Thu, Dec 14, 2006 - Page 3 News List

`Independence guru' Lin in call for cross-strait links

MOVING ON Lin Cho-shui believes that times have changed and links with China would not prove a great threat to Taiwanese consciousness

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  STAFF REPORTER

Former Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislator Lin Cho-shui (林濁水), who has been labeled as a guru of Taiwanese independence theory, yesterday called on the government to implement cross-strait direct transportation and lift the 40 percent ceiling on China investment.

"I don't see any reason to oppose the three direct links or why the [current China-bound investment] cap of 40 percent [of a company's net value], which I had ten years ago, is still in existence," Lin said at the launch of his his new book yesterday.

The three direct links refer to direct trade, transportation and postal services across the Taiwan Strait, which were completely suspended in 1949.

Different times

"Ten years ago, we were afraid that the opening of the three direct links and closer economic ties would do harm to a growing sense of Taiwanese consciousness. But now, this consciousness has been on the rise over the years," he said.

Add to this an era of globalization, during which businesses, especially from high-tech industries, have completed overall arrangements for both sides of the Taiwan Strait on the basis of the principle of comparative advantages, Lin said.

"Considering this, the negative impact of opening three direct links and relaxing investment barriers on Taiwan's economy would be negligible," Lin said.

Inconvenience

He added that maintaining current limitations on cross-strait interaction would only cause inconvenience for businesspeople crossing the strait.

Lin is well known for his interpretation of Taiwan's history with a view that Taiwan has never been part of China and for his legislative work in building Taiwan as an independent nation.

He resigned from the Legislature last month to protest the party's handling of the corruption scandal implicating President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) and his wife.

The DPP's Hong Chi-chang (洪奇昌), who belonged to the former New Tide faction of the party as did Lin, has made similar suggestions on cross-strait issues in the past, but came under fire for bringing up the proposals from within the party.

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