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Taiwan, China at odds over investment figures in first half of 2017

2017/07/13 23:16:24

Taipei, July 13 (CNA) Taipei and Beijing on Thursday showed conflicting figures for Taiwanese investment in China earlier this year, with Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) attributing the difference to a different statistics collection base.

Chiu Chui-cheng (邱垂正), deputy head and spokesman of the MAC, said at a news briefing that cross-Taiwan Strait investment has continued to operate normally since May 20, 2016 when Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) took office.

Citing statistics compiled by the Investment Commission under the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Chiu said that Taiwan approved 253 proposals by Taiwanese companies to invest in China, amounting to US$2.787 billion in total, from January to May this year.

The value of the proposed investments represented a 22.12 percent decrease year-on-year, Chiu said.

However, that contradicted the statement by China's Ministry of Commerce which said earlier in the day that Taiwan's investment in China grew by 48.4 percent year-on-year from January to June.

Asked about the difference at a news briefing in Taipei, the MAC's Chiu said the figures compiled by Taiwan's Investment Commission were based on approved cases, while China's figures came from "actual investments" that have been made in the mainland.

Taiwan and China have different statistics bases and thus the figures could not be compared directly, Chiu said.

He added that the figures for June are still not available.

Cross-strait ties have cooled since Tsai took office last year, mainly due to her refusal to heed Beijing's calls to accept the "1992 consensus" as the sole political foundation for exchanges across the strait.

The "1992 consensus" refers to a tacit understanding reached in 1992 between China and Taiwan, which was then under a Kuomintang government, that there is only one China, with both sides free to interpret what that means.

Amid the strained political cross-strait relations, the investment commission's data showed that although the value of approved China-bound investment by Taiwan companies dropped year-on-year in the five-month period in 2017, the number of applications jumped from 97 from January to May last year to more than 200 in the same period this year.

(By Miao Tzung-han and Elaine Hou)