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Nation risks being hurt by protectionism: ex-minister

TAIPEI--Taiwan's tendency toward protectionism can hurt its political and economic development in the long run, a former chief of the Mainland Affairs Council said yesterday.

“The protectionism in Taiwan now is too strong. There's political protectionism on issues with China and economic protectionism with regard to other countries,” said Su Chi, who is also a former secretary-general of the National Security Council.

“In the long run, this strong tendency toward protectionism will be unfavorable to Taiwan,” he said after a discussion in Taipei about relations among the U.S., China and Taiwan with the new leadership in China and in the wake of the recent U.S. presidential election.

Su participated in the discussion in his capacity as chairman of the Taipei Forum Foundation.

The administration of President Ma Ying-jeou, the opposition parties and the private sector all favor protectionism, which is a “very critical issue in Taiwan,” Su said.

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