RTI | 03/07/2009
Premier pledges no Chinese workers under trade pact
In response to fierce criticism over a trade pact the government may sign with China, Premier Liu Chao-shiuan has pledged that Taiwan’s sovereignty will not be affected by such a deal and that no Chinese workers will be introduced to Taiwan.
Liu made the remarks on Friday while answering lawmakers’ questions about possible complications from a planned Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement with China.
Meanwhile, Liu also repeated a promise that Taiwan would not open its market any wider to China’s agricultural products.
The government has repeatedly said a trade agreement with China is necessary to maintain Taiwan’s economic competitiveness in the world market. The government also said such a trade pact will keep Taiwan from being marginalized when China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations form a free trade area in 2010.
However, on Saturday opposition Democratic Progressive Party Chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen said the government is being over-optimistic. She said there is no such thing as a free lunch. Tsai said if China gives Taiwan any economic benefits, Beijing definitely wants something in return. She called on the government to be prudent and not to fall into Beijing’s political trap.