrees of social consensus, and the bill would ensure that a cross-strait peace treaty would be backed by such a consensus.

The opposition KMT argued, however, that even more pressing than a bill governing the establishment of a cross-strait peace treaty was one designed to oversee all cross-strait agreements.

(By Yu Hsiang and Evelyn Kao)