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Cross-strait pact not an invitation to Chinese investment: officials

2012/08/03 23:07:54

Taipei, Aug. 3 (CNA) The signing of an investment protection pact between Taiwan and China does not suggest that Taiwan is opening its doors further to Chinese investment, officials said Friday.

Fan Liang-tung, executive secretary of the Ministry of Economic Affairs' Investment Commission, said the pact was in line with existing policy to remove investment barriers between the two sides.

The pact, which will focus on dispute settlement and the personal safety of Taiwanese investors in China, is the result of follow-up negotiations under the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) and should not be interpreted as a shift in the government's position, he said.

"The pact will improve the investment environment in general instead of offering specific market incentives," Fan said during a joint briefing held by the Mainland Affairs Council, the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Economic Affairs.

The authorities have been preparing for the signing of the long-stalled pact next week by Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) Chairman Chiang Pin-kung and his Chinese counterpart, Chen Yunlin, president of the Beijing-based Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits.

Opposition politicians have expressed concerns, however, that China will ask for concessions to gain greater access to Taiwan's market because the investment pact favors Taiwan.

But according to SEF spokesman Ma Shaw-chan, the government has been carefully monitoring the influx of Chinese investment, and he said it would be kept at the same pace in the future.

Chinese investment to Taiwan has totaled US$300 million since Taiwan opened its market to China in 2009, which Ma said was a reasonable amount.

Meanwhile, Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng said earlier in the day that the pact will not come at the cost of Taiwan's control over regulating Chinese investment.

"It is remarkable for Taiwan to be able to bring the deal to its current status, in which Taiwan still has control over policy on Chinese investment in Taiwan," said Wang.

(By Lee Hsin-Yin)