U.S.-China ties more conflicting than cooperative: MAC

Taipei, Relations between the United States and China will face more issues of conflict than of cooperation, participants at the latest consultative meeting held recently by Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) agreed, according to the minutes of the meeting.

At the gathering, held to look at the challenges faced by Taiwanese businesses operating in China amid an escalating trade battle, participants said the relationship between the world's two superpowers has evolved from conflict on trade to conflict in other areas, including over strategy, technology and security.

The U.S.-China trade war will not likely end in the short term, they said, and in view of the radical changes in China's business environment in recent years, they urged the government to help China-based Taiwanese businesses develop and carry out plans to move their factories out of China.

Taiwan's government should take the initiative to encourage China-based Taiwanese businesses to return to Taiwan and invest here or help them move their manufacturing facilities to Southeast Asia, some participants suggested.

Some also noted, however, that China has continued to emphasize the importance of multilateral trade amid the ongoing trade friction, and is aggressively expanding bilateral economic and trade cooperation with other countries.

That could influence and speed up the pace at which Taiwanese companies expand their business globally, they said.

In such a situation, issues related to international investment protection will become increasingly important to Taiwanese enterprises operating in China, they said.

Arguing that some Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) members face talent shortages and lack industrial technologies, some felt the government should find ways to strengthen vocational training for professionals, migrant workers and new immigrants from ASEAN currently residing in Taiwan.

Doing that would help meet the needs of businesses operating in these countries and reduce the operating costs of Taiwanese businesses seeking to move their production base to the region.

Some experts also suggested that Taiwan pursue opportunities to work with South Korea and Japan in venturing into Southeast Asia, the experts said.

The MAC consultative committee is composed of 21 academics and experts appointed to provide opinions mainly on the MAC's promotion of China policy and on China affairs. The MAC consultative meeting is held monthly.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel