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Taiwan requires referendum for political agreements with China

Legislative approval will be necessary before negotiations start

Cabinet members explaining new government measures Thursday.

Cabinet members explaining new government measures Thursday. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) - The Cabinet approved a plan Thursday to raise the threshold for the passage of political agreements with China and include approval by a referendum.

The proposal will still face a review by the Legislative Yuan, but if it agrees, the approval of a political accord with China will be on the same level as a constitutional amendment, the Central News Agency reported.

The government plan follows reports about potential Kuomintang presidential candidates for next January’s elections debating peace agreements with China.

At its regular weekly meeting Thursday morning, the Cabinet said that in the case of accords with Beijing, the government should first present a general plan and an impact assessment report to the Legislative Yuan. Only after three quarters of the 113 legislators turned up and three quarters of those lawmakers voted in favor of the plan, could negotiations with China actually begin.

Once an accord reached, the president needed to be informed and a similar majority of lawmakers needed to vote again, CNA reported. In the following phase, a referendum should take place with at least half the eligible voters casting a ballot in favor for the agreement to be valid.