In ‘one country,’ China can open market wider to Taiwan: negotiator
Mar 26, 2017CultureComments Off on In ‘one country,’ China can open market wider to Taiwan: negotiator
Boao, China--China's top negotiator with Taiwan said Sunday that there will be a problem for Beijing to unilaterally open the Chinese market to Taiwan since both are members of the World Trade Organization (WTO).
That problem, however, can easily be dismissed if both Taiwan and China -- two WTO members -- are "in one country."
Chen Deming (???), chairman of the Beijing-based Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS), was responding Taiwanese business people's appeal in a panel discussion of the Boao Forum for Asia, which was being held March 23-26 in the southern Chinese province of Hainan.
The Cross-Strait Round Table of Entrepreneurs was attended by a 19-member Taiwanese business delegation, led by former Vice President Vincent Siew (???), and 19 Chinese officials and entrepreneurs.
During the round table meeting, Taiwanese entrepreneurs expressed hope that China will open its market wider to them and continue to boost trade and economic cooperation and interactions with Taiwan without being influenced by political factors.
Chen replied that the mainland has its dilemma. "We are two WTO members in one country, which have not yet been unified peacefully," Chen said.
Under WTO rules, if one WTO member offers a preferential treatment to another member, it has to give that same treatment to all other members, he pointed out.
China will be challenged if it unilaterally opens its market to Taiwan, "but this problem will be much easier to solve if the two sides of the Taiwan Strait are in one country," he said.
Cross-strait relations has been cool since Tsai Ing-wen (???) was sworn in as Taiwan's president in May 2016, mainly due to her refusal to heed Beijing's calls to recognize the "1992 consensus" as the sole political foundation for cross-strait exchanges.
The "1992 consensus" refers to a tacit understanding reached in 1992 between the two sides that there is only one China, with both sides free to interpret what that means.