China against Malaysia-Taiwan FTA

The Sun Daily | 20 August 2014

China against Malaysia-Taiwan FTA

Kong See Hoh
newsdesk@thesundaily.my

PETALING JAYA: Chinese ambassador to Malaysia Huang Huikang says China is against any move by Malaysia to sign a free trade agreement (FTA) with Taiwan.

He said he is grateful that Malaysia has maintained a "one China" stand all this while and is happy about the close Sino-Malaysian relationship.

The Chinese government has always maintained that Taiwan is part of China and will object to any official activity between Malaysia and Taiwan, including the signing of an FTA, Huang said during a question-and-answer session after delivering a speech on "A friend and partner to be depended on: Bilateral relationship between China and Malaysia" at the Asia-Europe Institute in Universiti Malaya on Tuesday, Sin Chew Daily reported yesterday.

However, he stressed that China is not against non-official exchanges and ties in trade and education between the peoples of Malaysia and Taiwan.

"I understand many Malaysians are studying in Taiwan. Many (Malaysians) have trade and business cooperation with Taiwanese or visit Taiwan as tourists.

"(But) the crux of the matter is, (does China) agrees that a free trade agreement be signed between Malaysia and Taiwan? My answer is ’no’, as this is (deemed) a government-level activity."

Taiwan signed a landmark economic pact with Singapore in July last year and inked an economic cooperation agreement with New Zealand later in November.

Taiwan, through its representatives in various countries, is actively exploring the feasibility of establishing more trade pacts.

According to the report, Malaysia is on Taiwan’s list of potential FTA partners.

In his address, Huang described Malaysia as China’s good friend, neighbour and partner.

He said China likes to see Malaysia, which assumes the chairmanship of Asean next year, play a more vital role in the region.

Huang also said China will support Malaysia in its bid for a non-permanent seat on the UN Security Council next year.

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source: The Sun Daily