Wed, Mar 30, 2005 - Page 4 News List

China law complicates cross-strait ties, MAC says

CAUTION NEEDED The `Anti-Secession' Law must be considered when forming policy, and Taiwan should avoid Beijing's carrot-and-stick strategy, MAC officials say


The government's new measures concerning cross-strait exchanges will take into consideration China's recent enactment of the "Anti-Secession" Law, the vice chairman of the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) said yesterday.

Johnnason Liu (劉德勳) made the remarks at a breakfast meeting with the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) caucus in the Legislative Yuan.

The KMT legislative caucus invited officials from the MAC and the Council of Agriculture to report on the future course of cross-strait relations after hundreds of thousands of Taiwan people staged a march Saturday to protest against Beijing's newly-passed law.

KMT Legislator Su Chi (蘇起) said that the law, which justifies an attack on Taiwan under certain conditions it sets, is part of Beijing's carrot-and-stick approach toward Taiwan. He said that while enacting the law, Beijing has also tried to lure Taiwan with various incentives, including offering to allow the nation's agricultural products to be exported to China.

Su asked what the government will do in addition to staging the March 26 protest. In response, Liu said, the government will not restrict cross-strait exchanges that are conducive to lowering tensions.

Noting that the private sector hopes to resume cross-strait talks and that the MAC said last month that cross-strait talks can be based on the bilateral discussions in Hong Kong in 1992, Su also asked about Beijing's response.

Liu also said that the government wants to forge a national consensus on a resumption of cross-strait dialogue.

Another KMT legislator, Kuo Su-chun (郭素春), said that the Canton Fair in Guangzhou will be staged in mid-April, with five pavilions featuring Taiwan's agricultural products.

In addition to exempting Taiwanese agricultural products from a 17 percent value-added tax, Guangzhou will also facilitate customs clearance, Kuo said, adding that the government should support the participation of Taiwanese agricultural products in the fair.

Chen Chieh (陳杰), KMT caucus whip, claimed that the Council of Agriculture has not been supportive of this and has even boycotted such a move.

Council Vice Chairman Lee Chien-chuan (李健全) explained that China imposes tariffs of up to 16 percent on Taiwanese agricultural products, and that on top of this, it imposes a 17 percent value-added tax, making it difficult to export such products to China.

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