Wed, Jul 23, 2008 - Page 1 News List

Cross-strait plans worry advisers

WRINGING HANDS The Mainland Affairs Council said some advisers have warned against new economic policies and urged the government to explain them clearly

By Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTER

Some advisers to the Mainland Affairs­­ Council (MAC) have expressed concerns about the relaxation of cross-strait policy, including a fear that Taiwan would become part of China.

The council issued a statement yesterday saying that some council advisers attending a meeting on Monday warned about the potential danger of loosening cross-strait economic policies.

They urged the government to refrain from adjusting economic policy to the extent that it would lead the public to believe it was leaning toward China. If that happened, the public would be worried that closer economic ties would marginalize Taiwan’s economy, they said.

As many measures have come into force since the new government took office, some council advisers questioned whether these changes pose a threat or represent an opportunity. How the administration implements the measures would be key, they said.

They also said that the administration must ensure that the country’s technical advantages are maintained so that the status of the country’s technology industry is assured. The government must also make plans and help businesses keep their leverage in management, marketing, design, service and branding, they said.

Some advisers called on the administration to present a complete blueprint of its economic policy if it wanted to receive a more positive response from the public.

They said the government must explain its policies to the public in easy-to-understand language and assure the needs of the Taiwanese are met in terms of employment opportunities, income and commodity prices, they said.

To reassure the public about the change of policies, advisers said the administration was duty bound to explain the pros and cons of its cross-strait economic policies, their impact, prevention measures and risks involved. Some advisers urged government agencies to manage the process carefully and ensure that the adjusted policies bring opportunities to the business sector and benefit the economy as a whole.

With the deterioration of the investment environment in China, some advisers called on the administration to conduct a thorough study and map out a concrete plan. The government was obliged to create a better investment environment at home to lure Taiwanese businesspeople back to invest and help them upgrade or transform their businesses, they said.

In a related development, the council announced yesterday that the processing period for Chinese with technical skills applying for entry will be shortened from two months to one month.

Deputy MAC Chairman Liu Teh-hsun (劉德勳) said the measure will come into effect after it is approved by the Executive Yuan. The measure was proposed by the Ministry of the Interior at a monthly meeting yesterday.

Also, the central bank, which delivered a report at the meeting, said that as of last Tuesday, 19 banks and 1,570 of their branch offices had been authorized to exchange the yuan, while 108 exchange depots such as hotels or shops had also been authorized.

From June 30 to July 15, the central bank said financial institutions and exchange depots have bought 1.02 million yuan (US$149,300) and sold 2.38 million yuan.

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