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Chang Chia-juch denounces demagogues amid service trade crisis
Taiwan News, Staff Writer
2014-03-24 09:24 PM

As the Cross-Strait Agreement on Trade in Services crisis continues to broaden and close to one hundred people are injured, Minister of Economic Affairs Chang Chia-juch enters the fray to denounce “rumormongering” professors and lawyers who “use their professional image to mislead the public,” deliberately spread false information, distort facts, and truly “misdirect the nation and damage Taiwan.” He emphasized that there are absolutely no under-the-table deals in the Cross-Strait Agreement on Trade in Services, no allowance for labor immigration to Taiwan, and definitely no impact on Taiwanese labor. Regarding external line-item review of Cross-Strait Agreement on Trade in Services content, Chang states that any amendment equals rejection and a need to restart negotiations.

Chang said at the conference clarifying the numerous rumors, errors, and inconsistencies circulating externally.

1. “1 investor can apply for 45 people to enter Taiwan” is a sweeping generalization and misleads the public.

Mainland companies investing more than US$200,000 can apply for 2 persons to enter Taiwan to fulfill managerial duties. One addition application for entry can be filed for each addition US$500,000 invested, up to a maximum of 7 persons. If the mainland investor is individual, the Investment Commission of the MOEA will view it unnecessary for a legal representative to be appointed for personal investment and will be subject to strict review even if the investment is over US$3.3 million. Media rumors of 1 investor applying for 45 people to enter Taiwan are all sweeping generalizations and mislead the public.

2. 495 mainland investors have been approved and 264 mainland personnel and families members have been authorized to enter Taiwan.

According to Investment Commission, MOEA statistics, 495 mainland investors have been approved to invest in Taiwan since the end of January 2014. The Investment Commission, MOEA has also authorized 264 supervisors or technical personnel and their spouses and children to enter Taiwan. Over 80% of mainland supervisors are coming to Taiwan alone.

In the event an investing company requires application for entry of supervisors or technical personnel (white collar) into Taiwan, supervisors or technical personnel must meet certain eligibility criteria including an undergraduate or graduate degree with at least two years of work experience or professional certifications with five years of related work experience. At the same time, the company must propose a domestic hiring plan. Those that have already invested over US$300,000 may apply for 1 person with 1 addition person for each addition investment of US$500,000 or more, up to a maximum of 7 persons.

3. Mainland supervisors or technical personnel will be issued entry and exit permits valid for one year.

Entry applications for supervisors and technical personnel of mainland companies in Taiwan will, in principle, only prompt the issuance of a multiple entry-exit permit valid for one year during the first year of company operation. From the second year onward, the company’s revenue must reach NT$10 million in order to apply for permit renewal. Thus, the government will not issue unlimited entry-exit permit extensions to supervisors or technical personnel of mainland investors nor will the government allow them long term residency.

4. The government will actively manage mainland investment in Taiwan.

The Investment Commission, MOEA and the National Immigration Agency will perform scheduled and unscheduled onsite reviews of mainland invested companies and their mainland personnel in Taiwan to confirm whether they are truthfully conducting business according to approved licenses and whether their business impacts national security, public interest, or are engaged in unlawful activities such as working in Taiwan under a false identity. If any of the aforementioned activities are discovered, companies will be penalized, their investments revoked, and relevant personnel repatriated according to cross-strait agreement regulations.

5. False rumors are circulating that claim mainland citizens can obtain long-term residency permits and purchase an unlimited amount of real estate.

Currently, the government has not lifted the ban on mainland investment immigration to Taiwan. According to the provisions of the Ministry of the Interior’s “Regulation for Mainland Chinese to Acquire, Create, or Transfer the Property Rights of Real Estates in Taiwan,” mainland Chinese who have received approval to acquire real estate in Taiwan are limited to only 4 months of residence per year in Taiwan. Circulating rumors claiming long term residency for purchasers of real estate in Taiwan are false rumors.

According to Ministry of the Interior statistics, in the ten years between 2003 and December of last year (2012), there were only 136 cases in which mainland Chinese were approved to acquire real estate in Taiwan. Of these cases, eight were mainland businesses which needed to acquire real estate for operational reasons. Regarding mainland business acquiring real estate for operational reasons, each case must be reviewed and approved by the Ministry of the Interior. Claims of unlimited real estate purchases are false.

6. Until now, only 55 mainland family members have come to Taiwan for reunions and do not affect citizen’s health benefits.

According to the “National Health Insurance Act,” whether foreign investor or mainland investor, personnel and accompanying dependents and children can only apply for national health insurance after continued residence in Taiwan of six months or more. Rumors claiming mainland personnel can obtain national health insurance after one month in Taiwan are completely inconsistent with the facts.

7. Taiwanese personnel working in mainland invested business already total 9,624. Claims that the Cross-Strait Agreement on Trade in Services will lead to massive unemployment is a fallacy.

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