Taiwan, China reopen free trade talks amid protest

Kaohsiung-container-port

Taiwan and China resumed talks on Wednesday (Sep 10) at an undisclosed location on a goods free trade agreement, sparking a protest against secrecy by demonstrators suspicious of closer ties with Beijing.

Economic Affairs Minister Woody Duh told reporters before the talks opened in the afternoon that Taiwan would focus on flat panels, petrochemicals, machine tools and automobiles where its industries are competitive. But his ministry has declined to say where the three-day talks are being held, prompting suspicions from the political opposition and activists opposed to the pact.

“Why are the talks being held when the Legislative Yuan (parliament) is in recess? This is a procedure … intended to skip parliamentary supervision,” activist Chen Wei-ting told reporters as dozens of slogan-chanting demonstrators rallied at the ministry. “The economics ministry would not even reveal the venue of the talks,” Chen added.

The talks had been delayed about five months following a series of major protests led by Chen and other student leaders against parliament’s earlier approval of a services trade agreement with the mainland. That pact provoked an unprecedented occupation of Taiwan’s parliament and mass street protests in March and April.

President Ma Ying-jeou earlier this week repeated his warning against delays in the two pacts, saying Taiwanese industries could be at a disadvantage against their South Korean counterparts once Seoul and Beijing finalise a free trade agreement.

Ties between Taipei and Beijing have improved markedly since 2008 after Ma Ying-jeou of Taiwan’s Beijing-friendly Kuomintang party came to power, dedicated to strengthening trade and tourism links. He was re-elected in 2012.

In June 2010, the two sides signed the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement, which was widely seen as the boldest step yet towards reconciliation following their split in 1949 at the end of a civil war. The goods free trade agreement, like the services trade pact, is a follow-up to the 2010 deal.

But many locals are wary of the fast-warming ties, citing China’s refusal to renounce its use of force against Taiwan should it declare formal independence. Opponents have accused the government of trading Taiwan’s interests to Beijing in exchange for marginal economic benefits – allegations denied by the authorities.

China’s top official in charge of Taiwan affairs Zhang Zhijun in June paid a landmark four-day visit to the island but it was marred by angry protests which forced him to scrap some engagements.

 

 

 

Source : Channel News Asia | September 10, 2014

Thomas D’Innocenzi

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About thomasdinnocenzi

Thomas D'Innocenzi is a highly accomplished, results-focused senior international executive with extensive experience in global sourcing and market development worldwide to meet evolving business needs. Tom has proven ability in implementing and managing profitable global sourcing operations worldwide. Extensive experience in international market development operations to accommodate rapid growth. Skilled in building top-performing teams, benchmarking performance, and restricting organizations to improve efficiency, productivity, and profitability. Experienced transition leader and change agent. As principal of Nova Advisors, LLC I’ve assembled an exemplary team that brings with them the knowledge and experience gained from starting up a Global Sourcing program with multiple Fortune 500 companies as well as the largest supplier network throughout the Asia-Pacific region. We have experience and expertise in more than a thousand medical and pharmaceutical products in manufacturing and sourcing at the best value. The right product, the right price point and the right branding fueled these successes that resulted in double-digit growth for top line sales and bottom line net margins for our customers. What sets us apart: • Our reach includes a large network of suppliers & manufacturers spanning 13 countries in Asia-Pacific region • We understand the manufacturing process and the business of the supplier and the buyer • Our company culture is based on quality assurance and our process is based on local quality control Our commitment is to be your partner offering the best products and services at the lowest cost. Contact me to discuss how we can make the global marketplace work for you. thomas@novaadvisors.com In addition, I am open to discussing opportunities in global sourcing, international marketing & sales, logistics and medical/pharma in Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Philippines & Japan. Aside from my work I enjoy piano, astronomy, physics, and assisting my daughters with their studies. SPECIALTIES: Global Sourcing, Supply Chain Management, Business Development, Marketing, Logistics, Global Networking, Market Development, Healthcare Solutions, Pharmaceuticals, Medical Devices, Technology, Asia, Southeast Asia, US and Canada
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