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China lets Taiwan invest in shipping, container firms

DPP says meetings between KMT-led group, PRC party only delay cross-strait timetable

China lets Taiwan invest in shipping, container firms

China said yesterday it will let Taiwan invest in wholly owned shipping and container transport firms and operate ports and highways in China, in Beijing's latest attempt to woo the island with economic sweeteners.
There was no timetable as the unilateral announcement by Vice Communications Minister Xu Zuyuan at the Cross-Strait Trade and Economic Forum in the Chinese capital needs the blessing of Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) pro-independence government.
"I hope this forum can further enhance development and cooperation between shipping sectors across the (Taiwan) Strait," Xu said in a speech as the two-day forum came to an end.
Chinese President Hu Jintao (胡錦濤) dangled the carrot of the country's booming economy and vast market at the forum on Saturday, part of campaign to win hearts and minds on the self-ruled island which Beijing claims as its own.
About 500 businessmen and officials from China's ruling Communist Party and Taiwan's main opposition party Kuomintang, attended the forum - the third since 2005 when China rolled out the red carpet for Taiwan opposition leaders as part of a divide-and-rule gambit to isolate the governing Democratic Progressive Party.
Gao Hongfeng, deputy director of the Civil Aviation Administration of China, told the forum the number of Chinese cities handling direct charter flights between China and Taiwan will be increased to 10 from four.
The six cities are: Chengdu and Guilin in China's southwest, eastern Hangzhou and Nanjing, southern Shenzhen and northeastern Dalian.
There are no regularly scheduled nonstop flights between Taiwan and China, but the two sides exchanged nonstop charter flights for the first time in more than five decades in 2005 to accommodate the demands of Taiwan businessmen, who have poured up to US$100 billion into China.
Shao Qiwei, director of China's National Tourism Administration, criticized Taiwan for its "passive attitude" and for dragging its feet on allowing Chinese tourists to visit.
Chinese Public Security Vice Minister Meng Hongwei said the number of Chinese cities issuing visas to Taiwan tourists will be increased by three to 11 effective May 15.
China's Personnel Vice Minister Wang Xiaochu said Taiwan residents can work in China if they pass qualification exams for 15 professions, including accountants, doctors and engineers.
Taiwan is growing more dependent on its neighbor economically despite icy political ties. The island posted a trade surplus of US$27 billion with China in 2006, up from US$23.5 billion in 2005.
On the educational front, China also announced that it welcomes Taiwan's universities and colleges coming to China and recruiting Chinese students.
However, agreements and suggestions reached between Taiwan's major opposition KMT and the Communist Party in the meeting were not appreciated by the Taiwan authorities.
Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) earlier in the day said that the KMT and its ally People First Party, while neglecting their duties by stalling the central government's 2007 budget, were paying tribute to the Communists. Su said the Taiwan delegates were silent even applauded when the Communist leaders were lashing out on Taiwan's independence.
With regards to cross-strait communications, Deputy Minister of Mainland Affairs Council Tung Chen-yuan (童振源) said that the China and Taiwan must establish communication order and called for China not to avoid negotiating with Taiwan government, which he said was the only way to solve problems between the two sides. He added that holding the forum between the Communist Party and the KMT would only delay the cross-strait negotiation timetable.
Minister of Transportation and Communications Tsai Duei said that since the forum left out the governing party, the agreements reached in the meeting need to be further negotiated between the two governments to reach consensuses before they become enforceable.
Governing DPP legislative leader Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘) said that any conclusions reached by an opposition party and the Communist Party of China is meaningless.


Updated : 2021-04-13 22:56 GMT+08:00