Former vice president Vincent Siew (蕭萬長) on Sunday urged China to work with Taiwan to elevate their economic relations to a new level.
During a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平), Siew said he put forth a proposal to work on a new structure, which could be called “cross-strait economic ties version 2.0.”
There will be three ways to achieve that goal, Siew told reporters following his meeting with Xi at the Great Hall of the People on the sidelines of an APEC leaders’ meeting in Beijing. Siew was attending the summit on behalf of President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九).
First, Siew said, China and Taiwan can work for a new mechanism in which both sides would jointly participate in regional economic blocs such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership — an effort that he believes would boost Taiwanese confidence in the government’s agenda to liberalize trade ties with China.
Second, Siew said, both sides should jointly build a new model of economic cooperation by completing the follow-up negotiations on the cross-strait Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA), focusing on the trade in goods agreement.
Third, he said, China and Taiwan should work on building a new platform of cross-strait exchanges with the general public at the center, so that grass-roots actors can participate in exchange programs and share the fruits of such exchanges.
During the 30-minute meeting with Xi and other senior Chinese officials, Siew and his delegation called on China to work with Taiwan in maintaining the three “noes” in bilateral relations: no change to the main principle of peaceful development of cross-strait ties; no change to the so-called “1992 consensus” as a basis for negotiations; and no change to institutionalizing their economic cooperation for the sake of benefiting people on both sides of the Taiwan Strait.
For his part, Xi called on Taiwan to work with China on developing “long-term and healthy” cross-strait relations.
Xi said since he took office some achievements have been made over the past year and more in the development of cross-strait ties, but he added that there are also some “new problems.”
He said both sides should strengthen their mutual trust and confidence, respect each other and engage in “benevolent interaction” to keep bilateral ties developing in a “long-term and healthy direction.”
On Taipei’s call to join regional economic integration, Xi told Siew that both sides would “actively seek ways” through communication and coordination for Taiwan to achieve that goal.
Xi said that he hopes arrangements can be made in such a way as to provide new vitality and momentum for Taiwan to develop its economy.
When China’s Taiwan Affairs Minister Zhang Zhijun (張志軍) paraphrased his president’s “directive” on the issue, Zhang told reporters that China would be willing to help Taiwan join regional economic integration.
“However, the speediest way to reach that goal is for Taiwan to deepen its economic integration with the mainland and to communicate with the mainland in advance over the issue,” Zhang said.
Taiwan might be China’s next target after it has “walled off” Hong Kong from the rest of the world with its new national security legislation, Academia Sinica Institute of Sociology fellow Wu Jieh-min (吳介民) said on Thursday. At a seminar organized by the Economic Democracy Union, the Taiwan Association for Human Rights, the Hong Kong Outlanders and the Judicial Reform Foundation, Wu said that the legislation is simultaneously a fig leaf concealing Beijing’s autocratic rule in Hong Kong and a figurative “Berlin Wall,” denying democratic countries access to Hong Kong. Wu said it is evident that Taiwan would be China’s next target. The
SAFETY CONCERNS: A construction company working nearby admitted to negligence in the incident, and is to pay a fine and other expenses related to damages Residents of homes adjacent to an alleyway in New Taipei City’s Yonghe District (永和) on Saturday were forced to evacuate their homes after the road collapsed, the New Taipei City government said yesterday. An 80m by 4m area in an alleyway on Wenhua Road (文化路) collapsed at 10:39am near an apartment building construction site where work was being done on the project’s foundation. The incident also ruptured an underground gas pipe and tilted several buildings in the area. Residents would not be able to return to their homes until tomorrow or Wednesday, when repairs are expected to be finished, the city government said. Workers
CHALLENGER DEEP: Lin Ying-Tsong was invited by Caladan Oceanic founder Victor Vescovo to join him on a 10-hour long trip in the company’s submersible Taiwanese-American Lin Ying-Tsong (林穎聰) last month became the first person from Asia and the 12th in human history to dive into the deepest part on Earth, the Challenger Deep in the Mariana Trench. Lin, 45, an expert in deep sea acoustics with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) in Massachusetts, joined US adventurer and Caladan Oceanic founder Victor Vescovo, 54, on June 22 in a descent to the central pool of the Challenger Deep, the deepest point of the trench, which lies at a depth of more than 10,900m. The pair made the descent in a submersible named Limiting Factor, a US$37
ARMS RACE: Two DPP lawmakers said that China’s development model differed from Taiwan’s, as it aims to become a global hegemon, while Taiwan seeks to protect itself Taiwanese national defense experts are split on how Taiwan should respond to the ever-growing budget of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA), with some advocating for Taiwan to increase defense spending, while others say that little can be done. The Legislative Yuan approved NT$358 billion (US$12.1 billion) for national defense spending across fiscal 2020, a 3.47 percent increase compared with last year, while China’s military budget this year is NT$5.4 trillion, more than 15 times that of Taiwan. Regardless of whether the government adopts a zero-based budgeting method for national defense spending — in which all expenses are justified and approved each