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May 29, 2017

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Legislative Yuan may review cross-strait trade pact July 29

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The Legislative Yuan may conduct a detailed probe and vote on the much-debated cross-strait trade pact on July 29, said Kuomintang caucus whip Lai Shyh-bao (賴士葆) yesterday.

The Legislature is planning its second interim meeting in July, possibly including the investigation of each decree of the pact before voting on its passage. The pact was inked during the ninth round of high-level cross-strait talks in Shanghai between Taiwan's Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF, 海基會) and the Beijing-based Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS, 海協會).

The pact removes restrictions preventing industrial service sectors from operating in each other's territories.

Among the 80 sectors China will be opening, major sectors include retail, e-commerce, finance, publishing, beauty salons and tourism, while Taiwan will open up 64 sectors including transportation, welfare, Chinese medicine, hair and beauty and tourism.

Legislators from both the ruling and opposition parties have called for an extensive probe to allow the Legislature to go through and vote on each article separately.

Aside from the impact the agreement could have on Taiwan's publishing and beauty industries, allowing Taiwanese to invest in medical services and tourism in China may also be in conflict with the local economic layout, said People First Party caucus whip Lee Tung-hao (李桐豪).

"For example, if Taiwan wants to develop its medical services and tourism industries locally, it does not help to allow the clinics to set up branches in China. The all-in-one mode of the Chinese tourist services also makes business bad for Taiwanese tour groups," Lee said.

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