Wed, Jun 05, 2019 - Page 3 News List

KMT lawmakers urge response to US-China row

By Sean Lin  /  Staff reporter

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) lawmakers Alex Fai (費鴻泰) and William Tseng (曾銘宗) yesterday urged the administration of President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) to devise response measures to the US-China trade dispute, lest it evolve into a financial crisis.

The call came two days after Hon Hai Precision Industry Co chairman Terry Gou (郭台銘), who is seeking the KMT’s presidential nomination, accused Tsai of not calling a national security meeting to devise response measures to the trade spat, whose adverse effects, he said, could spill over into the nation’s business sector and domestic market.

Tsai on Monday responded to Gou on Facebook, saying that she has held several meetings about the trade dispute, including a national security meeting.

She also listed the government’s responses to the trade row.

Saying that the trade dispute has become protracted and evolved into a “technology dispute,” Tseng asked whether Washington’s “heavy-handed” approach to its rivalry with Beijing would force Taiwan’s technology firms to “take sides.”

The government should address the problem and not allow local businesses to become victims of the dispute, he said.

Tseng, a former chairman of the Financial Supervisory Commission, said that the New Taiwan dollar, the South Korean Won and the Chinese yuan have depreciated more than 2 percent since last month, and urged the Tsai administration to devise plans to respond to a scenario in which the trade row triggers a global financial crisis.

The Tsai administration has been trumpeting its goal to attract NT$500 billion (US$15.88 billion) in funds repatriated by Taiwanese firms moving their operations back from China, Fai said.

However, Deputy Minister of Economic Affairs Lin Chuan-neng (林全能) told lawmakers that of the 61 approved investment plans submitted by returning firms, totaling NT$310 billion, only about NT$113.7 billion would be injected as capital by the end of this year, he added.

Taiwanese’s primary concern is whether the trade dispute would escalate into a financial crisis, Fai said, comparing international trade to blood circulation, which he said would give Taiwan’s economy “a stroke” if congested.

He warned the government that the dispute might turn into a catastrophe similar to the 1997-1998 Asian financial crisis and the 2008 global financial crisis.

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