Sun, Oct 15, 2006 - Page 3 News List

DPP slams KMT-PRC agriculture meet

COMPETITION The DPP said that Taiwan has lost key agricultural assets -- funding, people and technology -- owing to rising investments and trademark piracy in China

By Flora Wang  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) yesterday questioned the effectiveness of an upcoming cross-strait forum on agricultural affairs to be jointly held by the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and the Chinese government.

The forum is scheduled to be held in Fujian, China, on Tuesday and Wednesday.

The director of the DPP's Department of Chinese Affairs Lai I-chung (賴怡忠) told a press conference that a fundamental problem underlying cross-strait agricultural exchanges was that the Chinese market was "out of order."

Chinese farmers have been dumping products in the Tai-wanese market, but the safety and quality of these products cannot be guaranteed, he said.

As more and more Taiwanese farmers invest in agriculture in China, there is also a risk that Taiwan's agricultural technology may be "stolen" by Chinese farmers, he added.

DPP Legislator Wu Ming-ming (吳明敏), who was also at the conference, said that funding, technology and personnel were the keys to the country's agricultural strengths, but after cross-strait agricultural exchanges began, Taiwan has gradually lost these agricultural assets to China.

He added that many Chinese manufacturers also pirate trademarks of Taiwanese products or add the word "Taiwan" to their product names to take advantage of the good image and reputation that Taiwanese products enjoy abroad.

Many consumers have been deceived by these fake trademarks or product names, he said, adding that the counterfeit items have gradually seized the market share of Taiwanese products in other countries such as Japan.

Wu told the media that about 30,000 cases of copyright violations have been put on hold in China, but he did not have detailed information as to how many of them were related to Taiwanese trademarks.

"If the forum is really being held to uphold Taiwanese people's interests, I hope the forum deals with the copyright issue first," he said.

Drawing on a survey done by the party's survey center on 1,018 people between Oct. 3 and Oct. 5, Lai said that close to 90 percent of respondents were worried about food safety as more and more Chinese agricultural products were being sold in Taiwan.

About 60 percent of respondents said they were worried that Taiwanese agricultural products may lose their edge in the global market as more and more Taiwan-ese investors transfer advanced agricultural technologies to China.

More than 60 percent of respondents said they did not believe that the forum between the KMT and the Chinese government could solve the fundamental problems relating to cross-strait agricultural exchange.

Lai added that only through "government-to-government" nego-tiations under the framework of the WTO could these problems be addressed.

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