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MAC: Over 70% of the Public Support Strengthened Communication and National Security Review; the Executive Yuan Version of the Draft Supervisory Act Responds to Public Opinion, Enhances the Orderly Operation of Negotiations and Enables Continued Exchanges between the Two Sides

  • Date:2014-05-01

May 1, 2014
Mac News Release No.043

The Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) today (May 1, 2014) announced the results of its special public opinion survey concerning cross-strait agreements’ supervision. The survey found that the great majority of the public believe that requiring the executive branch to communicate and consult with congress and the public at each stage in the signing of cross-strait agreements and to respect Legislative Yuan procedures of review or recording for future reference, along with measures such as national security review would be conducive to increasing openness and transparency of negotiations and public participation (73.2%), and to improving congressional oversight (73.9%) and national security (72.6%). The MAC stated that the Executive Yuan version of the draft Supervisory Act has included the important views of the public and the government hopes that the legislative process may be completed as soon as possible to promote orderly operation of negotiations and enable the continuation of cross-strait exchanges.

Regarding other draft Supervisory Act versions’ requirements for previously signed agreements to acquire a second Legislative Yuan approval before implementation and for each agreement to undergo a minimum 270 day waiting period, excluding negotiation time, in the Legislative Yuan, the majority of the respondents think these requirements would affect of the people’s rights and interests (69.1%) and be too time-consuming (62.2%). Furthermore, 46.6% of the public agree that there would be concerns of "players serving as referees" if legislators participated in negotiations.

The MAC stated that, in response to public demands for supervision of cross-strait agreements and in consideration of national security, the government has formulated a "four-stage external communication and consultation mechanism" and a "national security review mechanism" based on the Act Governing Relations between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area. The government has also referred to the various versions of the bill, as well as the Exercise of Legislative Powers Law and precedent of legislative proceedings, in its proposed draft Statute for the Processing and Monitoring of Agreements between the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area. Moreover, the draft has been submitted to the Legislative Yuan for review on April 3 this year. The MAC further stated that the Executive Yuan draft version is "constitutional, pragmatic and feasible." It protects the public's right to know, while also taking into account negotiation demands. It is hoped that the Legislative Yuan may complete the legislative process as soon as possible in line with the people’s hopes.

Regarding survey results on the Cross-Strait Trade in Services Agreement, the percentage of people supporting the agreement (42.5%) was higher than the percentage not supporting the agreement (40.1%). Additionally, 70.4% of the public supported the start of an article-by-article review and article-by-article vote on the Trade in Services Agreement in the Legislative Yuan. The MAC indicated that, in comparison with survey results in December last year, the percentages supporting and not supporting the Trade in Services Agreement fell slightly by 3.2% and 0.3%, respectively; support rate for the agreement shown in the surveys before and after the student movement against the agreement showed no significant difference. Regarding the majority of the public’s hope for congressional oversight of the Cross-Strait Trade in Services Agreement, the MAC shall fully respect the Legislative Yuan's review procedures and continue to communicate and explain to various parties to win the support of the Taiwanese people.

The survey also found that nearly 60% (58.8%) of the public believe that institutionalized cross-strait negotiations are conducive to peaceful and stable cross-strait relations. This indicates that the government's efforts over the past nearly six years to promote institutionalized cross-strait negotiations and expand cross-strait exchanges and interactions in various fields under the principle of "putting Taiwan first for the benefit of the people" and thereby advance peace in the Taiwan Strait, has gained Taiwanese people’s acknowledgement and support.

The MAC commissioned the Election Study Center of National Chengchi University to conduct a telephone survey of adults aged 20 and over in Taiwan from April 9 to 13, 2014. A total of 1,104 valid samples were collected, with a sampling error of plus or minus 2.95% at a 95% level of confidence.