President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday led government officials in explaining the cross-strait service trade agreement at a forum in Greater Taichung in a bid to ease concerns about its impact on local businesses.
Ma said that failing to implement the pact would damage Taiwan’s reputation.
The pact, which was signed on June 21, would open 64 domestic industries in the service sector to Chinese investment. China, on the other hand, would allow Taiwanese investment in 80 businesses in the sector.
Ma dismissed criticism that the pact would damage local service industries, insisting that opening up the service sector would prepare the nation for free-trade agreements and facilitate the nation’s efforts to join regional economic and trade pacts.
“We have no reason to be pessimistic about the agreement or to be afraid of its impact. The government will try its best to minimize possible damage and maximize the business opportunities the agreement can create,” he told the forum at the Tempus Hotel.
The forum is the first in a series of meetings organized by the Ministry of Economic Affairs with representatives of companies in the service sector aimed at easing their concerns about the pact’s impact.
Citing the examples of the beauty salon and hair industry, Ma said any Chinese companies that are planning to invest in the industries would go through a strict examination. He also said that the government would not allow Chinese workers to enter Taiwan.
“Only supervisors or those in management-level positions at Chinese companies are allowed to come to Taiwan. Besides, Chinese investment [in the service sector] will create more job opportunities in Taiwan,” he said.
The cross-strait service trade agreement is a follow-up to the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) which was signed in 2010. Ma said the government would continue to discuss trade agreements with China.
“The world has paid close attention to our signing of the cross-strait service trade agreement. Taiwan’s international reputation would be affected if we failed to implement the agreement,” Ma said.
LOOPHOLES: The people behind biased media content produced by a Chinese network, likely without sending staff to Taiwan, remain anonymous, a source said Beijing’s latest attempt at psychological warfare through heavily biased online media is aimed at sowing discord and polarizing Taiwanese society, the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) said. The council’s comment came in response to Chinese network Southeast Television, which late last month began broadcasting an online program featuring commentary by Taiwanese unification supporters that authorities suspect was filmed illegally in Taiwan. To circumvent cross-strait regulations, the broadcaster collaborated with online service provider Baidu to air the series titles Diverse Voices From the Taiwan Strait (台海百家說). Only Taiwanese are shown on camera, without revealing the host, interviewer or production team. In one video, political commentator and
RULES IGNORED: CDC Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang said that crew members who break the rules would be required to complete the full 14-day quarantine Three EVA Airways flight attendants were fired last month and this month after they failed to follow the government’s quarantine requirements. This was the first time that flight attendants have lost their jobs for quarantine failures. One flight attendant reportedly breached the quarantine mandate by going to school, visiting relatives and dining with friends, while lying to the company about her activities, EVA Air said. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) have established disease prevention measures for cabin crew members, such as monitoring their health and reporting their temperature daily, the company said. While on flight duty, crew
A group of overseas Taiwanese in Norway are taking a case on their national identity to the European Court of Human Rights — with plans to file the case in the first half of next year — after Norway’s Supreme Court rejected their appeal to change their listed nationality from “China” to “Taiwan,” Joseph Liu, a Taiwanese lawyer living in Norway, told reporters on Monday. One of the initiators of the movement, “My Name, My Right,” Liu and his group plan to hire lawyers from the UK and France who know European law and have knowledge of Asia to represent them,
SUPPRESSION: Michael Tsai, a former defense minister, said that Beijing’s list of Taiwan independence advocates contravenes the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights The best way to respond to threats from China against Taiwan independence advocates is for the president to publicly reiterate Taiwan’s sovereignty, former minister of national defense Michael Tsai (蔡明憲) said on Sunday. Chinese media on Nov. 15 said that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) was compiling “a list of stubborn Taiwanese separatists and will severely punish them in accordance with [China’s] Anti-Secession Law and hold them accountable for their actions for the rest of their lives.” Chinese media subsequently accused Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) of being a “first-rate war criminal,” because of his policy on mask exports. “The vast majority