Sun, Jun 16, 2002 - Page 2 News List

TSU says critics oversimplify party's position on cross-strait investment

CNA , TAIPEI

The TSU would neither oppose direct links with China nor rule out contacts with Beijing, a lawmaker of the opposition party said yesterday.

TSU Legislator Eric Wu (吳東昇) said former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝), who had laid down Taipei's "no haste, be patient" policy vis-a-vis Taiwanese investment in China, is not against direct trade, transportation and postal service across the Taiwan Strait.

Wu said the TSU, which supports the "no haste, be patient" policy, has been misunderstood. It is perceived as an opposition party against the direct links, he added.

Lee, the TSU's spiritual leader, is opposed to a tumultuous rush of investment from Taiwan to China, Wu said.

"What [former] president Lee is against," Wu said, "is not the direct links per se, but the rush of capital investment across the Strait to the detriment of Taiwan's security and dignity."

During his term in office, Lee did not prohibit Taiwan entrepreneurs from investing in China, Wu said. Lee's administration only required government approval of investment projects with a subscribed capital of more than US$50 million.

Critics have mistakenly simplified the TSU's stance on the issue by branding it as a stubborn opponent to any direct links and contacts with China, Wu said.

"We are not opposed to the opening of the three links," the lawmaker said. "Nor are we opposed to direct contacts with Beijing."

The direct links are beneficial to both sides of the Strait, Wu continued. "Why not get going together [over the opening of direct links] within the framework of the WTO?" he asked.

Noting that Beijing allowed him to visit China recently, Wu said the People's Republic of China "is very pragmatic" in dealing with TSU members. Wu visited Beijing not as a TSU legislator but as president of the ROC Harvard Alumni Club.

On June 6, TSU lawmakers suggested that the government should take the bold step of opening the way for Chinese nationals to travel to Taiwan. They said that this would prevent Taiwan's tourism from being negatively affected by any possible future opening of direct links with China.

The lawmakers said that once the direct links are implemented, Taiwan's tourism would shrink substantially because people in Taiwan would prefer to travel in China rather than at home.

To avoid serious consequences for Taiwan's travel industry after any possible opening of links, TSU lawmakers called upon the government to create incentives to attract Chinese visitors to Taiwan.

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