Thu, Jan 04, 2007 - Page 3 News List

TSU lambastes AmCham over editorial

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  STAFF REPORTER

Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) lawmakers yesterday urged the American Chamber of Commerce in Taipei (AmCham) to refrain from putting its members' business interests ahead of Taiwan's national interests.

The appeal was in response to an editorial in the latest edition of Taiwan Business TOPICS, the chamber's magazine, which listed disadvantages of the current cap on Taiwanese investment in China of 40 percent of a company's net worth.

"Once again we urge that the narrow political agenda of minor parties not be allowed to block an important step to ensure Taiwan's continued economic relevance," AmCham said in the editorial.

Although AmCham didn't specify which minority parties it referred to, TSU lawmakers called a press conference to criticize the organization.

"We are not saying that we are a minority party, but we have to make it clear that [AmCham's] argument was wrong," TSU Legislator Liao Pen-yen (廖本煙) said.

Liao said that past experiences had shown that increased investment in China was detrimental to the people of Taiwan.

"The national unemployment rate rose and the economic growth rate decreased in 2001, when the government's cross-strait policies were based on the principle of `active opening and effective management,'" Liao said.

"However, when the government reversed the principle to `active management and effective opening' in 2004, the economy started to show signs of recovery," he said.

Liao said that Taiwan's investment in China had reached 50.3 percent of the country's GDP, making Taiwan the country with the highest percentage of its GDP invested in China. He said South Korea invested 2.7 percent, Japan 0.6 percent and the US 0.3 percent.

Citing these data from the Chinese government, Liao asked why US businesspeople did not invest more in China if they were of the opinion that China was a profitable market.

Liao said that AmCham was dominated by taishang, Taiwanese businesspeople with investments overseas, and that this explained its "distorted" editorial.

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