Kuomintang (KMT) Legislator Tseng Ming-tsung, a convener of the legislative Interior Committee, has scheduled a review on Wednesday of six versions of a law monitoring cross-strait agreements.
The move was welcomed by the smaller New Power Party (NPP) and People First Party (PFP) but questioned by the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), according to the United Daily News.
NPP Legislator Hsu Yung-ming was cited by the paper as saying the review was long overdue, while PFP lawmaker Chen Yi-chieh reportedly said the KMT move highlighted the DPP's "hypocrisy."
But DPP Legislator Ker Chien-ming, leader of the party's caucus, questioned the motives behind the KMT move, citing the fact that the main opposition party's legislative caucus had not themselves submitted an officially endorsed bill. Instead, two different groups of KMT lawmakers have submitted two separate bills.
The party has been accused of dragging its feet on introducing a law to monitor cross-strait agreements since President Tsai Ing-wen took office in May 2016, despite voicing strong support three years ago for the Sunflower Movement's call for transparency in negotiations between Taipei and Beijing.
Some DPP lawmakers have argued that there is no pressing need for such a law, judging from the present stagnation in cross-strait ties.
The DPP issued a statement on Saturday, several hours ahead of an evening demonstration that activists planned to stage outside the Legislative Yuan to mark the third anniversary of the Sunflower Movement and heap pressure on the government to accelerate the review of the bills.
The DPP has prioritized a law monitoring cross-strait agreements and hopes to have lawmakers review it before the Legislature's summer break, a party spokesman said.
While six different bills concerning the monitoring of Taipei-Beijing agreements are currently pending review at the Legislature, the one officially endorsed by the DPP caucus represents the Tsai administration's stance and meets public expectations for transparency in cross-strait dealings, spokesman Chang Chih-hao said.
The DPP urged rational discussion and communication between all parties involved, he said, in order to produce a law that is both practical and able to put cross-strait dealings under public and parliamentary scrutiny.
One of the bills submitted by the KMT lawmakers requires government negotiators to present their plans to the Legislature a month ahead before any cross-strait negotiations begin. When the negotiation begins, the Legislature can require those involved to report to lawmakers about the progress.
The DPP caucus's officially endorsed version seeks to have the administrative branch of the government keep the Legislature informed throughout the entire negotiation process.
Any pact signed would need to be subject to meticulous clause-by-clause scrutiny by lawmakers, who would then put to a vote the whole agreement.
1. KMT Legislator Huang Chao-shun's
2. People First Party's
3. KMT Legislator Johnny Chiang's
Government negotiators must present their plans to Legislature a month before speaking with Beijing officials. When negotiation begins, the Legislature can ask the negotiators to report on progress.
4. DPP's official bill
The government must keep Legislature informed from beginning to end, and any pact signed by the two sides must be approved clause by clause before the entire agreement as a whole is put to a vote.
5. DPP Legislator Yu Mei-nu's
6. NPP caucus's
Ninety days befoe negotiations, the government must submit a negotiation plan to the Legislature. Lawmakers can ask the government to report to Legislature at any point of the process and to suspend all negotiations until the matter is resolved.