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Taiwan businesspeople 'admirable opponents': new S. Korean envoy

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Taiwanese businesspeople are “admirable opponents” to their South Korean counterparts, Cho Baeksang, the newly sworn-in South Korean representative to Taiwan, said recently.

Taiwanese businesses are performing strongly in China, where many of them go toe-to-toe with South Korean companies, Cho said.

There is real competition between the two sides, as Taiwan and South Korea share similar patterns in economic development and see China as their major market, he said.

However, the two possess various strengths in different fields, so there is no need to compare them in all circumstances, Cho said.

Commenting on recent disputes over a trade-in-services pact signed between Taiwan and China, Cho said he can understand the concerns of Taiwanese people due to China's enormous economic power.

Cho said he believes that effective communication between the Taiwanese authorities and its people will help achieve the government's economic policies and increase its chances of joining the proposed regional Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade bloc.

Cho, former consul-general at the South Korean consulate in China's northeastern city of Shenyang, also said he hopes artifacts from Taiwan's National Palace Museum can be displayed in South Korea.

Cultural and art collaboration could be the next direction for both sides to move forward, Cho said, revealing that the song “Sweet Honey Honey” from the late Taiwanese singer Teresa Teng is South Korean President Park Geun-hye's favorite mandarin song.

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