Seven major trade groups issued a joint statement yesterday welcoming the upcoming visit of Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait (ARATS) Chairman Chen Yunlin (陳雲林) on the grounds that the exchange will improve bilateral understanding.
General Chamber of Commerce chairman Chang Ping-chao (張平沼) delivered the statement on behalf of the groups, calling for further deregulation of cross-strait trade.
“Chen’s scheduled visit has drawn mixed reactions,” Chang said. “Like the majority of Taiwanese, we support more cross-strait exchanges as we believe doing so offers more advantages than disadvantages.”
The trade groups backed up their contention by citing a recent government survey showing that 50 percent of respondents favored Chen’s visit and 51 percent believed Chen’s visit would help China learn about Taiwan’s democratic achievements.
The survey also showed that 47 percent said the exchange would help ease military tension across the Taiwan Strait.
Chang, seeking to help defuse potential protests against Chen, said the government could not improve cross-strait ties while not allowing Chinese officials to visit.
“Exchanges involve two-way communication at venues on both sides of the Strait,” said Chang, whose appeal has the backing of the Chinese National Federation of Industries (工商協進會), the Chinese National Federation of Industries (全國工業總會), the Taiwan Federation of Industry (工業協進會), the National Association of Small and Medium Enterprises (中小企業協會), the Taiwan Electrical and Electronic Manufacturers’ Association (台灣電子電機公會) and the Council for Industrial and Commercial Development (工商建研會).
The trade groups said that government authorities should welcome Chen and other Chinese delegates under the principles of dignity and parity and cash in on the opportunity to seek greater benefits for Taiwanese businesspeople in China.
They said Taiwanese capital ranks the fifth-largest in China, demonstrating the importance of the Chinese market.
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