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June 27, 2017

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Jiang urges ministries to talk to MAC over cross-strait matters

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺) yesterday during the Cabinet's weekly meeting urged all government agencies to consult the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) and abide by the Kuomintang's (KMT) proposal of "four-stage" guidelines regarding any cross-strait treaty signing process.

The KMT caucus on Wednesday proposed the four-stage guidelines — a monitoring mechanism for the Legislative Yuan to supervise the government for cross-strait agreement signing.

The first stage of the guideline requires the Executive Yuan to brief the Legislative Yuan including legislative speaker, deputy speaker and all legislative caucuses about "issue formation."

The Cabinet should update the Legislature about the latest negotiation progress, and at the third stage, the Cabinet should discuss the important details of the proposed agreement, the potential benefits, and how the agreement would be carried out. The Legislative Yuan should be updated over the post-signing stage as well.

Noting that all ministries must consult the MAC for its opinions before signing any cross-strait treaty, Jiang said ministries should discuss any potential problems with cross-strait treaties with the MAC before they are signed. He said "or else, our Chinese counterparts may considered that we (Taiwan) are not a unified team."

The premier went on to explain that to ensure the government is maintaining a consistent stance over a matter while negotiating with China, all ministries must follow the aforementioned guidelines.

When asked by local reporters if Jiang was referring to when the Ministry of Culture brought up a cross-strait cultural treaty without consulting the MAC, the newly appointed spokesman Sun Lih-chyun (孫立群) said Jiang did not specifically name any ministries, and only asked government agencies to keep the MAC updated.

As for the issue of whether or not the Legislative Yuan has been stretching too far to interfere with the Executive Yuan's duties by proposing the "four-stage" guidelines, Sun said it is normal for the Cabinet and the Legislature to supervise and help each other, adding that "there is no such issue as 'interference.'"

Premier Acknowledges Wang-Zhang Meeting

Jiang during the weekly meeting acknowledged MAC Minister Wang Yu-chi (王郁琦) for his efforts over the meeting with his mainland Chinese counterpart, Taiwan Affairs Office Minister Zhang Zhijun (張志軍), Sun said.

Jiang was quoted as saying that this is the first time for officials from the two sides of Taiwan Strait to have a formal meeting after the two have been separately governed for over 65 years, stressing that the "Wang-Zhang" meeting has set a milestone and established a new foundation for cross-strait relations.

The premier said he hopes the MAC will continue working on cross-strait relationships in a cautious manner, and at the same time, report and explain to the Legislative Yuan and the public from time to time to seek their support.

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