Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait (ARATS) Deputy Chairman Zheng Lizhong (鄭立中) met farmers in Tainan County on Monday to promote the direct sale of Taiwanese agricultural products to China, sources said yesterday.
Zheng’s visit was aimed at gaining a first-hand understanding of Taiwanese farmers’ ideas in the wake of the signing of the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) on June 29.
In an attempt to keep his visit to Tainan low key, Zheng refused to answer press questions or provide a statement.
Local media sources, however, quoted Zheng as saying he was visiting Taiwan in his capacity as deputy director of the Chinese Communist Party’s Central Office for Taiwan Affairs.
Zheng was also quoted as saying that through this visit — which will last until the end of this month — he hopes to gain a better understanding of what types of agricultural produce China could order from Taiwanese farmers as well as the difficulties that the farmers face in selling their products directly to China.
He reportedly also suggested that farmers set up agricultural cooperatives, product production and sales units or companies to sell produce directly to China to avoid being exploited by middlemen.
In light of brisk sales of Taiwanese milkfish in Shenzhen, China, the inspection of milkfish production and sales is also a major part of Zheng’s visit to Tainan, the reports said.
He is heading an eight-member delegation mainly composed of Chinese officials responsible for Taiwan affairs.