Sat, Jan 20, 2001 - Page 17 News List

Beijing suggests dumping standards


Taipei will not accept proposals that apply substandard safety conditions for vessels plying direct shipping routes between Taiwan and China, an official from the Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC, 交通部) said yesterday.

Pao Chia-yuan (包嘉源), a senior engineer with the MOTC's Navigation and Aviation Department (航政司), discounted a proposal allegedly made by Beijing that said there was "no need to apply international safety standards in terms of onboard escape and firefighting equipment to ships and related vehicles sailing across the Taiwan Strait."

Pao said matters pertaining to lives and people's safety cannot be compromised, and international safety standards should definitely apply to such vessels.

He made the remarks in reference to the "six guidelines" reportedly proposed by Beijing recently. The guidelines were shown to the Taiwan government by New Party Legislator Elmer Feng (馮滬祥), who led a legislative delegation to Beijing earlier this month to discuss issues concerning direct transportation links between Taiwan and China.

According to Feng, Beijing said that ships from both sides should not be required to fly national flags when making cross-strait journeys, that internationally-compulsory piloting should not be necessary for ships from the two sides when they approach the other side's ports, and that there is no need to apply international standards of ship-building technology to such vessels.

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