China Times Editorial (Taipei, Taiwan, ROC)
March 8, 2016
Executive Summary: Sad to say, the Cross-Strait Agreement Oversight Regulation draft bills presented by pan green legislators show that Political Correctness still trumps professionalism. They show pan green legislators have yet to rid themselves of old thinking. Before Tsai Ing-wen holds forth about a "national consensus", she must review the "DPP consensus" version. She must then propose a version of the Cross-Strait Agreement Oversight Regulations that is acceptable to everyone.
Full Text Below:
The newly elected Legislative Yuan has convened. Now that the DPP has assumed control, the public is waiting to see what it intends to do. Will it show the public something new? Does it have the courage and ability to propose useful legislation? Sad to say, the Cross-Strait Agreement Oversight Regulation draft bills presented by pan green legislators show that Political Correctness still trumps professionalism. They show pan green legislators have yet to rid themselves of old thinking. The Cross-Strait Agreement Oversight Regulations will establish mechanisms for cross-Strait negotiations. They will determine how urgent cross-Strait economic and trade negotiations will be conducted. Whether they are blue or green, legislators must propose legislation that answers to all the people, not just a specific group of supporters.
The legislature lacks comprehensive rules for the review of bills pertaining to cross-Strait agreements. The Sunflower Student movement and other activist groups staged violent protests during deliberations over the Service Trade Agreement. They falsely accused the KMT of “black box operations”. The green camp then exploited these allegations during the legislative elections to win an overwhelming majority in the legislature. When the Legislative Yuan convened, NPP and DPP legislators proposed numerous Cross-Strait Agreement Oversight Regulation draft bills designed to please deep green supporters.
Unfortunately, the draft law proposed by NPP and DPP legislators, demagogued the name of bill to pander to deep green supporters. This was contrary to the principle of proportionality. It violated the power of the executive and judiciary. If passed, it would make cross-Strait negotiations time consuming, uncertain, and virtually impossible. The bill would be more accurately described as the “Cross-Strait Non-Agreement Regulations”. Take for example, the Li Chun-yi version of the bill. It was entitled the "Taiwan and China Agreement Regulation” bill. It included the phrase “one China and one Taiwan”. The NPP version of the bill deliberately underscored the NPP's Taiwan independence stance. It referred to its bill as a “draft law regulating agreements between our country and the People's Republic of China". It referred to "bilateral agreements", without making any reference to either the “Republic of China” or any “Nation of Taiwan”. Instead it substituted “our country”. It was clearly intended as a slap in Beijing's face.
The bill sponsored by pan green legislators even called for the criminal prosecution of negotiators. Clearly they were pandering to a certain political constituency. The NPP version of the bill stipulated that the express consent of the Legislative Yuan was required in advance. Anyone who concluded an agreement with a foreign nation that harmed our national sovereignty, national territory, or international status, shall be subject to criminal prosecution and liable to imprisonment for seven years or more.
What constitutes "harming our sovereignty"? Taiwan currently uses certain working names when participating in international organizations. Do those count as harm to our "international status"? In fact, members of the legislature and the executive may conclude agreements with foreign nations. The legislature can then veto, revise, or restart negotiations. But it cannot prosecute the negotiators. Crimes both domestic and foreign, can be punishe according to the law. But the crude NPP version subjects our own negotiators to the "Flying Guillotine". One false move and heads could roll.
The most controversial aspect of legislative oversight is making the negotiation process transparent. The version proposed by pan green legislators requires cross-Strait negotiations before agreements may be signed. Those concluding the agreements must present a full report to the legislature, on as many as 11 items. The legislature may then amend, retain, or add riders. The legislature will then review the terms of the agreement line by line. They may veto the bill or restart negotiations. Only the pan green version subjects cross-Straits agreements to line item approval. If the MTA or STA is subject to line item approval, neither is likely to pass, even if legislators burn the midnight oil. Contrast this with the US government's fast track “Trade Promotion Authority”, or TPA. Congress may use this bill prior to negotiations to set the agenda and negotiation process. Afterwards however, it must vote up or down on a package deal. Efficiency is a consideration. So are lines between legislative and administrative authority.
The cross-Strait negotiation process should be transparent. But over-emphasis on transparency obviously works against us when negotiations require confidentiality. That amounts to prematurely showing our hand in a game of cards. Globalization makes trade negotiations difficult and time-consuming. Legislative oversight may conflict with efficient negotiations. Crisis resolution may be urgent. An appropriate balance must be struck between thoroughness and speed. Otherwise oversight regulations will only bind us hand and foot. They will lead to lost opportunities. They will deprive us of room to maneuver during negotiations.
The executive, legislative, and judicial branches must all abide by the principle of proportionality. Any legislation or regulation must be reasonable, fair, and proportionate. It must have a sound legal basis. It must be rational, both technically and socially. The legislative process must respect precedent. It must conform with jurisprudence. In achieving its purpose, it must be both feasible and efficient. Any law must be rational. It must maintain and promote society's values. The pan green draft version clearly violates all three principles.
Before Tsai Ing-wen holds forth about a "national consensus", she must review the "DPP consensus" version. She must then propose a version of the Cross-Strait Agreement Oversight Regulations that is acceptable to everyone.
能一新國人耳目，展現主導優質立法的氣魄和能力；然而， 幾位泛綠立委提出的「兩岸協議監督條例」草案中，依然呈現以「 政治正確」凌駕專業、不能擺脫慣性思維的舊文化。「 兩岸協議監督條例」攸關兩岸協商機制的建立， 更將決定兩岸迫切需要解決的經貿談判未來的命運。 立委們不分藍綠，立法提案應該要為全民負責， 而不是只求向特定的選民「交代」。
致使服貿協議在立法院審議時，爆發「太陽花」 學生和社運團體的激烈抗爭，泛綠陣營在本屆立委選舉打著「 反黑箱協議」的旗幟，大舉搶占國會席次；因而立法院開議後， 包括時代力量和民進黨多位立委紛紛提出「兩岸協議監督條例」 草案，以具體行動回應支持者。
為向支持者交代，在法案名稱上、監督授權上大做文章；不但有違「 比例原則」，更已侵犯行政權和司法權，將造成兩岸協商寸步難行、 曠日費時且充滿不確定性，令人懷疑根本是「兩岸不協商條例」。 譬如，李俊俋版「台灣與中國締結協議處理條例草案」隱含兩岸「 一中一台」；時代力量版刻意加碼凸出台獨的立場，提出以「 我國與中華人民共和國締結協議處理條例草案」、簡稱「兩國協議」 ，甚至不願接受中華民國又沒有台灣國號的情況下，以「我國」 替代，實在唐突。
授權乃至對談判人員祭出刑法追訴的手段等， 顯然也是為滿足特定選民的「政治重口味」而設計。 時代力量版明訂行政機關未經立法院同意， 逕就影響我國主權之各項協議締結計畫進行協商或簽署協議， 致生損害於我國領土、主權或國際地位者， 參酌刑法私與外國訂約罪，最高處7年以上有期徒刑。
目前台灣採用變通的名稱參與國際組織算不算損害「國際地位」？ 事實上，依各國國會和行政部門關於對外締約和協議的審議規範， 國會可以否決、更改、要求重啟談判，但鮮有入談判者於罪。 何況關於內亂和外患罪，自可依刑法規定懲處， 時代力量版這樣粗糙的規範形同對我方談判代表祭出「血滴子」， 一不小心，人頭就會落地。
泛綠立委版本要求兩岸協商在協議簽署前， 締結協定機關必須提出締結計畫，向國會提出完整報告，其中有多達 11項必要的報告事項；國會對締結計畫得以修正、保留、加附款； 國會對協議進行逐條審查、否決、要求重啟談判。 僅以泛綠版本要求兩岸協議採取逐條審查為例， 不論是兩岸服貿或貨貿協議，採取逐條表決， 恐怕挑燈夜戰也難以通過。對照美國的「快速授權法案」（TPA） ，雖然國會事前可利用該法案設定談判議題及目標授權、談判過程， 但在事後也僅能包裹表決；除了效率的考量外， 還有立法權和行政權應有的分際。
但如過度強調透明顯然將侵害我方談判應有的保密需求， 形同談判前底牌就全亮光了。 而且因應當前全球化熱點議題和經貿協商， 經常是艱困而且耗費時日，在國會監督和維護談判效率、 解決急迫危機間，也必須適切的平衡，否則， 監督條例將反過來導致我方自縛手腳， 喪失談判先機和必要的斡旋空間。
任何立法或規範在其手段與所欲實現之目的間，皆應有合理、 適當及公允之比例關係，且禁止過當、不成比例。 國會立法必須要求法律理性、技術理性和社會理性， 亦即立法手段之選案不得踰越現行法令或慣例，即法理之範圍； 對目的之達成必須注意到技術的「可行性」以及該可行性的「效能」 ；最後，無論為何種選案，必須具備「理性」的特質， 且為維持或促進社會價值的制度。從這三個原則檢視， 泛綠版草案顯然都不符合。