Thu, Oct 18, 2007 - Page 3 News List

KMT legislators pan government rejection of CIC

By Loa Iok-sin  /  STAFF REPORTER

Pan-blue legislators grilled Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) Chairman Chen Ming-tong (陳明通) yesterday over the council's rejection of China Investment Corp's (CIC) plan to include Taiwan as an investment target.

CIC chairman Lou Jiwei (樓繼偉) told the Chinese Communist Party's (CCP) National Congress in Beijing on Tuesday that the company was going to invest in Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan, Xinhua news agency reported.

CIC is a state-owned company, backed by Chinese foreign exchange reserves, that invests in overseas financial markets, the report said.

Asked by lawmakers during a Home and Nations Committee meeting to comment on the government's rejection, Chen said the government would not allow CIC to enter the Taiwanese market.

"CIC is a sovereign wealth fund that draws its funding from the foreign exchange reserves of the People's Bank [of China]. Its operations are not open and transparent," Chen said.

"Current policy and laws bar it from entering the [Taiwanese] market," he said.

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) lawmakers disagreed.

"People have been complaining that too much money is going into China. Now that there is an attempt for money to flow in the other direction, why won't you allow it?" KMT Legislator Ting Shou-chung (丁守中) asked.

KMT Legislator Wu Ching-chih (吳清池) said that welcoming Chinese capital would boost Taiwan's economy.

"You can stop it now, but can you really stop it if it eventually gets in through a Hong Kong-based subsidiary?" Wu asked.

Taiwan Solidarity Union Legislator David Huang (黃適卓) praised the council's decision on CIC.

He also voiced concern that "the Chinese government might try to get its hands on Taiwan's financial and stock markets through the CIC."

"The announcement may simply be a strategy of China to cause a stir in public opinion and influence next year's presidential election," Huang said.

Ting and Wu also slammed the MAC chief for rejecting Chinese President Hu Jintao's (胡錦濤) cross-strait peace proposal.

During his speech to the opening of the CCP congress on Monday, Hu urged Taiwan to discuss ending tensions with Beijing by signing a peace pact and building a framework for peaceful cross-strait relations on the basis of the "one China" principle.

The government rejected Hu's proposal on the grounds that "the `one China' the Chinese leader mentioned was the People's Republic of China [PRC]," Chen said yesterday.

"You can interpret `one China' as meaning the Republic of China, and then everything will be fine," Wu said.

Chen disagreed.

"China has clearly said that `one China' is the PRC and it has openly rejected the idea of `one China, two interpretations,'" Chen said.

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