Sat, Nov 18, 2006 - Page 12 News List

MAC vice chairman calls for parties to cooperate

UNITY NEEDED Liu Te-shun said that pan-blues and pan-greens needed to work together in order to persuade China to open up to Taiwanese banks

By Max Hirsch  /  STAFF REPORTER

Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) Vice Chairman Liu Te-shun (劉德勳) called on pan-blue and pan-green lawmakers to join forces in persuading China to hammer out an agreement with Taiwan on establishing financial supervisory mechanisms allowing Taiwanese banks to set up branch offices in China.

Liu said at a MAC press conference yesterday that China requires countries whose banks seek to enter its market to sign Memorandums of Understanding (MOU) with it before allowing them to establish branch offices there.

Such MOUs lay out rules on banking supervision and risk management for foreign banks.

"That's a law that China has in place, and it applies to all countries, not just to Taiwan," Liu said, referring to China's MOU requirement.

The vice chairman added that Taiwan was "ready and willing at any time" to negotiate a banking MOU with China, as well as any other financial supervisory arrangements, but that China has been unwilling to engage Taiwan on such issues.

"This is a problem of China being unwilling to address the situation," Liu said.

A MAC press release called for bi-partisan cooperation yesterday in urging China to remove "political barriers" in its consideration of hammering out a financial supervisory agreement with Taiwan, adding that a unified message from the ruling and opposition parties might spur China to open up to domestic banks.

In response to a question at the briefing, Liu said that the legal infrastructure needed for Chinese banks and investors to enter the Taiwanese market was incomplete, adding that the establishment of supervisory measures and other relevant laws in that regard was the responsibility of the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA).

"It would be hard for Chinese banks to establish branch offices in Taiwan, too," Liu conceded, adding that the MOEA needed more time to formulate the necessary measures and rules allowing Chinese banks to enter the country.

As for if or when local chipmakers would be allowed to set up 8-inch wafer fabs and use 0.18-micron manufacturing technology in China, Liu refused to speculate on whether the chipmakers would be allowed to do so by the end of next month.

"As far as I know, this matter is still being considered by the MOEA," Liu said.

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