Proposed amendments to the Act Governing Relations Between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area (臺灣地區與大陸地區人民關係條例) that seek to remove references to “the unification of the nation” on Friday advanced to committee review.
The proposals, sponsored by Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislators Tsai Yi-yu (蔡易餘), Chuang Jui-hsiung (莊瑞雄) and Chen Ting-fei (陳亭妃), say that the act is in need of amendment to reflect the reality of, and developments in, cross-strait relations, which are no longer predicated on “unifying the nation.”
One proposal seeks to change Article 1, which says that the act was drafted to guarantee the safety and interests of people in the Taiwan area; govern exchanges between people in Taiwan and China; and handle resultant legal issues “before the nation is unified.”
While retaining the language defining the act’s functions, the proposed amendments say they are meant to “respond to the needs of national development.”
An article that says beneficiaries in the mainland area who had been promised grants before 1949 would not receive those grants in full “before the nation is unified” should be changed to: “When the nation’s control only reaches Taiwan proper, Penghu, Kinmen and Lienchiang counties and their affiliated islets,” the draft amendments say.
Similarly, debts owed by state-run banks will not be repaid, and foreign currency and gold bonds issued by the government before 1949 will not be redeemed when the nation’s territory only covers Taiwan proper and Penghu, Kinmen and Lienchiang counties, they say.
The four regions are the only areas governed by the nation at present, the lawmakers said.
“The Republic of China acknowledges the sovereignty of the People’s Republic of China, as well as the historical fact that it has occupied the fallen mainland area,” they said.
The proposals are to be reviewed by the Legislative Yuan’s Internal Administration Committee after no caucuses voiced objection to them.
Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Chen Yu-jen (陳玉珍) said that in view of the COVID-19 pandemic, attention should rather focus on work related to disease prevention, relief and recovery.
China’s Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO) yesterday said that it is keeping close tabs on the proposed legislation.
“It is extremely dangerous that a handful of separatists have misread the situation and become unbridled in pushing Taiwanese independence,” TAO spokesman Ma Xiaoguang (馬曉光) said.
The Mainland Affairs Council has said that there would be no change to its position on handling cross-strait relations: abide by the act, the Constitution and other laws, thereby maintaining the “status quo.”
The council respects lawmakers’ authority to file motions and would pay attention to opinions regarding cross-strait relations, it said.
Additional reporting by Chung Li-hua
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