The government will not “directly” resume talks with China over a cross-strait trade in goods agreement until a supervisory bill clears the legislative floor, Minister of Economic Affairs Lee Chih-kung (李世光) said on Friday last week.
“We will continue making progress on the cross-strait trade in services and goods pacts when a draft bill of supervisory regulations on cross-strait agreements secures legislative approval,” Lee told a media gathering after he took office on Friday morning.
In other words, the ministry is not restarting formal negotiations over the trade in goods agreement with China for the time being, he said.
From now on, the government will discuss all cross-strait economy-related issues as part of a cross-ministry platform at the Executive Yuan, Lee said.
The ministry has started to analyze the feasibility of easing restrictions on Chinese investment in Taiwan’s industries and regulations on China-bound investment and is to present the results to the platform for deliberation, he said.
He said the government is not “disagreeing” with the idea of opening Taiwan’s markets, but the nation’s industries must become stronger before being exposed to global markets.
If the nation’s industries are not globally competitive, there would be limited products the government can use to negotiate reciprocal terms with other nations, he said.
In an effort to push the government’s “new southbound policy,” Lee said the ministry has reviewed a few local companies’ projects that the new policy could apply to.
Lee said the “new southbound policy” is not simply an economic policy, as the government also has to consider the interests of other nations and overseas Taiwanese businesspeople.
The ministry is to help overseas Taiwanese businesspeople communicate their needs and assist them in operations in accordance with the government’s plans, he said.
Commenting on the government’s energy policy, Lee said that the ministry would play the most important role in developing and promoting “green” energy in the nation, as the government plans to phase out nuclear power and fossil-fuel-based power plants.
Lee said the government would not immediately reduce electricity contribution from fossil-fuel power plants after nuclear power plants are retired in 2025, adding that there is time for the government to develop renewable energy generation.
Solar power would be one of the first renewable energy sources that the government plans to focus on, as many Taiwanese manufacturers already have adequate knowledge and technologies, Lee said.
Given that eight out of the world’s 10 best offshore wind farm locations are on Taiwan’s coast, the government also plans to invest in the development of offshore wind energy, Lee said.
As the government plans to increase the power contribution from renewable energy sources, it would also help to develop the nation’s green energy industry by localizing the supply chains of Taiwan’s industries, Lee said.
The government aims to expand the localization rate of offshore wind farm supply chains to 81 percent by 2020 from this year’s target of 16 percent, he said.
This would create new job opportunities, while also accelerating the development of the green energy industry in Taiwan, he added.
IN A HURRY: The 199,200 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine expire on May 31, so the CECC might expand vaccine eligibility, but distribution would begin in a week at the earliest The first batch of COVID-19 vaccines allocated to Taiwan through the COVAX global vaccine-sharing program arrived yesterday, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said, adding that, after testing, it would be able to distribute them by Monday next week at the earliest. The 199,200 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine were shipped from Amsterdam on a China Airlines (中華航空) plane and arrived at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport at 5:21am. After the cargo was examined and release procedures were completed at the airport, the Aviation Police Bureau escorted the vehicles carrying the vaccines to a cold chain storage facility. Centers for Disease Control Deputy Director-General
HEATED TRAFFIC: As Beijing holds naval drills near Taiwan, the Ministry of National Defense said it had a full grasp of the situation and would handle it ‘appropriately’ A Chinese carrier group exercising near Taiwan is part of what are to be regular drills, the Chinese navy said in a statement late on Monday, further escalating tensions between Taipei and Beijing. The group, including the aircraft carrier Liaoning, was conducting “routine” drills in the waters around Taiwan, a move to “enhance its capability to safeguard national sovereignty, safety and development interests,” the statement said. “Similar exercises will be conducted regularly,” it said, without elaborating. The statement came after the Ministry of National Defense earlier on Monday issued a statement regarding a rise in the number of incursions by Chinese jets into
AIMED AT TAIWAN? Institute for National Defense and Security Research research fellow Ou Si-fu said chips can be ‘bought off the shelf’ and then used in weapons The Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) yesterday said that chips from Taiwanese semiconductor companies were not making their way into Chinese missiles “to the best of our knowledge.” A report in yesterday’s Washington Post alleged that a Chinese company named Phytium Technology Co (飛騰) used chips made by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電), along with US software, in advanced Chinese military systems. “TSMC has long placed strict controls on their chips. The export of high-tech products from Taiwan is also highly regulated,” Minister of Economic Affairs Wang Mei-hua (王美花) said. “According to our understanding, none of the end uses for those products
NO TIME: The driver tried to apply the brakes when he saw the truck, but the train did not have time to come to a full stop, an investigation report said The crane truck that caused last week’s fatal train accident had slid onto the tracks about one-and-a-half minutes before it was struck, the Taiwan Transportation Safety Board said yesterday. The board had launched an investigation into the derailment, which killed 50 people and injured 211 people, making it the nation’s most devastating railway accident in decades. Carrying 494 passengers and four Taiwan Railways Administration personnel, the southbound express train to Taitung hit the truck as it was about to enter the Cingshuei Tunnel (清水隧道) in Hualien’s Sioulin Township (秀林). The train derailed following the collision, with the left side of the eighth