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Talk of the Day -- Cross-strait rice trade enters new stage

2012/07/25 23:15:46

A batch of Taiwan-grown rice was shipped to the Chinese mainland Wednesday in line with a new package of plant quarantine regulations on Taiwan-China rice trade.

The shipment marked the first time that high-quality Taiwan rice has been exported to China under the new regulations worked out by Taiwan's Council of Agriculture (COA) and China's General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine after two years of consultations.

Through such negotiations, Taiwan acquired a quota to sell rice to China at a tariff rate of 1 percent, according to local media reports.

Meanwhile, the United Daily News ran a report Wednesday on its special correspondent's rare visit to China's Army Aviation 4th Helicopter Regiment in Beijing's Tongzhou district a day earlier.

The report quoted the Chinese regiment's commander as saying that China's homemade attack helicopters still cannot compete with Super Cobra and Apache attack helicopters that Taiwan has bought from the United States.

The following are excerpts from local media coverage of those topics:

United Evening News:

Lee Chang-lang, head of the COA's Food and Agriculture Administration, said Taiwan's grain traders had exported small amounts of rice to China in the past via the "mini three links" between Taiwan-held outlying island of Kinmen/Matsu and China's Xiamen/Mawei.

As such rice did not pass China's inspection and quarantine and was subject to a 65 percent custom duty and a 17 percent value-added tax, the trading volume remains limited, Lee said.

After two years of negotiations, Lee said, China has agreed to grant Taiwan a quota to sell rice to the mainland at a tariff rate of 1 percent in line with a package of quarantine regulations.

According to Lee, China has placed an order for 100 tons of high-quality Taiken 9 rice.

On Wednesday, 20 tons of the rice were delivered from Taichung in central Taiwan. Lee said the rice was scheduled to arrive in Mawei in Fujian Province Thursday. The rest of the rice will be shipped later.

Lee said the rice will be sold in Xiamen's supermarkets in 2-kg packs for prices higher than in Taiwan.

China imports 5.32 tons of rice annually, Lee said, adding that Taiwan exported 1,894 tons of rice to 28 countries around the world last year, including Japan, the United States, Canada and the European Union. (July 25, 2012).

United Daily News:

China's Army Aviation 4th Helicopter Regiment hosted 160 journalists, including 118 from 66 foreign media outlets, at its base in Beijing's Tongzhou district Tuesday in a gesture of military transparency.

It marked the first time that the Chinese aviation base has opened its doors to foreign reporters.

Formed in 1988, the elite regiment is the first armed helicopter unit of the People's Liberation Army. On a sun-baked parking apron, the regiment's aircraft, including the Chinese-made Z-9WZ armed helicopters and a Russian Mil Mi-171 transport helicopter, were on display.

Notably absent was China's newest homemade Z-10WZ attack helicopter. None of Chinese officials present at the occasion would answered question about Z-10WZ.

Military experts said Z-10WZ has been commissioned into service in the PLA. (July 25, 2012).

(By Sofia Wu)
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