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Spokesman rebuts 'mainland buying out Taiwan' remarks

Updated: 2014-05-14 21:21
( Xinhua)

BEIJING - A Chinese mainland spokesman on Wednesday refuted accusations that "the mainland is buying out Taiwan" as baseless and with vile political intent.

"These remarks are groundless and made with a specific political stance," said Ma Xiaoguang of the State Council Taiwan Affairs Office at a press conference.

"They aim to disturb cross-Strait cooperation by inventing and spreading a sense of threat," he added.

Ma made the remarks when asked whether the establishment of free economic zones on the island would open doors for mainland funds, laborers, service industries and goods, enabling the mainland to "buy out" the island.

"Economic cooperation will bring mutual benefits and win-win results, and there is no issue of 'who is manipulating whom' or 'who is eating up whom,'" Ma said. "Of course, there is no 'who is buying out whom,'" he added.

The spokesman defended the controversial service trade pact signed in June 2013 between the two sides as mutually beneficial, saying it has served the interests of medium and small businesses across the Strait.

As a follow-up to the 2010 Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement, the service trade pact aims to open up 80 of the mainland's service sectors to Taiwan and 64 Taiwan sectors to the mainland.

The pact became a target of protest on the island earlier this year.

"The mainland has been restrained on its capital entering the island," Ma said.

Only about one billion US dollars has been invested since mainland enterprises were first allowed to invest on the island in 2009, while Taiwan authorities put the figure at more than 800 million.

"How could such a small number impact Taiwan's service sector and medium and small businesses?" Ma said.

Ma dismissed speculations that mainland companies will elbow out their Taiwan counterparts, saying if the service trade pact is brought into effect in the future, mainland companies will still "dance with chains."

Now that people believe opening up and free trade are the route Taiwan must take for economic development, Ma advised people in Taiwan to have a good look at the contents of the service pact.

When asked to comment on Taiwan veteran singer Bobby Chen's recent vocal opposition to the service trade pact and claims that mainland tourists should not go to the island, Ma said such extreme remarks cannot represent the opinion of Taiwan's majority and will not be accepted by mainland residents.

"No one could deprive the right of mutual visits and exchanges between compatriots across the Strait," he said.