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Talk of the Day -- What's on Siew-Li meeting agenda?

2014/04/10 18:37:15

The opening of the Boao Forum for Asia Thursday.

Former Taiwan Vice President Vincent Siew is expected to meet with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang when he attends the ongoing Boao Forum for Asia in China's Hainan Province.

The meeting between Siew and Li, which was expected to take place Thursday afternoon, will focus on economic and trade issues, Chen Te-sheng, chief executive of the Cross-Strait Common Market Foundation, said Wednesday. Siew is taking part in this year's event as honorary head of the foundation.

The Siew-Li meeting comes at a time when the Taiwanese government is facing strong opposition in its efforts to push through a trade-in-services agreement signed with China in June 2013.

A legislative review of the pact has been stalled following an occupation of the Legislative Yuan's main chamber that began March 18, with opponents of the accord demanding greater oversight of agreements signed across the Taiwan Strait.

The following are excerpts of local news reports on possible issues to be addressed during the meeting:

Economic Daily News:

Siew and Li are expected to focus on economic cooperation between Taiwan and China, and participation in regional integration, during their meeting, Chen said.

But they are unlikely to touch on Taiwan's internal dispute over the service trade pact, Chen went on, since the meeting is more about looking into directions for future economic cooperation between the two sides.

Similarly, Siew is unlikely to bring up Taiwan's demand that China allow Chinese nationals to transit through Taiwan during their overseas trips, Chen added. (April 10, 2014)

China Times:

The dispute over the service trade pact is better discussed on private occasions rather than at the Siew-Li meeting, since it is an internal issue, Chen said.

The dispute reflects the fact that Taiwanese youth cares about public issues and the challenges they face because of globalization, Chen added.

It has also offered an opportunity for Taiwan and China to rethink their policies, and could be a positive development if it helps to improve interaction between the two sides, he said.

Chen also suggested that Taiwan and China could be more flexible and could consider moving forward with an under-negotiation trade-in-goods agreement before going ahead with the service trade pact. (April 10, 2014)

(By Kay Liu)