Taiwan: Taiwan Adjusts Economic and Trade Measures
Taiwan's government will introduce measures to reduce the island's
economic reliance on China, toughen rules governing investment in the mainland
and crack down on smuggling, the Mainland Affairs Council in Taipei said Wednesday.
"Today's measure is following President Chen's New Year speech to strengthen management of cross- Strait economic and trade communication," the council chairman, Joseph Wu, said at a briefing. "The government will actively enforce risk-management and will announce the adjustment of various economic and trade measures, according to Taiwan's interests."
President Chen Shui-bian on Jan. 1 reminded the public of China's ambition to annex Taiwan. He said his administration's new mind-set for future cross-Strait economic and trade policies would adopt "active management, effective opening," rather than "active opening, effective management" that had been in place since 2001.
The government must take on the responsibility of management to reduce the risks of liberalization toward China, Chen said.
"The strategic target is to reduce reliance on China's economy," the council said in a statement released at the briefing Wednesday.
China is Taiwan's biggest trade partner and investment destination, and Taiwan businesses and individuals have about $100 billion invested there.
"There's no surprise, as a series of developments have been leading to the policy of strengthening Taiwan's separate identity and moving toward independence," Yang Tai-shuen, a political science professor at the Chinese Culture University in Taipei, said.
Chen's government "has to appease its supporters," Yang said. "In reality, it'll be difficult to execute a tightening policy on investment in the mainland because a lot of Taiwan companies channel their investment through a third place." Despite measures to curb ties with the mainland, "exchanges still increase day by day," he said.
Related rules will be completed by June 30, while those involving legislation or revision of current laws will have drafts by Dec. 31, the council statement said. The cabinet passed the proposals Wednesday, the statement said.
Proposed changes include cracking down on smuggling, protecting sensitive technologies, investigating unapproved investment in China, following up parent companies' investments in Taiwan and strengthening supervision of financial branches in China, the statement said.