A slew of trade deals negotiated by Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) to sell NT$5.2 billion (US$168.5 million) worth of Taiwanese agricultural products to cities in southern China is under Beijing’s direct control, a Hong Kong newspaper reported on Tuesday.
The Chinese-language Sing Pao Daily News reported that the deals were negotiated through Chinese state-owned enterprises, and that they fell under the supervision of China’s State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission.
A deal negotiated in Hong Kong also falls under Beijing’s control, as it was handled through the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in Hong Kong and Macau, the report said.
Han last week visited Hong Kong, Macau, and Shenzhen and Xiamen to negotiate trade deals.
At a news conference on Tuesday, China’s Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO) praised Han’s trip for making achievements in the areas of trade, education and cultural exchanges, tourism and the establishment of mechanisms for cross-strait interactions.
TAO spokesman An Fengshan (安峰山) said the achievements were the embodiment of the concept that “both sides of the Taiwan Strait belong to one family.”
“This demonstrates that on the foundation of persisting with the ‘1992 consensus,’ there are vast prospects for cities on both sides of the Taiwan Strait,” An said, adding that he “welcomes the strengthening of city-to-city exchanges on this foundation.”
However, Sing Pao said that Han’s deal in Hong Kong was facilitated through the Hong Kong Liaison Office and made with a company under the supervision of Beijing using the Fujian Provincial Government as a proxy.
The deal in Shenzhen was made with a firm that is the city government’s sole appointed wholesaler of “grade A” agricultural products, it said, adding it was made under China’s National Development and Reform Commission.
“It is clear that the deals Han Kuo-yu reaped on his trip to China were gifts from the Chinese Communist Party [CCP],” the report said.
The report implied that Beijing intended to raise Han’s stature in Taiwan, thereby securing his victory should he run in next year’s presidential election.
One unnamed analyst said that, while Han’s deals look good on paper, Taiwan’s produce market is already overly reliant on China.
About 97 percent of exported Golden Diamond brand pineapples are sold to China and Beijing can control the fruit’s price, the analyst said.
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 Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and the CCP that both sides acknowledge there is “one China,” with each side having its own interpretation of what “China” means.
OVERHAUL NEEDED: The government should improve its agricultural processing capabilities and expand to new markets to limit its reliance on China, an expert said China’s ban on Taiwanese pineapples was “unsurprising,” and Taiwan should have years ago altered its produce export strategies and target customers, experts said. China on Friday abruptly suspended imports of pineapples from Taiwan, saying that it had on multiple occasions discovered “harmful biological entities” on the fruit. Calling it an “unfriendly” move, the Council of Agriculture (COA) said that 99.79 percent of the pineapples sent to China since last year have met China’s import standards. Chiao Chun (焦鈞), the author of Fruits and Politics — A Recollection of Cross-strait Agricultural Interaction Over the Past Decade (水果政治學：兩岸農業交流十年回顧與展望), said that China’s announcement is clearly targeting
The Council of Agriculture yesterday signed a Taiwan-Australia Agricultural Cooperation Implementation clause to open a new export market for the nation’s pineapple crop. The clause is an addition to existing cooperation measures, it said. China on Friday last week abruptly announced that it would suspend pineapple imports from Taiwan starting on Monday, on grounds that it had on multiple occasions discovered “harmful organisms” in shipments of the fruit. The public and private sectors have since joined hands to purchase the local fruit to help the nation’s pineapple farmers. Canberra has requested that all pineapples for export to Australia have their crown buds removed,
DECADES OF INFLUENCE: Over the past 20 years, China has made inroads with Aborigines, funding political campaigns and trips, a legislator said Lawmakers have called on the National Security Bureau to investigate claims of pervasive Chinese influence among Aboriginal communities. Legislators pointed to a surge in communist propaganda and Chinese-funded projects over the past few years, which they say are aimed at infiltrating and buying political influence among Aboriginal communities. “China has for decades carried out wide-ranging ‘united front’ tactics and propaganda campaigns targeting Aborigines,” said Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Chen Ying (陳瑩), a member of the Puyuma community in Taitung County. “Now, they are influencing elections for local councilors and village chiefs, offering money for candidates to mount their campaigns, and to
DISSATISFACTION? If the referendums collect more than 700,000 signatures each, they would have gotten the most signatures in the shortest time, the party said The Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) two referendum petitions — one on banning the importation of pork with traces of ractopamine and the other on holding referendums on the same day as national elections — had as of Thursday gathered 691,398 and 674,497 signatures respectively, the party said yesterday. If the petitions collect more than 700,000 signatures apiece, they would have garnered the most signatures in the shortest time since the Referendum Act (公民投票法) was amended in 2017, party officials said. The KMT proposed the “anti-ractopamine pork” or “food safety” referendum just days after President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) announcement on Aug. 28 last