Former vice president Vincent Siew (蕭萬長) on Sunday urged China to work with Taiwan to elevate their economic relations to a new level.
During a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平), Siew said he put forth a proposal to work on a new structure, which could be called “cross-strait economic ties version 2.0.”
There will be three ways to achieve that goal, Siew told reporters following his meeting with Xi at the Great Hall of the People on the sidelines of an APEC leaders’ meeting in Beijing. Siew was attending the summit on behalf of President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九).
First, Siew said, China and Taiwan can work for a new mechanism in which both sides would jointly participate in regional economic blocs such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership — an effort that he believes would boost Taiwanese confidence in the government’s agenda to liberalize trade ties with China.
Second, Siew said, both sides should jointly build a new model of economic cooperation by completing the follow-up negotiations on the cross-strait Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA), focusing on the trade in goods agreement.
Third, he said, China and Taiwan should work on building a new platform of cross-strait exchanges with the general public at the center, so that grass-roots actors can participate in exchange programs and share the fruits of such exchanges.
During the 30-minute meeting with Xi and other senior Chinese officials, Siew and his delegation called on China to work with Taiwan in maintaining the three “noes” in bilateral relations: no change to the main principle of peaceful development of cross-strait ties; no change to the so-called “1992 consensus” as a basis for negotiations; and no change to institutionalizing their economic cooperation for the sake of benefiting people on both sides of the Taiwan Strait.
For his part, Xi called on Taiwan to work with China on developing “long-term and healthy” cross-strait relations.
Xi said since he took office some achievements have been made over the past year and more in the development of cross-strait ties, but he added that there are also some “new problems.”
He said both sides should strengthen their mutual trust and confidence, respect each other and engage in “benevolent interaction” to keep bilateral ties developing in a “long-term and healthy direction.”
On Taipei’s call to join regional economic integration, Xi told Siew that both sides would “actively seek ways” through communication and coordination for Taiwan to achieve that goal.
Xi said that he hopes arrangements can be made in such a way as to provide new vitality and momentum for Taiwan to develop its economy.
When China’s Taiwan Affairs Minister Zhang Zhijun (張志軍) paraphrased his president’s “directive” on the issue, Zhang told reporters that China would be willing to help Taiwan join regional economic integration.
“However, the speediest way to reach that goal is for Taiwan to deepen its economic integration with the mainland and to communicate with the mainland in advance over the issue,” Zhang said.
SPEEDING ELETRIC VEHICLES: Available without license requirements, the low-cost vehicles, especially if illicitly modified, can often reach a dangerous speed The government should crack down on illegal electric bicycles and scooters, the non-profit Consumers’ Foundation said on Friday, citing research on the potentially dangerous speed of the vehicles. Electric bicycles and lightweight electric scooters have gained popularity as they do not require registration and riders do not need licenses, the foundation said, adding that as many as 40 percent of them can reach speeds exceeding the legal limit of 25kph for non-licensed two-wheelers. Some consumers also purchased legal electric vehicles and modified them to reach higher speeds, it said. “If the government does not step up efforts to confiscate these
DIPLOMATIC MOVES: Beijing is reportedly pressing the state after reports of forming links with Taiwan, while the ministry is also planning to reopen its office in Guam soon A representative office is set to open in Somaliland at the end of this month, at the earliest, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said yesterday amid reports that Beijing is sending a diplomatic delegation to the east African country. The ministry on July 1 announced that Taiwan and Somaliland would establish representative offices, following a report by the Somaliland Chronicle Web site. It said at the time that the two nations did not plan to establish formal ties. Somaliland President Muse Bihi Abdi has instructed close confidants to explore the possibility of “mutual recognition between Taiwan and Somaliland,” the Somaliland Chronicle reported
A Belgian man who tested positive for COVID-19 in Taiwan last week is likely to have contracted the disease in Taipei in late June, National Taiwan University (NTU) College of Public Health vice dean Tony Chen (陳秀熙) said yesterday. The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on Saturday reported that the man, who is in his 20s, came to Taiwan for work on May 3 and tested positive on Wednesday last week as he was about to depart. The man in March reported loss of taste and smell, the center said, adding that he worked in Changhua County, but visited Taipei several times,
NEW CASE REPORTED: A man who returned from South Africa on a flight with the nation’s 460th and 461st cases has now tested positive for the disease The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday said that there is no need to test all arrivals to the nation for COVID-19, a policy the Executive Yuan supports. The center reported one new imported case, bringing the nation’s tally of confirmed cases to 477. The new case is a Taiwanese man in his 60s who on July 25 returned from South Africa, said Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥), who is also the CECC’s spokesman. The man had returned to Taiwan on the same flight as cases Nos. 460 and 461, reported on July 27, Chuang said. On July 24,