The Taiwan Statebuilding Party is drafting a “China relations act” aimed at replacing the “outdated” Act Governing Relations Between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area (台灣地區與大陸地區人民關係條例), Taiwan Statebuilding Party Legislator Chen Po-wei (陳柏惟) said yesterday.
The announcement came a day after Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Tsai Yi-yu’s (蔡易餘) unannounced retraction of his proposal to remove the wording “unification of the nation” from the existing act from committee review.
Polls since last year have shown that more than 60 percent of the public identify as Taiwanese rather than Chinese or both, and that about 83 percent of respondents younger than 30 consider themselves Taiwanese, Chen wrote on Facebook.
Photo: Liu Hsin-de, Taipei Times
Given the clearly burgeoning Taiwanese identity, lawmakers should make a stand regarding the future they envision for the nation, he wrote.
A well-defined legal framework should be introduced to reflect the self-determination of Taiwanese and showcase the nation’s autonomy, he added.
The Taiwan Statebuilding Party has always advocated that all nations, just as all people, are equal, Chen wrote, adding that he believes the task of reflecting the public’s will should not be encumbered by minutiae such as “timing” or “sequencing” in relation to other events — apparently in reference to Tsai’s remark that he withdrew the proposal because he did not want to create tensions ahead of President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) inauguration on Wednesday.
To promote mutual respect and reciprocity, and facilitate perpetual peace and exchanges between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait, the party recommends replacing the “outdated” act with a “China relations act” as a gesture of goodwill, he wrote.
The bill would redefine all matters relating to cross-strait exchanges, as well as reinvent the competent authority for cross-strait affairs, Chen wrote, adding that the party would solicit public comment on how the bill should be drafted.
The party would invite the DPP and opposition parties to debate the bill and encourage them to sponsor their own versions with the aim of making the final legislation as comprehensive as possible, he wrote.
Although the issue is seen as a “hot potato,” Chen wrote that he “did not enter the kitchen to complain about the heat.”
“No one should apologize for their self-identity,” Chen wrote, quoting the president.
However, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) refuses to acknowledge that it is part of the Republic of China, which is the premise of the existing act, Chen wrote.
“Therefore, we would acknowledge that the PRC is a sovereign nation, to spare our neighbor from being oppressed by the nation’s [Taiwan’s] laws,” he wrote, adding that “real love sometimes means setting each other free.”
The controversy will never be resolved if no discussions are initiated, he added.
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