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Sunflower's draft statute shows consternation over status quo

Publication Date : 08-04-2014

 

As protesting students warmly welcomed Legislative Yuan Speaker Wang Jing-pyng during his brief visit to the Yuan's occupied Assembly Hall yesterday, the Sunflower student movement seemed to be coming to a finale, with its real objective surfacing.

Hundreds of thousands of students took to the streets, stormed the Executive Yuan, seized the Legislative Yuan and held a citizens' assembly to create a draft statute governing oversight over the negotiation and ratification of agreements between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait.

At the heart of the controversy over the oversight statute is whether cross-strait should be handled under the R.O.C.'s official “one-China” principle — via the Statute Governing the Relations Between the People in the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area — or through protocol that recognises the mainland and Taiwan as two separate nations, a stance supported by pro-Taiwan independence politicians.

This movement's draft statute includes a preamble that defines future agreements as “official documents signed between the government of the Republic of China in Taiwan and the government of the People's Republic of China.” The draft was “deliberated on” last Sunday.

The students have followed their leaders to enable pro-Taiwan independence politicians to proclaim former President Chen Shui-bian's “one country on each side of the strait” principle in the draft statute, which will probably be proposed by the Democratic Progressive Party for deliberation in parliament.

There are a few very wealthy pro-independence DPP politicians. They are funding the movement to protest against the Cross-Strait Trade in Services Agreement signed in Shanghai last June 21, characterising the pact as one that would lead to an economic conquest of Taiwan by China in no time. Their only purpose is to draw voter support to win the nationwide local elections scheduled for Nov. 29 this year and the presidential race in 2016.

 

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