Thu, Sep 08, 2005 - Page 1 News List

MAC pooh-poohs Chinese lending plan for `Taishang'

BY SHIH HSIU-CHUAN  /  STAFF REPORTER

In response to a series of measures proposed by the Chinese government to offer assistance to China-based Taiwanese businesspeople, also known as Taishang, a high-ranking official from the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) said that it had yet to be seen whether the measures are helpful.

"Since there are lots of problems bothering Taiwan's businesses in China, we hope both sides of the Strait can start to negotiate an `Agreement of Investment Protection,'" he said.

Chen Yunlin (陳雲林), director of China's Taiwan Affairs Office yesterday signed an agreement with Chen Yuan (陳元), president of the State Development Bank (SDB), under which China promises to provide Taiwanese investors in China with loans totaling 30 billion yuan (US$3.9 billion) over the next five years.

"China has always noted that the Taiwan authorities have put up lots of restrictions on Taiwanese investment [in China]. Meanwhile, Taiwanese investors have also had difficulties raising funds[in China]," Chen Yunlin said at the signing ceremony.

The offer makes the SDB the first Chinese bank able to grant loans to Taiwanese investors, with Chen Yunlin calling this move a step forward for China's efforts to resolve financial problems facing Taiwanese investors.

Prior to the offer of the huge bank loan, Chinese Vice Premier Wu Yi (吳儀) also actively promised the presidents of associations of Taiwanese-funded enterprises on Tuesday that their requests such as education and living services in the mainland will all be met.

With regards to the funds for lending, the official said that it is just a small amount for Taiwanese businesses, as the estimated amount that Taiwanese business-people have invested into China has surpassed US$100 billion.

The official also said that providing financial services for investors is what the Chinese government should do, given that China is now on the road to a free economy.

However, Taiwanese business people need the Chinese authorities to protect their personal safety, as many cases have proven that their property and lives are at risk because of the lack of related regulations in China, the official said.

The MAC official, therefore, urged the Chinese government to start negotiations with the Taiwanese government over a possible "Agreement of Investment Protection," which is expected to incorporate the overall problems Taiwanese businesspeople experience in China.

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