Even more alarming is the impact on the political level. China has, after all, made it known that it would be prepared to use military force against Taiwan. Excessive exposure for Taiwanese banks in China — as of March our exposure has already reached US$30.4 billion, or NT$913 billion, threatening to rival even the US in terms of exposure in China — will undoubtedly place Taiwan’s financial security, and the fate of our banks and financial holding companies, firmly in Beijing’s hands. Is it still possible to suggest that these arrangements in any way represent concessions to Taiwan? It is crucial not to be deluded as to the impact this deregulation of the financial services industry is going to have on Taiwan.
It would be far better to first look to free-trade agreements with ASEAN, the US or Japan. This will be the best way to engage with the international community, for the benefit of our citizens, our businesses and the very survival of our nation.
Huang Tien-lin is former president and chairman of First Commercial Bank.
Translated by Paul Cooper