China said yesterday it was willing to help Taiwan boost its economy if it required assistance to weather the world economic slowdown.
The statement was made at a meeting between Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) officials and their Chinese Communist Party (CCP) counterparts in Shanghai.
“If the worsening global economic situation continues and the Taiwan side asks for help to solve economic difficulties, the mainland is willing to offer assistance with utmost efforts,” said Jia Qinglin (賈慶林), the fourth most powerful person in the CCP, Xinhua news agency said.
Jia did not specify what kind of assistance or how much would be offered.
Stimulus measures by China to boost its economy would provide trade and investment opportunities for Taiwanese businesspeople, he said.
The two-day KMT-CCP forum was held to discuss cooperation in financial and service industries and two-way investment opened in Shanghai. KMT Chairman Wu Poh-hsiung (吳伯雄) and former chairman Lien Chan (連戰) attended, as well as 400 delegates including businesspeople, experts and officials from the two sides, Xinhua said.
Jia said the two sides should “actively develop and promote cooperation to work together in combating the financial global crisis,” and “actively promote negotiations and strive for substantial improvements in terms of financial cooperation between both sides of the [Taiwan] Strait.”
He said both sides should strive to sign agreements and resolve the problems caused by having separate institutions in Taiwan and China.
Jia also said that the two sides should “adopt measures to actively develop industrial cooperation between Taiwan and China and increase the depth and scope of industrial cooperation.”
This would include promoting the establishment of a cooperative mechanism aimed at complementing the strengths and weaknesses of Taiwanese and Chinese businesses, he said.
Cooperation between Taiwan and China in the high-tech sector and core sciences should be strengthened, he said, adding that uniform technological standards, intellectual property rights and brands should be established.
The pace of scientific discoveries and their industrial application should be accelerated and the joint development of oil and gas resources as well as cooperation in the service industry should be encouraged, he said.
Saying that many problems, such as the normalization of cross-strait economic relations, remained unresolved, Jia said some Chinese products continued to face import restrictions in Taiwan. He also said there were restrictions on Chinese companies that sought to invest in Taiwan. To address this, he said the normalization of the flow of production factors such as funds, information and technology should be accelerated.
China hopes that Taiwan can support and create the necessary conditions for Chinese businesses that wish to invest in Taiwan, he said, adding that Chinese businesses that possess the necessary abilities could help Taiwan.
Negotiations can be held on the issues of opening the Taiwanese economy to Chinese products and the potential impact this may have on the Taiwanese industry, he said.
Jia also proposed “actively searching for ways to establish a mechanism for cross-strait economic cooperation as soon as possible.”
There is now a pressing need to establish a systematic, stable and standard mechanism for cross-strait economic cooperation, he said. Such a mechanism would be helpful for both sides to discuss serious issues related to economic cooperation and in prioritizing areas in which cooperation can be carried out, he said.