Sat, Mar 25, 2006 - Page 3 News List

MAC official rejects Beijing's `peaceful' business proposal

CNA , TAIPEI

A Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) official expressed opposition yesterday to Beijing's plan to develop China's Fujian Province into a "peaceful cooperation experimental district on the west coast of the Taiwan Strait," known in its shortened form as the "Haixi District development plan."

MAC Chief Secretary Jan Jyh-horng (詹志宏) said during a colloquium that Beijing's plan -- put forward by Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao (溫家寶) during the National People's Congress held earlier this month -- is aimed at enticing more Taiwanese businesses and industries to relocate their operations to Fujian, a move that will be detrimental to Taiwan's overall industrial development in the long run.

Jan said he doubts the feasibility of the plan, pointing out that while promoting a plan to woo Taiwanese investors, Beijing has repeatedly stressed its "one China" policy and WTO regulations -- two mutually contradictory ideas.

He said that the greatest barrier to the development of cross-strait relations is that the two sides cannot engage in normal dialogue, adding that although the MAC has made strenuous efforts to resume long-stalled cross-strait dialogue, the efforts and related calls have fallen on deaf ears in China.

Vincent Siew (蕭萬長), chairman of the Chung-Hua Institution for Economic Research think tank, however, suggested that the government give the plan a try and take the initiative to ask the Chinese authorities to provide sounder infrastructure in Fujian Province and better investment incentives for Taiwanese businesses and investors, who could use Fujian as a gateway to other markets in the Pearl River and Yangtze River regions.

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