Rules governing pacts with China already in place: MAC

Taipei, March 23 (CNA) There are already rules in place to empower the legislature to supervise Taiwan's pacts with China, according to the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC). The council said in a written statement that the 2003 amendment to the Act Governing the Relations Between the Peoples of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area requires the administration to submit any pacts with China to the Legislative Yuan for either information or ratification, depending on whether that pact will require revision to existing laws. As to the services trade pact with China which is being fiercely opposed by protesters, it has already been discussed during 20 public hearings, as was agreed by the legislative caucuses of the ruling and opposing parties. The lawmakers have also agreed to discuss the pact and vote article-by-article, while the administration will respect the final vote, the council said. Furthermore, the council said, the Executive Yuan has already laid down guidelines on procedures for consulting and communicating with the legislature about future economic pacts, from the inception to the conclusion of negotiations. The council said the administration will follow these procedures in the future. The statement was issued after a group of demonstrators, who have been occupying the Legislative Yuan since March 18 to protest against the country's services pact with China, on Sunday demanded the enactment of a bill to give the legislature the power to supervise Taiwan's pacts with China first. (By Maubo Chang)