Mainland Affairs Council Minister Lai Shin-yuan (賴幸媛) yesterday said that “putting Taiwan first for the benefit of the people” is the main principle guiding the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) government’s China policy and that Taiwanese ultimately have the right to choose the future direction of cross-strait relations.
Speaking at a seminar in Taipei on continuity and changes in cross-strait relations from 2008 to this year, Lai said the core rights of Taiwanese are a key foundation for the development of cross-strait relations, and that democracy, sovereignty and security are rights that should be protected.
“It also needs to be ensured that the people have the right to decide the future development of cross-strait relations,” she said.
Lai said Taiwanese should have the right to meaningfully take part in international affairs, compete in a fair trade environment and not be discriminated against by other countries.
“Taiwan has the right to negotiate and sign economic agreements with its trade partners,” she added.
Taiwan’s traditional industries, agriculture and labor should be protected by the government during the process of regional integration, she said.
Once those core rights and interests are understood and respected, cross-strait relations can be developed in a healthy way, Lai said.
In other cross-strait developments, the Ministry of Finance announced on Friday that Taiwan would impose anti-dumping duties retroactively on benzoyl peroxide made in China because it has been sold in Taiwan at lower than market prices.
The anti-dumping duties, which will range from 4.73 percent against three specific companies to 59.7 percent against other Chinese exporters of the chemical, will be levied over a five-year period beginning retroactively from May 20 this year, according to the ministry’s Department of Customs Administration.
Benzoyl peroxide is a chemical compound often used as the active ingredient in products to treat acne, dye hair or whiten teeth because of its antiseptic and bleaching properties.
It was not the first time Taiwan had imposed anti-dumping duties on products made in China.
Chinese-made footwear has been subject to an anti-dumping duty of 43.46 percent since March 16, 2007, while Chinese-made towels have been subject to an anti-dumping duty of 204.1 percent since June 1, 2006.
The two duties are scheduled to expire on March 15, 2012, and May 31 next year respectively.