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China criticisms unrelated to pilot zones: development minister

China criticisms unrelated to pilot zones: development minister

Taipei, Nov. 5 (CNA) Taiwan's minister of national development said Wednesday that he is confident the bold criticisms of President Ma Ying-jeou published by a Chinese Communist Party-affiliated newspaper is unconnected to the island's plans for free economic pilot zones. Kuan Chung-ming, minister of the National Development Council, made the comment at the Legislature in response to a lawmaker's question about whether the article, which derides Ma as a small-time "local (government) head," means now is not a good time to push the project ahead. Kuan responded that it was an "intense" leap of logic to "link the article with the pilot zones" and said that China is not the most important target of the liberalization drive. On the contrary, the project was launched in the first place to reduce Taiwan's economic dependence on China, he explained. Kuan denied speculation that Chinese investors are given special treatment in the project and said they are actually at more of a disadvantage compared to investors from other countries. "It is difficult to imagine that they would still want to come," he said flatly.
He also rebuked the Global Times editorial and said "others are not allowed" to make frivolous remarks about the leader of Taiwan -- a comment that closely mirrors the language of China's own rebuke of Ma's support for Hong Kong protesters. Kuan noted that China has a population of 1.3 billion, and the editorial reflects the views of "only a small group of people" in the communist country. The editorial in the Global Times, which is owned by the Communist Party mouthpiece People's Daily, blasted Ma because "no serious national-level leader in East Asia" has openly supported the pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong as openly as Ma has, which it argued proves that he is just a "local head" who feels he is not responsible for his remarks. (By Tai Ya-chen and Christie Chen)


Updated : 2021-10-19 16:42 GMT+08:00