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China pressures Indonesia into boycotting Taiwan shipbuilders

China pressures Indonesia into boycotting Taiwan shipbuilders

China pressured Indonesian fishing operators into turning their business away from Taiwanese shipbuilders, the Chinese-language Liberty Times reported yesterday.
In January, the Indonesian government ordered its fishermen to stop ordering the construction of fishing trawlers in Taiwan, resulting in missed income of more than NT$100 million a year, said opposition Democratic Progressive Party lawmaker Kuan Bi-ling.
The Ministry of Economic Affairs and the Fisheries Agency were unaware of the changes, said Kuan, though the latter admitted it was true after inquiries with fishing operators and Indonesian representatives. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs should talk to the Indonesian government about ending the situation, the lawmaker said.
China’s shipbuilding sector had recorded strong growth over the past few years and was now trying to take away market share from its Taiwanese competitors, according to Kuan.
The shipbuilding industry was the first but not the last traditional sector of Taiwan’s economy which would feel rising pressure from China, she said. The DPP lawmaker warned the situation would only grow worse as President Ma Ying-jeou was striving to conclude an Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement with China.
The accord will open up the Taiwanese market to more imports from China, causing unemployment and harming the country’s sovereignty, the DPP says. Ma hopes the ECFA can be signed before the end of June.
China was also giving generous subsidies to ship owners, making life difficult for the Taiwanese sector, the Liberty Times reported. In addition, fishing resources were shrinking, fuel prices were high, and obtaining the necessary quota was more difficult, reducing the need for the construction of new ships.
Shipbuilders called on the government to subsidize the building of vessels in new materials which were lighter, more fuel efficient, and easier to repair than steel ships, the paper said.


Updated : 2021-12-08 13:53 GMT+08:00