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Taiwan Authorities Urged to Take Steps to Improve Cross-Straits Ties

Liu Xiangdong, assistant minister of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation, urged on August 21, 1996 the Taiwan authorities to remove obstacles as early as possible and take substantial steps under the one-China principle to start a direct mail service, trade, air and shipping services across the Taiwan Straits.

He made the remarks when a regulation on managing cargo transport agents was issued in Beijing by the ministry.

He said the promulgation of the document, and another regulation on the management of direct passenger and cargo shipping business, was of an important significance to the development of closer economic relationship and trade between the two sides.

It is known to all that the Chinese government has made unremitting efforts for developing economic relations and trade between the two sides.

As early as January 1, 1979, the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress called for the direct exchange of mail services, trade, air and shipping services.

Over the past 17 years, the ministry has worked hard in this regard and adopted a series of policies and measures with a view to pushing forward economic relations and trade between the two sides.

In trade, Liu said that the mainland first unilaterally opened its market, and adopted preferential taxation rates in importing commodities from Taiwan.

At the end of 1995, the mainland's unfavorable balance of trade with Taiwan amounted to 53.6 billion U.S. Dollars. This fully shows the mainland's determination and sincerity to promote the exchange of trade across the straits.

In investment, Liu said that the ministry also enacted a series of preferential policies to encourage Taiwan compatriots to invest in the mainland.

The law on the protection of investment from the Taiwan compatriots, promulgated by the ministry in 1994, has provided Taiwan investors with the full protection by law, he said, adding that relevant departments will formulate regulations on the full implementation of the law in a shortest possible time.

But Liu noted that the Taiwan authorities have stuck to the policy of no contact, no negotiations and no compromise, and have refused to realize the direct exchange of mail service, trade, air and shipping services.

He pointed out that the Taiwan authorities' attempt to create "two Chinas" has resulted in a tense relationship across the Taiwan Straits, which also affected the Taiwan economy.

Under those circumstances, industrialists on the Taiwan Island urgently asked for practical measures to be taken to improve relations across the straits, he said.

But, he said, leaders of the Taiwan authorities recently declined to talk about the exchange of mail services, trade, air and shipping services. This shows that they have no sincerity at all to improve relations between the two sides.

He expressed the hope that the Taiwan authorities will put the overall interest of the Chinese nation above everything else to realize the exchange of the three services at an early date.

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