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May 30, 2017

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KMT to focus on FEPZ draft bill in new legislative session

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The Kuomintang (KMT) caucus said yesterday that it will prioritize a review of the Free Economic Pilot Zone (FEPZ) draft bill in the upcoming legislative session, adding that the Executive Yuan should step up its efforts to communicate with legislators.

The Legislative Yuan's new session is scheduled to begin on Feb. 21.

Last year, the Cabinet proposed an FEPZ draft bill, which centers on economic liberalization and opening up domestic markets for selected industries. The draft was sent to the Legislative Yuan in the last session, but wasn't added into the Yuan Sitting's agenda.

KMT Legislator Lin Hung-chi (林鴻池) said that his caucus will try to place the draft into the agenda in the upcoming session, adding that legislators can discuss the draft in depth during deliberation if they have any concerns.

Lin stressed that the focus of the new legislative session will be on boosting Taiwan's economy; therefore, the draft should be reviewed as soon as possible.

Regarding the opposition's proposal to establish a cross-strait affairs task force within the Legislative Yuan, Lin said that setting up such a task force will affect the administration's negotiations with mainland China; therefore, the Legislature should seek another way to supervise the government on cross-strait affairs.

DPP Goals in New Session

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus whip Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘) said that his caucus will offer its opinions on the draft while deliberating it in the Legislative Yuan.

Ker said that the Legislative Yuan should establish a cross-strait affairs task force and begin reviewing a draft bill that deals with treaty signing between Taiwan and mainland China.

If passed, the FEPZ bill will allow restricted agricultural products to be imported into the FEPZs, DPP Legislator Huang Wei-cher (黃偉哲) said, expressing concern over the possibility of restricted mainland Chinese products entering the local market and threatening local producers.

Huang also said that the Executive Yuan should explain in detail to legislators how to prevent "fake" foreign investments from taking advantage of the FEPZs' tax policies.

Furthermore, lawmakers across party lines should consider the issue of whether or not the Special Investigation Division should be abolished in a more serious manner, Ker said.

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