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Premier warns Taiwan too tied to China market

Chang says claims by KMT candidate that DPP 'refused to open' PRC market are unfounded

Premier warns Taiwan too tied to China market

Premier Chang Chun-hsiung (張俊雄) warned yesterday that Taiwan's economy is "overly dependent" on the Chinese market and that progress toward liberalization in tourism, commercial air links and financial services was blocked by the People's Republic of China itself.
Speaking to reporters at an annual year-end news conference, Chang stated that claims by the opposition Kuomiontang presidential candidate Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) that the Democratic Progressive Party-led government had "refused to open" the mainland China market was not supported by economic statistical data.
The premier related that under the DPP government, which took office in May 2000, the volume of Taiwan's two-way merchandise trade with the People's Republic of China, including the Hong Kong and Macao "special administrative regions," had risen from US$34.8 billion in 2000 to US$88.1 billion last year.
He also stated that the share of Taiwan exports absorbed by the PRC market had risen from 24.4 percent to 39.8 percent, approved foreign direct investment from Taiwan to the PRC had risen from US$17.7 billion in 2000 to US$54.9 billion, and perhaps as much as US$150 billion in actuality, and the number of visitors from Taiwan to mainland China had soared from 3.11 million in 2000 to 4.41 million last year.
'Global deployment'
"Instead of 'refusing' the mainland market, Taiwan's economy is overly dependent on the China market and economic relations between China and Taiwan are overheated," said Chang.
The premier added that the character of cross-strait economic ties had changed from being a "complementary industrial division of labor" to "competition," adding that Taiwan should put greater stress on enhancing "global deployment."
Chang stated that the government had made breakthroughs in discussions with the PRC government on a number of issues, including the promotion of tourism from the PRC and the institution of cross-strait direct charter cargo flights.
However, Chang related that Taiwan could not make unilateral concessions in these areas but had to hold cross-strait talks, which he said were being blocked by Beijing.
"While we want to open these areas, there is no one blocking these liberalizations but China itself," related the premier.
Question of how
Vice Premier Chiou I-jen (邱義仁) stated that the liberalization of entry of PRC financial institutions into Taiwan is inevitable, but also is being blocked by the lack of a mutually acceptable system of financial supervision.
"If we can set up a financial supervision system, Taiwan bank representative offices in China would be able to be upgraded into branches and Chinese financial institutions would be able to come here, but the problem is that the establishment of such a supervisory system is blocked because of the competing claims of sovereignty," said the vice premier.
"It is easy to talk about liberalizing, but the question is how to liberalize and for so many years the problem has been the sovereignty question," Chiou said.
Chiou said Beijing had demanded that any accord on tourism or financial supervision must refer to the Taiwan side as "Taiwan, China," which the vice premier said "we cannot possibly accept."
He related that the PRC side had also insisted that only the People's Bank of China could be considered the "central bank" and that "Taiwan does not have a central bank."


Updated : 2021-03-08 15:43 GMT+08:00