At a news conference after the closing of China’s annual National People’s Congress legislative session in Beijing yesterday, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (李克強) promised that China would prioritize Taiwan as Beijing opens to the world, and that it would continue to protect the interests of Taiwanese businesses in China.
“We will continue to protect the legitimate rights and interests of Taiwan-funded enterprises and Taiwan businesspeople on the mainland, and provide proper preferential policies to them,” Li said, when asked to comment on problems that Taiwanese businesses encounter in China.
To enhance cross-strait economic cooperation, Li said that “two wheels should be put in motion.”
“One is to enhance institution-building, for example, to continue to pursue follow-up talks on the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement, and the other wheel is about further mutual opening-up,” he said.
However, Li said that such economic cooperation should be built on political foundations.
“People on both sides of the Taiwan Strait are members of one big family, as long as we continue to adhere to the ‘one China’ principle and the ‘1992 consensus,’ to oppose the Taiwan independence movement, and uphold peaceful development for cross-strait relations,” the premier said.
The so-called “1992 consensus,” a term former Mainland Affairs Council chairman Su Chi (蘇起) admitted he had fabricated in 2000, refers to a tacit understanding between the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and Beijing that both sides of the Taiwan Strait acknowledge there is “one China,” with each side having its own interpretation.
Li also extended his invitation to young Taiwanese — who have drawn Beijing’s attention since the Sunflower movement last year — to start businesses in China.
“We welcome people from Taiwan businesses, particularly young people, to pursue their careers in the mainland, and enhance personnel exchanges,” Li said, which would help to “bring the hearts and minds of people on both sides of the Strait even closer to each other.”
The Mainland Affairs Council released a statement in response to Li’s remarks.
“The ‘1992 consensus,’ which allows both sides of the Taiwan Strait to make its own interpretation on ‘one China,’ is the foundation for institutionalized cross-strait interactions and exchanges,” the council said. “We call on China to face reality in cross-strait relations, fully understand Taiwanese people’s views and push for realistic, peaceful and stable developments between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait.”
The council also recognized China’s recent reform efforts, adding that it expects China to show its determination about the reforms — while allowing citizens to participate — to enhance life for people on both sides of the Strait, it added.
The Lithuanian Ministry of National Defense recommended that consumers avoid buying Chinese mobile phones and advised people to throw away the ones they have now after a government report found the devices had built-in censorship capabilities. Flagship phones sold in Europe by China’s smartphone giant Xiaomi Corp (小米) have a built-in ability to detect and censor terms such as “Free Tibet,” “Long live Taiwan independence” or “democracy movement,” Lithuania’s state-run cybersecurity body said on Tuesday. The capability in Xiaomi’s Mi 10T 5G phone software had been turned off for the “European Union region,” but can be turned on remotely at any time,
CLOSE COOPERATION: A House of Representatives bill suggests inviting Taiwan’s navy to participate in the world’s largest international maritime military exercises The US House of Representatives on Thursday passed its annual defense policy bill, which includes provisions recommending that Taiwan be included in next year’s Rim of the Pacific Exercise (RIMPAC) and enhanced cooperation between Taiwan and the US National Guard. The House approved the US$777.9 billion National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2022 in a 316-113 vote. The 1,390-page bill includes three major provisions related to Taiwan under sections 1243, 1247 and 1248. Section 1248 recommends that the US invite Taiwan’s navy to participate in next year’s RIMPAC. Taiwan has never been invited to participate in the event, which is the world’s largest
CLOSED DOORS? The new US rules, which are to be implemented in November, have sparked concern in Taiwan, given its low fully vaccinated coverage rate The US plans to allow entry to most foreign air travelers as long as they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 — while adding a testing requirement for unvaccinated Americans and barring entry for foreigners who have not received shots. The measures announced on Monday by the White House mark the most sweeping change to US travel policies in months, and widen the gap in rules between vaccinated people — who would see restrictions relaxed — and unvaccinated people. The new rules would replace existing bans on foreigners’ travel to the US from certain regions, including Europe. While the move would open the
‘FIGHT FOR VICTORY’: Eric Chu said his election victory would be the beginning of the DPP’s worries and that he would open all channels of communication with China Former New Taipei City mayor Eric Chu (朱立倫) was yesterday elected Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) chairman in a four-way race that included outgoing chairman Johnny Chiang (江啟臣). Chu, 60, garnered 85,164 votes, or 45 percent of the 187,998 KMT members who cast ballots. Sun Yat-sen School president Chang Ya-chung (張亞中) trailed behind with 60,632 votes, followed by Chiang with 35,090 votes and former Changhua County commissioner Cho Po-yuan (卓伯源) with 5,133 votes. Voter turnout was 50.71 percent. This will be Chu’s second time heading the party. He was elected KMT chairman in an unopposed by-election in January 2015 and resigned in January