Hsieh welcomes Chinese investment

By David Young, The China Post news staff

TAIPEI, Taiwan — Frank Hsieh, Democratic Progressive Party standard bearer, is distancing himself from President Chen Shui-bian, who is calling the shots in the campaign for 2008. Two days after he had professed to consider “favorably” President Hu Jintao’s peace agreement offer, Hsieh told Taiwan University EMBA students yesterday he welcomes Chinese foreign direct investment in Taiwan. President Chen rejected Hu’s offer outright on Tuesday. His Mainland Affairs Council chairman Chen Ming-tung has reacted likewise to an offer Lou Jiwei, president of China Investment Corporation, made at the Chinese Communist Party national congress on Tuesday. Lou promised US$5 trillion in FDA, part of which will go to Hong Kong and Taiwan. Taipei has no plan to allow any state funds from China to be invested in Taiwan’s stock and futures markets, Chen Ming-tung said Tuesday.

In a markedly different gesture of friendliness to China, the DPP candidate declared the Chinese FDA “causes us no problem whatsoever” as he spoke on his outlook on economic relations between Taiwan and China before the business executives studying toward an MBA degree at Taiwan’s most prestigious university.

Hsieh wishes to attract investment from China, posing as an odd man out in the DPP solidly behind President Chen to have nothing to do with China. “As far as the flow of capital from China is concerned — that means the (Chinese) mainland capital arriving to buy Taiwan products — I give it my full support,” Hsieh pointed out. It does not matter where money will come from, Hsieh stressed. It may come from China or anywhere else, the importance being that it is spent in Taiwan, be it on goods or services or for investment. Investment from China is good for Taiwan, Hsieh went on. He wants Chinese immigrants who want to make investments in Taiwan. “We like investors to stay with us,” Hsieh said. “I agree,” he added, “that they may come from China, and of course, not only China. “That’s why we should open Taiwan to immigrants (from everywhere across the world) who promise investment. The United States has done so. We should follow suit.” No Chinese immigration is allowed except for spouses, who, however, have to wait for as long as 12 years to get naturalized.