Mon, May 05, 2014 - Page 3 News List

ANALYSIS: Environmentalists give service pact warning

By Wu Po-hsuan and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Meanwhile, Green Consumers Foundation chairman Jay Fang (方儉) said that there are many unwritten rules in the Chinese environmental protection service sector, adding that most of the companies in the sector are closely affiliated with the Chinese government.

Fang said he wonders if the government is familiar with China’s environmental protection service sector and if it thinks that Taiwanese service providers could establish themselves successfully in the Chinese market.

Hsu said that aside of the various concerns regarding Chinese investment in the local environmental protection service sector, the gravest is that certain procedures that should be under the government’s jurisdiction would be opened up to Chinese management.

Hsu cited as an example environmental monitoring, which if opened up to Chinese investment could cause national security and information security crises.

The construction of facilites such as sewers, harbors and dams, are also on the list of items opened to Chinese investment, he said.

“If all these facilities are built using Chinese funds, the consequences for national security would be dire,” Hsu said.

Responding to questions from the environmental groups, Environmental Protection Administration Deputy Minister Yeh Shin-cheng (葉欣誠) said the draft amendments to the Standards for Defining Hazardous Industrial Waste had no relation to the service trade pact.

The draft amendments are part of an overall change to the definition of electronic waste and are still under public consultation, Yeh said, adding that the suggestions offered by environmental protection agencies on the matter are being taken under consideration.

The service trade pact would allow Chinese investment in waste processing, not the importation of waste material, Yeh said.

Addressing the concerns about Taiwan not adhering to the Basel Convention, Yeh said that although the nation is not an OECD member, it still abides by the convention’s spirit and its laws are patterned on it and other international treaties on waste materials.

“We will not allow any hazardous waste to enter Taiwan and will step up efforts to ensure our agents crack down on the illegal disposal of toxic waste,” Yeh said.

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