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Taiwan and China to meet at Boao despite protests
Taiwan News, Staff Writer
2014-04-05 06:05 PM
TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Former Vice President Vincent Siew would still meet with China’s Premier Li Keqiang at the Boao Forum for Asia next week despite the student occupation of the Legislative Yuan, reports said Saturday.

The students entered the 19th day of their occupation Saturday with the organization of a people’s assembly to discuss last June’s trade-in-services pact with China and proposals for guidelines to monitor trade talks with the communist country.

The April 8-11 forum on the Chinese island of Hainan would form the background for the first high-level cross-straits meeting since the occupation began last March 18.

Siew was reportedly going to press China to allow Chinese travelers to transit through Taiwanese airports. He was also going to promote the Taoyuan Aerotropolis project with foreign business leaders and politicians, reports said.

Even though the trade pact was stalled, Taiwan was still interested in promoting its economy and in pushing for free economic model zones, officials said.

Siew was reportedly taking a 30-member delegation to appear at Boao on April 9. President Ma Ying-jeou recently told him to explain that the government had done all it could on the students’ demands, but that it was impossible to withdraw the trade pact, because that would harm Taiwan too much.

The delegation and the media would watch closely if Li said anything about the trade-in-services accord or the occupation, reports said. The meeting between Taiwan’s former vice president and China’s new premier were a sign that the Ma Administration was still interested in moving forward with cross-straits relations and with efforts to advance the country’s economy, officials said.

The president has repeatedly warned that if last June’s trade pact was not approved, it would harm Taiwan’s international credibility, affecting its chances of signing more Free Trade Agreements and of joining regional trade groups like the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership.

Siew’s delegation will reportedly include top bankers such as Fubon Financial Holding Chairman Daniel Tsai and Bank SinoPac Chairman Paul Chiu.

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