Thu, Oct 05, 2006 - Page 2 News List

Premier urges China to treat Taiwan as a friend


Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) yesterday urged Beijing not to treat Taiwan as an enemy since Taiwan views China as a neighbor.

Su added that the government's future cross-strait economic policies will still be based on reciprocity and the principle of mutual benefit.

The premier made the remarks to an audience of 300 China-based Taiwanese businesspeople last night at a get-together to celebrate Mid-Autumn Festival.

The event was held at the Hong Shee Villa and hosted by the Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF).

Among other officials taking part in the event were SEF Chairman Chang Chun-hsiung (張俊雄), SEF Secretary-General You Ying-lung (游盈隆), Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) Chairman Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) and Minister of Economic Affairs Steve Chen (陳瑞隆).

Su said the government has expended considerable effort to help Taiwanese businesspeople operating in China so long as such activities do not violate Taiwan's national security and infringe the government authority. The government has tried to be friendly toward China, he said.

"However, China seems to take a different stance from mine. I believe we can get along so long as the principles of equality and mutual benefit in cross-strait economic relations are respected. But China has insisted on humiliating me since I took up the premiership," Su said, noting that China intentionally blocked his visits to Haiti and Chad, which has increased cross-strait antagonism.

"I hope China will not continue to treat me like an enemy because I view it as a friend," Su said.

Chang said that assisting Taiwanese businessmen to return to Taiwan for investment is a SEF priority.

Key role to play

"The SEF should not only be a platform for communicating cross-strait policy, but should also play a role in helping our businesses return," Chang said.

Chen announced that Su's government had approved NT$200 billion (US$6.04 billion) in government loans to assist Taiwanese companies to return to Taiwan and continue their business operations here.

Wu said he has talked to businesspeople and that the MAC will attempt to act on their requests, such as lowering fares for charter flights on holidays.

"But we also hope the Legislative Yuan will reinstate the MAC and SEF's budgets so that we can really start doing something for cross-strait relations," Wu added.

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