It will be the decision of Taiwanese farmers and theirs alone as to whether to sign on to Beijing's offer to drop import tariffs on 15 kinds of Taiwanese fruit, Premier Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) said yesterday.
"I must emphasize again, the government has no intention of interfering in Taiwanese farmers' business ... but it is the government's job to protect their interests," Hsieh said.
The premier said that it is the decision of farmers -- and not the opposition parties -- as to whether or not they want to do business with the Chinese government.
But he said the logistics and regulations surrounding such exports was a matter to be resolved by the governments on either side of the Taiwan Strait.
"These kinds of issues need to be settled by both governments. We will decide on our own set of regulations and not follow [the Chinese government's] lead," Hsieh said. "Otherwise, we will not be able to defend ourselves if [the Chinese] suddenly request that Taiwan provide tariff-free status on Chinese agricultural exports."
In the meantime, Hsieh also said that if Taiwanese fruit is exported to China, local farmers and government officials must be careful that production techniques do not fall into the hands of Chinese farmers. The premier also said he would take responsibility if anything goes wrong with an increase of cross-strait agricultural trade.
"If something goes wrong in the future, the person who will bow and apologize ... will be me, not Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao (
Also, Hsieh agreed with the idea that Taiwanese farmers will be able to make handsome profits from increased agricultural trade.
But an agreement should not compromise the nation's reputation as a world-class agricultural producer, Hsieh said.
"There's a chance that our position in the international produce market could take a critical blow if Chinese competitors get wind of local production methods," he said.
SHORTCOMING: The nation has signed pacts with other nations that cover either criminal or civil matters, but the issues often overlap, DPP Legislator Wang Ting-yu said Lawmakers yesterday urged the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) and the Ministry of Justice to sign mutual legal assistance pacts with more nations, as Taiwan has signed such agreements with only six countries. The legislature’s Foreign Affairs and National Defense Committee, and the Judiciary and Organic Laws and Statutes Committee held a joint meeting to review the Treaty on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters signed by Minister of Justice Tsai Ching-hsiang (蔡清祥) and Nauruan Minister for Finance and Justice David Adeang in Taipei in August last year. The agreement has not come into effect as the government is still reviewing its content,
The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) yesterday proposed an amendment to the Political Donations Act (政治獻金法) to allow those launching recall-related events to receive political donations, saying that the current regulations infringe on people’s right to recall officials. The draft amendment says that groups launching a recall of officials and those being recalled should both be able to receive political donations, but the groups initiating the process would have to pass the first stage of collecting signatures before they can ask for donations. The funds could not be used for other purposes and all donations to either side would have to be turned
Lawmakers yesterday approved the Executive Yuan’s nomination of Transitional Justice Commission Acting Chairwoman Yang Tsui (楊翠) to head the agency, as well as the nominations for seven commission members. Former commission member Yeh Hung-ling (葉虹靈) is to serve as deputy chairwoman, while commission member Peng Jen-yu (彭仁郁) is to retain her post. The new members of the commission are Judicial Reform Foundation executive director Chen Yu-fan (陳雨凡), National Chengchi University professor Frank Wang (王增勇), National Taiwan Normal University associate professor Lin Chia-fan (林佳範), Chung Yuan Christian University associate professor Hsu Wei-chun (徐偉群) and National Dong Hwa University associate professor Awi Mona. All
A DECADE’S WORK: The two-volume, 1,400-page lexicon has collected more than 20,000 words and phrases, and is expected to help people learning the Liu Dui dialect The Liu Dui Culture Research Association on Saturday unveiled the nation’s first domestically compiled lexicon of Hakka-language words in the Liu Dui dialect, an effort that took a decade of work and cost about NT$7 million (US$233,085 at the current exchange rate). The two-volume, 1,400-page lexicon collected more than 20,000 phrases and words, and is estimated to be of great value in helping people learn the Liu Dui dialect and culture, the association said. It could also become a reference book for teachers, the association added. The lexicon collected phrases and common words used in daily speech, as well as local sayings, phrases