June 17, 2004

Taiwan: Pro-independence businesses not welcome in China

China yesterday made clear it did not welcome investment by Taiwanese business in favour of independence from the mainland, further lowering the temperature in icy relations
Beijing - China yesterday made clear it did not welcome investment by Taiwanese business in favour of independence from the mainland, further lowering the temperature in icy relations.

"We will not welcome those Taiwanese businesses who are resolutely in support of Taiwan independence or undertake separatist activities," said Ma Xiuhong, the deputy commerce minister.

Her remark was the latest contribution to a Chinese campaign to turn up the heat on Taiwanese who make money in China even as they back independence for the island.

It appeared to settle some of the confusion created a day earlier, when another official said "most" Taiwan entrepreneurs need not fear harassment over their political views, without explaining what would happen to the rest.

The status of Taiwan's investments in the mainland has come into question after Chinese state media lashed out at a businessman allied with Taiwan's President Chen Shui-bian.

Beijing, which considers Taiwan part of China, is concerned Chen is pushing for greater independence for the island. Taiwan has been ruled separately since the end of a civil war in 1949.

While Ma warned pro-independence Taiwanese to stay away, she said no particular investment would be restricted.


Source: Business Report

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