When asked by media if China would be waiting for Taiwan to pass the Cross-Strait Trade in Services Agreement, Chen Deming, president of China's Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS), confirmed the sentiment though he emphasised that the time frame would be within two years and not after two years.
Chen followed up and said that Taiwan needs to realise the urgency of passing the service pact and treat it as a priority as the China-South Korea free trade agreement will bring stiff competition.
Chen said that the next two years will be very important for Taiwan, but Taiwan is be facing new political circumstances. Still, he said the results of the 9-in-1 Elections will not affect cross-strait relations.
Chen met with Taiwanese media seniors to discuss the effects and ideas of the China-South Korea FTA as well as the China-Australia FTA. He said that China has decided to move toward a high level of global trading and that Taiwan should not miss out on the opportunity.
Pointless If Treaty Stuck in Legislative Yuan: Chen
In response to the service pact that has been in limbo at the Legislative Yuan for more than a year, Chen said he is very concerned and is keeping a close eye on the progress of the draft of the Cross-Strait Agreement Supervisory Act.
Chen questioned whether the Cross-Strait Trade in Goods Agreement can be further negotiated if the services trade agreement shows no signs of passing anytime soon.
Chen said that if the treaty remains stuck in the Legislative Yuan or if requests are made to edit it after negotiations, then it would be pointless.
Chen said he hopes that Taiwan is able to speed up the process before the China-South Korea FTA becomes effective in order to prevent Taiwan becoming marginalised.
Chen Given Book of Prophecies
Chen visited Hualien yesterday, accompanied by Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) Chairman Lin Join-sane. Re-elected Hualien Magistrate Fu Kun-chi welcomed them at the Hualien train station.
Tseng Hsin-hsiung, the Museum of Chinese Jade Antiques' founder and a stone-industry entrepreneur in Hualien, gave Chen a rose-coloured gemstone.
Tseng called the gift a "book of prophecies" that could help Chen solve his problems.
Chen said that if the book is able to solve problems, then he will be consulting it on issues regarding the peaceful and steady development of Taiwan and China.