The new Cabinet will begin discussions on US beef imports after it is sworn in on Monday, President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) said yesterday, adding that he expected Taipei to resume bilateral talks with Washington under the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) platform.
In a meeting with American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) Chairman Raymond Burghardt at the Presidential Office, Ma reiterated that his administration expected to make progress on the stalled TIFA talks and that the nation aimed to join the emerging Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) in the next 10 years.
“I understand the US is very concerned about the issue of US beef imports. We have just completed the Cabinet reshuffle, and the new Cabinet will take over on Monday. The Cabinet will exchange ideas with the US on the issue,” he said.
The US called off the resumption of TIFA talks, which were scheduled to resume in January last year, after Taiwan began testing US beef for ractopamine — a controversial feed additive — and banned US beef containing the substance.
Burghardt on Tuesday linked the bilateral trade dispute to Taiwan’s overall trade liberalization and its engagement with regional trade partners, expecting Taiwan to address the issue of US beef imports as soon as possible.
He congratulated Ma on his re-election last month and praised Taiwan for demonstrating a mature democracy.
He added that he expected the Ma administration to continue deepening bilateral trade and investment relations with the US during his second term.
Ma promised the new Cabinet would further improve Taiwan-US relations.
“Maintaining strong and stable relations with the US is the core of our foreign policy,” he said, adding that Taiwan-US relations under his watch have been the best in the past 30 years and that the nation had also fostered better ties with Japan and China.
Ma linked the expansion of international relations to the improvement of cross-strait relations, insisting that his “three noes” policy — no unification, no independence and no use of force — and the so-called “1992 consensus” served as the major basis for such developments.
At a separate setting yesterday, premier-designate Sean Chen (陳冲) said that specialists at the Council of Agriculture, the Department of Health and the Consumer Protection Commission would use their professional expertise to review the US beef issue and draft suggestions using international standards as a reference.
Asked if the government was under pressure from the US to further open the market to US beef, Chen said: “There is no negotiation without pressure. If there is no pressure, there is no need to negotiate.”
Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) has said that the legislature will discuss the issue and revise related rules after the Cabinet comes up with new policies governing US beef imports.
Additional reporting by Shih Hsiu-chuan
EXTRADITION DEAL? A former prosecutor said that the US Department of Justice might ask Taiwan to extradite the men in return for the US doing something in return The US won arrest warrants for three Taiwanese men — a former president of China-based Fujian Jinhua Integrated Circuit Co (福建晉華) and two engineers — charged with stealing secrets from Idaho-based Micron Technology Inc. The effort to apprehend the three men — former Fujian Jinhua president Stephen Chen (陳正坤), and Ho Chien-ting (何建廷) and Wang Yong-ming (王永銘), who work for Taiwan-based United Microelectronics Corp (UMC, 聯電) — is notable because they were charged in 2018 in the first case filed under the “China initiative” of US President Donald Trump’s administration targeting trade-secret theft, hacking and economic espionage. However, legal experts have said
There was a net reduction last year in the number of Taipei residents and this year is expected to set a 23-year high for population decline in the city, Ministry of the Interior statistics released yesterday showed. From January to last month, 18,861 more people moved out of Taipei than moved into the capital, an increase of 7,000 from the same period last year, the data showed. That is a 7.2 percent decrease in the city’s population since the start of the year, the biggest drop in both percentage and total number among all municipalities and counties nationwide, the data showed. The data
COUNCILS CLASH: The Mainland Affairs Council said a new office in Hong Kong is to assist people with issues related to investment, study and employment in Taiwan The Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) yesterday denied an accusation by the Hong Kong-Taiwan Economic and Cultural Co-operation and Promotion Council that its Taiwanese counterpart in the territory was “interfering with Hong Kong’s internal affairs.” The Hong Kong council leveled the accusation after Taipei’s Taiwan-Hong Kong Economic and Cultural Co-operation Council this month announced it would establish a Taiwan-Hong Kong Services and Exchanges Office to facilitate humanitarian aid for Hong Kongers. The new office is scheduled to begin operations on Wednesday. The MAC yesterday asked the Hong Kong council to “not misinterpret” the government’s intentions. The two Taiwan-Hong Kong councils were established in 2010 to
IRRESPONSIBLE ATTITUDES? Some experts say the NHI system does not do enough to educate the public, or pay doctors to talk to patients, about healthy lifestyles While the life expectancy of Taiwanese newborns in 2018 reached 80.69 years, the number of years people spent in poor health hit a record high at 8.41 years, Ministry of Health and Welfare statistics showed on Saturday. Healthy life expectancy is calculated by a person’s life expectancy minus the time they spend in ill health, such as the loss of mobility, disabilities and chronic disease, based on medical records and calculations about the years they live with disabilities. The number of years that Taiwanese spend in poor health is increasing slowly, but steadily, rising by 0.46 years, or five-and-a-half months, between 2012