Taiwan's regional integration raised during Siew-Li meeting in Boao

04/10/2014 10:06 PM

Boao, China, April 10 (CNA) Top delegates from Taiwan and China held a meeting of more than 30 minutes Thursday on the sidelines of the Boao Forum for Asia annual conference, which opened in Hainan Province earlier that day.

Following his meeting with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, Taiwan's former Vice President Vincent Siew told reporters that he expressed hopes that Taiwan and China will adopt new views and approaches as they remove hurdles blocking further cooperation.

The changing global environment and developments on both sides of the Taiwan Strait have created new issues and challenges for exchanges between Taiwan and China, Siew said.

The former vice president said he shared Taiwanese people's three major concerns: that the partnership between Taiwan and China could become a rivalry, that barriers continue to complicate the entry of Taiwanese businesses to the China market, and that Taiwan urgently needs to take part in regional economic integration.

To overcome the challenges, Siew suggested economic strategic dialogues and policy coordination, building a trade partnership across the Taiwan Strait and offering reassurances that China will face up to the issue of Taiwan's participation in economic integration to relieve concerns over economic marginalization.

He also suggested jointly exploring a mechanism to link cross-strait economic ties with Taiwan's regional ambitions and come up with a roadmap for Taiwan's joining the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership and the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the former vice president said.

Although Siew said he and Li did not touch on the dispute in Taiwan over the trade-in-services agreement the two sides signed in June 2013, China News Service (CNS) reported that the Chinese premier urged the Taiwanese public to seize opportunities for participation in the regional economy through expansion of cross-strait cooperation.

Li said China is willing to open up to Taiwan before opening further to foreign countries in order to push for economic integration between the two sides, according to the CNS report.

This is the ninth time Siew has attended the annual conference of the Boao Forum. He is scheduled to take part in a roundtable event for businessmen across the Taiwan Strait Friday before returning to Taiwan Saturday.

(By Eva Feng and Kay Liu)enditem/WH

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