New Outlook on Cross-strait Agreements After Presidential Election

New Outlook on Cross-strait Agreements After Presidential Election
Photo Credit: 經濟民主連合
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Voices from various industries call for a new cabinet to link up the Cross-Strait Goods Trade Agreement, while DPP holds a conservative attitude and asks the current government to continue performing their duties.

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Translated by Yuan-ling Liang
Edited by Olivia Yang

On January 18, with the resigning of the cabinet, John Chen-chung Deng, former Minister of Economic Affairs, said that the cross-strait trade agreement in goods would be fully suspended. Future actions will be based on the principle, ”leaving major political decisions to the new government and continuing to deal with those already executed.”

Deng says that there are plenty of opinions regarding the Cross-Strait Goods Trade Agreement. Some think the government should wait until the supervision regulations are announced and let the people supervise the agreement while others see the issue as merely an execution. Due to various opinions, it’s hard to decide which direction the policy should take. Therefore it will be suspended until the new government takes office.

Related News: Thirteenth Negotiation for Cross-Strait Trade in Goods Postponed

As for decision that have already entered the execution phase, Deng takes the Science and Technology Development Plan “Productivity 4.0″ as an example. In other cases, such as a mainland-target program of the TSMC (Taiwan Science Manufacturing Company), have already passed legally, and are therefore less policy-involved.

Tsai Lien-sheng, secretary general of the Chinese National Federation of Industries (CNFI), says that China may need to observe the new government’s China policy before deciding whether or not to restart negotiations. This may take quite a long time. Tsai emphasizes that since the FTA between China and South Korea is already valid, domestic industries in Taiwan will give away business opportunities in the Chinese market and speed up relocation to seek lower tariffs.

Lin Por-fong, chairperson at the Chinese National Association of Industry and Commerce (CNAIC), says the government should avoid a window period in operations and that the new government should cooperate with the current one, forming a coalition cabinet. Lin thinks Tsai Ing-wen should allow the majority in congress to form the cabinet since it not only can temporarily serve as a reference for the future cabinet, but can also help eliminate conflicts between the two major parties.

Kuo Tai-chiang, director of the Taiwan Electrical and Electronic Association (TEEMA), also calls for Tsai Ing-wen to form a cabinet for preventing idle running within the 120 days. He states that all government affairs should still be conducted as normal, as Tsai Ing-wen promised to maintain cross-strait peace and stability before the election.

According to popular belief, a communication method will be implemented so cross-strait relationships would not be affected. Industries also hope the DPP would pay attention to promoting trades in service and goods, including the issue of the Cross-strait Supervision Act.

DPP spokesperson Yang Chia-liang notes that the new congress will examine the act after their term starts, and then follow with the trade agreement in goods.
“The trade negotiations must respect public opinions," Yang says. Responding to official complaints towards DPP for not forming a cabinet beforehand, he notes that Tsai doesn’t have any power on major policies before her inauguration on May 20. Yang emphasizes that there is no room for the superior party to form a cabinet according to current Constitution. The most important task of the present government is to steadfastly perform their duties and maintain political stability, or else it is only a waste of time.

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