Wed, Aug 19, 2015 - Page 3 News List

Chinese transit proposal not on agenda: MAC

By Stacy Hsu  /  Staff reporter

The Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) yesterday said that a proposal to allow Chinese to make transit stops in Taiwan en route to other nations would not be included in the agenda of the 11th cross-strait summit to be held next week.

The council made the remarks at a Taipei news conference on the upcoming summit between the Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) and China’s Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS), in Fuzhou, China, from Monday to Wednesday next week.

“We had hoped to be able to make public a consensus forged by both sides of the Taiwan Strait on the [transit stops] issue at the approaching summit. However, given that we have yet to settle on the issues of greatest concern to each side, a consensus might not be reached before the meeting,” MAC Deputy Minister Lin Chu-chia (林祖嘉) told reporters.

Lin would not be drawn on questions over whether the “delayed publication of common opinions” meant the agreement reached between MAC Minister Andrew Hsia (夏立言) and China’s Taiwan Affairs Office Minister Zhang Zhijun (張志軍) during a meeting in Kinmen in May was a “bounced check.”

The pair said they would forge a consensus on the transit stops issue in the middle of this year and make public their opinions at the summit.

“Our side wants to separate the issues of transit stops and optimizing flight routes across the strait, given that the former is common international practice and can be implemented instantly, while the latter requires more time for discussion,” Lin said.

“Unfortunately, the mainland [China] aspires to see results on both issues,” Lin said, adding that the council would nonetheless continue its endeavor to obtain a green light for Taipei’s cross-strait layovers proposal.

Regarding an agreement on the avoidance of double taxation, which is to be signed at the summit, a Ministry of Finance official said the agreement is expected to alleviate the tax burden of Taiwanese businesspeople and corporations in China and increase Taiwan’s appeal to foreign investors.

Director of International Finance Sung Hsiu-ling (宋秀玲) said that after the agreement takes effect, it is estimated to reduce the tax burden on China-based Taiwanese companies by NT$4 billion (US$122.5 million) and bring the government additional annual tax revenue of between NT$8.1 billion and NT$13.3 billion.

As for a cross-strait aviation safety agreement also to be inked at the summit, Deputy Minister of Transportation and Communications Wu Meng-feng (吳盟分) said it would allow aviation personnel on both sides of the Taiwan Strait to examine and repair aircraft belonging to the other side.

“This will significantly reduce airline companies’ operating costs, boost their global competitiveness and decrease the frequency of delayed flights due to mechanical problems,” Wu said.

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