Shop owners and suppliers in the traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) sector have said their businesses are under threat after the sector was included in the cross-strait service trade agreement, adding that “the government is killing Taiwanese industry.”
“Under this government’s policy, traditional Chinese medicine businesses will disappear,” said Chu Pu-lin (朱溥霖), chairman of the National Union of Chinese Medicine Associations of the ROC.
Traditional Chinese medicine is among the sectors to be opened up to Chinese investment in the cross-strait pact, which was signed in Shanghai on Friday.
Chu said that about 90 percent of the ingredients and materials used in traditional herbal medicine are imported from China.
“For Taiwan, we do not produce these materials, and for the finished products, we cannot sell them back to China. The terms of the agreement are very unequal,” he said.
“Once we open up our market, Chinese companies can control the supplies at source. They also have much lower costs for labor, marketing and other overheads than Taiwanese firms. Once the market is opened up, there will be a price war,” he added.
Chu said that some Chinese firms currently sell their products through Taiwanese retailers, but under the cross-strait agreement, they will be able to make direct sales in Taiwan
“Chinese companies are close to their suppliers, and they have lower labor costs. Their overall prices will be cheaper than those of Taiwanese firms,” he added.
“The government is forcing Taiwanese traditional Chinese medicine companies to hand over this business to China,” Chu said. “Our government is supposed to help Taiwanese companies do business, but instead, they are trying to kill us off.”
Chu said the government had consulted with local TCM companies regarding the agreement and had encountered widespread opposition to inclusion in the pact.
“It seems the government did not care for our objections, and it did not explain contents of the agreement to us. Now the industry will have a hard time to adjust,” he said.
THE CHINA CONNECTION: As Beijing’s aggression increases, so does Taiwanese consciousness, making a new constitution imperative, Hsu Wei-chun said If the nation is to ratify a new constitution, it must first end any illusions about the current document’s relevance to Taiwan, an academic told a forum in Taipei yesterday. For the constitutional revisionist movement to succeed, it needs public enthusiasm, the right timing and a clear plan of action, Chung Yuan Christian University associate professor Hsu Wei-chun (徐偉群) told attendees at the event titled “Imagining a New Constitution for a New Era,” which was organized by the National Taiwan University Graduate Student Association. The Constitution exists under the “one China” framework and has little relevance to Taiwan, Hsu said, adding that
Former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday urged Beijing to respect the median line of the Taiwan Strait by immediately stopping its military intimidation of Taiwan, as such actions would only hurt the feelings of Taiwanese. Beijing should immediately stop making military provocations against Taiwan, Ma wrote on Facebook after Chinese warplanes in the past week have made numerous forays across the median line that divides the Taiwan Strait. Although it has never officially acknowledged the median line, Beijing used to respect it, Ma said in response to comments on Monday by Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Wang Wenbin (汪文斌), who said
IDENTITY: The time is right to press on with a referendum, as the nation has heightened visibility and support in the global community, the Taiwan United Nations Alliance said The Taiwan United Nations Alliance yesterday said that it is considering launching a petition for a referendum proposal to have the nation join the UN under the name “Taiwan.” Alliance chairman Twu Shiing-jer (涂醒哲) was joined at a news conference in Taipei by Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Huang Hsiu-fang (黃秀芳) and leaders of the Presbyterian Church in Taiwan and civic organizations. They said that it is the right time for a petition because Taiwan’s visibility on the world stage has increased, as it has been praised for its success in containing its COVID-19 outbreak and for helping other countries by sharing
An advertisement displayed in the corridor of the underground Taipei City Mall has caused contention online with social media users saying that it depicts Taiwanese bears as servants of Chinese pandas. The advertisement — which imitates the style of an ancient Chinese painting, but replaces people with bears — shows a scene in imperial China, with Formosan black bears laboring, while pandas relax and enjoy beverages. “The development of the tourism industry is important, but this type of targeted advertising is extremely disrespectful — and it makes people uncomfortable,” Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Taipei City Councilor Chen E-jun (陳怡君) said. The advertisement, under