China opens the door for Taiwanese investment in shipping
China's government will allow companies in Taiwan to invest in wholly owned shipping and container transport firms, and operate ports and highways, news outlets reported Sunday.
China's Vice Communications Minister Xu Zuyuan made the declaration at the Cross-Strait Trade and Economic Forum, but the report said China's offer needs the blessing of Taiwan's President Chen Shui-bian, an ardent defender of Taiwan's independence from China. Roughly 500 government officials from China and businesspeople from Taiwan attended the forum in Beijing.
“We sincerely hope the compatriots across the strait will closely join hands to push forward the personal, economic and cultural exchanges to curb Taiwanese independence activities and maintain peace across the Taiwan Strait,” Chinese President Hu Jintao told delegates, according to a story in the Taipei Times. “At present, the mainland’s economy is developing powerfully, which creates more space, more motivation and even more superior conditions for cross-strait economic cooperation.'
The newspaper said that Taiwanese investors have poured nearly $100 billion into China over the last two decades, lured by a common language and culture as well as low labor costs.