The Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) signed between Taiwan and China last month is missing a key clause that could potentially suspend the import of Chinese goods found to be causing significant damage to Taiwanese industries, opposition party lawmakers said yesterday. \nThat clause was included in the Closer Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) signed between Hong Kong and China in 2003, but left out of Taiwan’s trade pact with China signed in Chongqing last month. \nThe Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus said it did not understand why the government had not asked for the same clause to be included in the ECFA, given the trade pact’s potential impact on Taiwan’s traditional and more vulnerable industries. \n“The ECFA is missing this important life-saving clause,” DPP Legislator Kuan Bi-ling (管碧玲) said. “It shows that the ECFA cannot even match up to the CEPA” in terms of protecting sectors of the economy. \nThe DPP is strongly opposed to the trade agreement, saying that its tariff-reducing measures could have a negative impact on Taiwanese industries, employment and middle class salaries because of the possibility of a flood of cheaper goods from China. It has used Hong Kong as an example of why the agreement should not have been signed. \nSpeaking earlier, DPP spokesperson Tsai Chi-chang (蔡其昌) said that following the CEPA, a significant part of Hong Kong’s manufacturing industry moved to China, a move that depressed salaries. \nIncome disparity in the territory had grown to the highest in the world as a result, he said. \nThe DPP says the two agreements, signed seven years apart, both represent China’s political and economic ambitions toward Taiwan and Hong Kong. Both were also signed on the same date, June 29. \nArticle 9 of the CEPA, which deals with safeguards, states that either side can temporarily suspend tariff reductions in the event that “the implementation of the CEPA causes a sharp increase in the import of [certain] products originating from the other side which has caused or threatened to cause serious injury to the affected side’s domestic industry.” \nThe article says that both sides would have to “promptly commence consultations under … the CEPA in order to reach an agreement.” \nDPP Legislator Lin Shu-fen (林淑芬) said it was a significant clause because it gives Hong Kong the ability to immediately halt imports found to be causing significant harm to the territory’s economy. Taiwan, however, can only choose to terminate the entire agreement at once and only 180 days after written notice has been given, she said. \nUnder Article 16 of the ECFA, Taiwan and China would have to hold negotiations within 30 days after a side gives written notice of its intention to terminate the agreement. Should there be a lack of consensus, the side must wait 180 days before the ECFA is terminated. \nChinese Nationalist Party (KMT) lawmakers said yesterday that the half-year waiting period before the agreement could be terminated was included to protect the interests of Taiwanese businesses in China. \n“The main consideration for that was to give Taiwanese businesses investing in China a buffer period. It’s to prevent [these] businesses from having no time to respond in the case that China terminates the agreement,” he said.
EFFICIENCY: The rules for Philippine arrivals were revised after 17.6% of arrivals with symptoms tested positive, compared with 0.7% of those with no symptoms Starting today, Chinese spouses who hold a reunion permit can apply to enter Taiwan and travelers without symptoms from the Philippines do not need to be tested for COVID-19 upon arrival, but are to be tested after a 14-day quarantine, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that from today, Chinese who are married to a Taiwanese citizen and hold a reunion permit can apply to the National Immigration Agency for entry into Taiwan. Chinese who are married to a foreign national and hold an accompanied reunion permit
CONSOLIDATION? Taiwan Thinktank deputy executive-general Doong Sy-chi said Beijing’s intimidation tactics are further alienating those who identify as Chinese Only 2 percent of respondents to a poll on constitutional amendments and national identity identified as Chinese, while 62.6 percent identified as Taiwanese, the Taiwan Thinktank said yesterday. Legislators have proposed amendments to the Additional Articles of the Constitution (憲法增修條文), which would change the definition of the nation’s territory, remove the Taiwan Provincial Government as an entity, prioritize the use of “Taiwan” for national groups at international events, and remove restrictions on defining the national emblem, national flag and national anthem. The poll showed that 80.5 percent of respondents agreed that the nation should participate as “Taiwan” at events organized by world
MISTAKE: The Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy is not a UN body, and the government is committed to protecting the nation’s name, Joseph Wu said The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday condemned the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy for listing Taiwanese cities as belonging to China on its Web site, and asked that it correct the error. The organization was inaugurated in Brussels in 2016 as a global coalition of mayors committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Six Taiwanese cities at the time joined the coalition as cities in “Taiwan,” the ministry said. However, officials from the Kaohsiung City Government — one of the organization’s members — last week noticed that the city was now listed on the organization’s Web site as a
BALANCED DEVELOPMENT: TSMC chairman Mark Liu said the firm is committed to local investment: a third in the north, a third in the center, a third in the south Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電), the world’s biggest contract chipmaker, yesterday said that, based on its strategy of balancing capacity, it plans to make northern Taiwan its manufacturing hub for advanced technologies that go beyond 2 nanometers. “As the company is committed to investing in Taiwan, we try to deploy one-third [of our total production capacity] in the north and have one-third each in the center and south” of the nation, TSMC chairman Mark Liu (劉德音) told reporters on the sidelines of Semicon Taiwan’s Master Forum in Taipei. TSMC last year reached its goal of deploying capacity equally across those parts