Mon, May 20, 2002 - Page 2 News List

MAC says Wang's direct-links demands unrealistic

By Lin Miao-jung  /  STAFF REPORTER

Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) Vice Chairman Chen Ming-tong (陳明通) yesterday said that the establishment of direct links with China is an irreversible course of action -- and the implementation of the concept is just a matter of time.

Chen was asked by reporters to comment on a remark made on Saturday by Formosa Group Chairman Wang Yung-ching (王永慶).

Wang urged president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) to make direct links a reality as soon as possible and said a president should not just speak without taking action.

Wang also argued that direct transportation links will reduce much of the costs incurred by material suppliers based in Taiwan who ship goods regularly across the Strait. He said that, by doing so, those material suppliers won't have to move to China to save on shipping costs.

Wang's remark referred to Chen Shui-bian's speech on May 10, in which Chen said that the opening of direct links with China is unavoidable and the matter could gain assistance from the private sector.

In response to Wang's remark, the vice chairman yesterday said that the MAC respects Wang's opinions, but "the issue [direct links with China] involves complicated negotiations, and the government will deal with the matter step by step."

Direct links between Taiwan and China covers transportation, post, and trade.

"Dealing with the matter [of direct links with China] requires much wisdom and precise judgement. The government has to gain opinions from various [interest groups] to make the best plans," Chen Ming-tong said.

He added that there are various industries and interest groups in Taiwan and that "Wang is entitled to speak for the interests of the industry he invests in. But there is no rush for some other industries to have direct links with China."

Chen stressed that "a nationwide public opinion survey found that the majority of respondents think that the government's speed of handling the direct-links issue is appropriate."

But Chen added that "without Beijing's cooperation, negotiations for opening direct links can't be started immediately."

This story has been viewed 3305 times.

Comments will be moderated. Keep comments relevant to the article. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. Final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times.

TOP top