Thu, Dec 27, 2018 - Page 2 News List

Han to open Kaohsiung to Chinese buyers

By Sean Lin  /  Staff reporter

Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu gestures during an interview in Kaohsiung on Monday.

Photo: Chang Chung-yi, Taipei Times

Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) has come under fire for saying on Tuesday that he would allow Chinese to buy real estate in the city.

Han made the remark during an interview with the Chinese-language China Times.

He said that he plans to gradually relax restrictions on Chinese investment in the city’s housing market to improve the economy, adding that he would make his idea known to the Executive Yuan by attending regular meetings between the premier and local government heads.

Han said that he would gauge public opinion on the policy and not force it through.

However, when asked what he would do if the central government opposed the policy, he said: “What is there to oppose?”

He has been assembling a panel of experts to oversee Kaohsiung’s exchanges with China, and if the central and local governments were to spar on the city’s cross-strait issues, the central government “would have to budge,” Han said.

Investment across the Taiwan Strait has long been lopsided, with Taiwanese firms routinely investing tens of billions of New Taiwan dollars in China each year, while Chinese businesses have only invested a fraction of that sum, he said.

He added that he has endorsed the so-called “1992 consensus” to boost Kaohsiung’s economy so that residents can have good lives.

“The Cabinet would be obtuse for obstructing Kaohsiung’s economic growth and for failing to understand mainstream public opinion that people want good lives,” Han said.

Housing Movement spokesman Peng Yang-kai (彭揚凱) yesterday questioned whether driving up real-estate prices would “enrich Kaohsiung,” as Han promised during his election campaign.

Many countries and regions have learned their lesson after allowing Chinese to invest in their housing market, including Hong Kong, Australia and Canada, Peng said, adding that for Taiwan, the practice would also present a national security issue, which is a risk that must not be overlooked.

Han brought up the issue shortly after his inauguration, which shows that his mentality stays close to the dogma the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) has preached for almost two decades: “The economy will improve as long as house prices go up,” Peng said.

Han yesterday named former Kaohsiung County commissioner Yang Chiu-hsing (楊秋興) as convener of the city’s cross-strait panel.

The so-called “1992 consensus” — a term former Mainland Affairs Council chairman Su Chi (蘇起) in 2006 admitted making up in 2000 — refers to a tacit understanding between the KMT and the Chinese Communist Party that both sides of the Taiwan Strait acknowledge that there is “one China,” with each side having its own interpretation of what “China” means.

This story has been viewed 5351 times.

Comments will be moderated. Keep comments relevant to the article. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. Final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times.

TOP top