Taiwan should adopt a pragmatic strategy to its participation in ASEAN and China should stop intervening in Taiwan’s regional economic cooperation with other countries, Vice President Vincent Siew (蕭萬長) said yesterday.
The country’s participation in ASEAN would create a win-win situation for Taiwan and the organization in pushing peace and stability in the region and economic development, he said.
“Regional economic integration has become a global trend and Taiwan must participate in ASEAN with a pragmatic attitude,” Siew said in a speech delivered at a forum held on the issue of free-trade agreements (FTA) between Taiwan and East Asian countries in Taipei.
ASEAN, established in 1967, aims to accelerate economic growth, social progress and cultural development in the region and to promote regional peace. It comprises Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar. Arguing that a Taiwan-ASEAN free trade pact would be beneficial to both sides, Siew said that Taiwan ranks as the third largest source of foreign investment in Thailand and Cambodia and the largest source in Vietnam, with investment amounting to US$1.8 billion last year alone, up 630 percent over the previous year. Taiwanese investment in Singapore last year reached US$1.2 billion, up 46 percent, with the figure for the Philippines rising 878 percent to US$200 million, he added.
All these statistics clearly illustrate that Taiwan has brought technological development and job opportunities to the region and that the importance of this bilateral cooperation has been increasing significantly, Siew said.
Siew said Taiwan has expressed many times its wish to join ASEAN, but was rejected because of obstructions from China. He urged the Chinese government to soften its stance.
“China should change its rigid policies and stop interfering in Taiwan’s participation in regional economic cooperation,” he said.
Siew said the government would improve its relations with China and try to sign an FTA with China, seeking to reduce obstructions when negotiating with ASEAN members in the future.
Siew said Taiwan’s GDP could get a significant boost if it were allowed to join the ASEAN plus three (China, Japan and South Korea), or if a cross-strait FTA were inked. He said that Taiwan’s economy would suffer greatly if the country fails to join ASEAN before it expands into ASEAN plus six, with India, Australia and New Zealand also joining.
Siew stressed that Taiwan would use its geographical and transportation advantages to promote the development of peace and stability in the region and at the same time maintain its practical approach to achieving greater economic integration with the region to the benefit of all parties involved.
A former ASEAN secretary-general, Rodolfo Severino, suggested in the forum that Taiwan should join the ASEAN as an “economic entity,” rather than as a sovereign country. The economic relations between Taiwan and Southeast Asian countries were complicated, and ASEAN was also pondering on how to include both China and Taiwan in the organization, he said.
Severino said Southeast Asian countries understood the economic strength of Taiwan, and wanted to strengthen economic ties. However, Taiwan would not be able to join ASEAN if the country failed to adopt a pragmatic strategy.
ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY CNA
UNDER INVESTIGATION: Huang’s body was found just outside the bathroom and showed no signs of a struggle, and no alcohol or drugs were found Singer and actor Alien Huang (黃鴻升) was found dead at his home in Taipei’s Beitou District (北投) yesterday. He was 36. Huang was also known by the nickname Xiao Gui (“little ghost”). His body was found when his father went to check on him after being unable to reach him by telephone, and called emergency services to the house at 11am, the Taipei City Police Department said. Huang’s body, which was discovered just outside the bathroom, showed no signs of a physical struggle, and he appeared to have been dead for some time, police said, adding that no drugs or alcohol were
CONFIRMED IN PHILIPPINES: The CECC would conduct contact tracing for the migrant workers to determine if they had come into contact with elderly people or children Six Filipinos tested positive for COVID-19 upon returning home from Taiwan, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday as it reported a case of imported COVID-19 infection, bringing the number of confirmed cases in Taiwan to 500. Philippine authorities reported four of the cases through the National IHR Focal Point, while the other two were reported by the company that they had worked for in Taiwan. The six — five women and one man — are aged from their 20s to 40s, and worked as in-home care workers, domestic workers, factory workers and sailors in Taiwan, said Minister of Health and
TIME FOR CHANGE: Most of those at a public hearing organized by the DPP’s Chung Chia-pin also agreed that the Control Yuan and Examination Yuan should be abolished Taiwan needs a new constitution, as the current one was adopted in Nanjing in 1946, when the Republic of China (ROC) represented all of China, while the Control Yuan and Examination Yuan should be abolished, legal experts and academics said yesterday during a public hearing at the Legislative Yuan in Taipei. Chang Kun-sheng (張錕盛), a law professor and secretary-general of the Taiwan Administrative Law Association, said that it is time to draft a new constitution. The ROC Constitution was adopted during a National Constituent Assembly meeting in Nanjing shortly after World War II and before the Chinese Civil War had fully erupted,
The COVID-19 pandemic might not have originated from a seafood market in Wuhan, China, National Taiwan University College of Public Health professor Tony Chen (陳秀熙) said yesterday. While many countries are experiencing second waves of COVID-19 infections, many are also lifting lockdowns to revive their economies, allowing travelers to cross national borders, Chen said. Academics have been questioning whether genetic mutations in the novel coronavirus in different countries have made it more infectious, he added. Academics from different backgrounds have conducted phylogenetic analysis of SARS-CoV-2 genome sequences, he said, adding that the studies can help scientists understand how the virus spread among