Taiwan: Taiwan's New Premier Vows Closer China Ties as Pact Moves Nearer
Below is an article published by Channelnewsasia :
Taiwan's new premier vowed Thursday [10 September] to pursue closer ties with China, as local media reported the island could sign an agreement on financial cooperation with the mainland "any time".
Wu Den-yih was speaking after being sworn in as the head of Taiwan's new cabinet, succeeding Liu Chao-shiuan, who quit this week to take political responsibility for the government's response to last month's Typhoon Morakot.
Speaking after the ceremony, Wu said his predecessor had done well, praising his efforts to improve relations with former rival China.
"We will continue to push for Liu's cross-strait policy to promote peace and prosperity for both sides," Wu said.
Taiwan will also work to strike a major trade pact and a memorandum of understanding on financial cooperation with China, Wu said, without giving any timetable.
Earlier in the day, the Taipei-based Economic Daily News, citing unnamed finance officials, said the memorandum of understanding will "happen soon, and could be signed any time".
"There is only a small number of remaining issues on the memorandum of understanding, and the issues are small and easily overcome," an official at the Financial Supervisory Commission told the paper.
The agreement will pave the way for Chinese institutional investment in Taiwanese stocks, making it possible for the local bourse to tap the huge liquidity on the mainland, the paper said.
It will also eventually enable seven Taiwan banks that currently have representative offices in China to upgrade to branch status, allowing them to carry out business on the mainland, according to the report.
The two sides have worked on the agreement since April, amid rapid improvement in economic ties.
Taiwan share prices closed up 1.12 percent Thursday led by financials, partly in reaction to the newspaper report on the upcoming agreement with China.
Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou was voted to power last year on a promise to bring about a better relationship with China, which is increasingly seen as holding the key to the island's economic future.
The government faced mounting public anger for a late and ineffective reaction to last month's typhoon, which killed more than 600 people and plunged President Ma into his worst political crisis since taking office.