Former US Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke yesterday arrived Taipei to take part in a forum with prominent Taiwanese business and economic leaders.
He is the first former Fed chairperson to visit Taiwan after the end of their term.
Bernanke is on a multi-legged speaking trip to Asia that has already taken him to Shanghai and will see him join the two-day World Business Forum in Hong Kong next week.
Bernanke is scheduled to meet central bank Governor Perng Fai-nan (彭淮南) before attending today’s forum organized by the Chinese-language Business Weekly.
He is expected to exchange views on key economic issues at the forum with industrial leaders such as Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (台積電) chairman Morris Chang (張忠謀), CTBC Bank Co (中國信託銀行) chairman Tung Chao-chin (童兆勤) and former National Development Council minister Kuan Chung-ming (管中閔), including the widening wealth gap and the impact of the US’ quantitative easing monetary policy on the world economy.
Earlier yesterday, Bernanke spoke at the Shanghai Forum, telling participants that China needs to create deep and liquid markets to avoid currency risks as it makes the yuan a convertible currency.
“China needs to avoid currency mismatch as it opens its capital account,” he said. “For a currency to be internationally traded, what you need most is liquid markets. A deep market means people can get their money out.”
China is in the final stages of opening up its capital account, giving global investors greater access to its stock and bond markets while making it easier for its citizens to put their money in offshore assets.
A freer flow of funds is needed for policymakers to achieve their goal of getting the yuan recognized as part of the Special Drawing Rights (SDR) basket of reserve currencies when the IMF conducts a review in October.
“When opening the capital account, you need to make sure the economy is strong enough to handle the fund flows out,” Bernanke said.
“An open account is a two-edged sword” and a drop in the currency could cause panic and an exodus of money, he said.
China’s desire to make the yuan an SDR currency is for “pride and image,” Bernanke said.
“If the yuan becomes an SDR currency it won’t have any effect on the average Chinese. It’s mainly symbolic,” he said.
‘HERO OF THE ERA’: President Tsai Ing-wen expressed deep sadness at Lee’s passing, and told the government to assist his family with all their needs Former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) passed away at 7:24pm yesterday at Taipei Veterans General Hospital. He was 97 years old. The hospital stated the cause of death as septic shock and multiple organ failure. Lee had been hospitalized there since February, when he choked on a mouthful of milk at home. He was later diagnosed with pulmonary infiltrates and aspiration pneumonia. The hospital said that Lee had been treated with antibiotics, but that his health had not improved, as his advanced age and diabetes had inhibited his immune system and led to recurring infections. During his hospitalization, Lee underwent daily kidney dialysis, which removed
‘WEAK POSITIVE’: The man arrived in Taiwan in May and was quarantined for two weeks, Chen Shih-chung said, adding that he might be infected a long time ago The government is considering tightening mask-wearing rules again in light of a potential domestic COVID-19 infection, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said yesterday. The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) confirmed seven new COVID-19 cases, six of which are imported. The other case involves a Belgian engineer who entered Taiwan on May 3 and remained in quarantine until May 17, said Chen, who heads the CECC. Although the source of infection has yet to be identified, the case could end the nation’s record of not having any domestic cases in the previous 110 days. The Belgian, in his 20s, is a technician
RECEIVING TREATMENT: President Tsai Ing-wen, Vice President William Lai and Premier Su Tseng-chang visited former president Lee Teng-hui yesterday morning Taipei Veterans General Hospital yesterday rebutted speculation that former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) had died a day earlier, saying that he was weak, but receiving treatment. The hospital said the 97-year-old Lee was not in good condition and needed ongoing care, adding that if there are any changes in his condition, it would make those public. The comments came after rumors emerged online on Tuesday that Lee had died after being hospitalized since early February. Soon after the unsubstantiated rumors emerged, reporters started flocking to the hospital seeking confirmation. Lee was admitted to Taipei Veterans General Hospital on Feb. 8 after choking while drinking
ROAD TO HISTORY: When Lee Teng-hui joined the KMT, the likelihood of a Taiwanese becoming ROC president, much less its first directly elected one, was hard to imagine Lee Teng-hui (李登輝), who was born on Jan. 15, 1923, in the farming community of Sanshi Village, Taihoku Prefecture — now New Taipei City’s Sanzhi District (三芝) — during the Japanese colonial era, and rose to become mayor of Taipei and not only the Republic of China’s (ROC) first Taiwan-born president, but its first directly elected one as well. Educated in the Japanese educational system of the time, Lee, who spoke Japanese, Hoklo (also known as Taiwanese), Mandarin and English, won a scholarship to Kyoto Imperial University, but his studies were interrupted by World War II. He earned a bachelor’s