China warns Taiwan against WTO 'tricks'
By Willy Wo-Lap Lam
(CNN) -- Beijing has said it would be inappropriate for Taipei to host World Trade Organization events even after its admission to the world body.
After both China and Taiwan -- under the name "Chinese Taipei" -- were admitted to the trade body over the weekend, China's Vice-Minister of Foreign Trade, An Wen, pointed out that Taiwan was acceding to the WTO as a customs territory only.
An said since Taiwan is not a sovereign state, "it will be improper for it to host WTO conferences."
He also warned Taipei against using "tricks" to try to internationalize cross-Taiwan Strait issues.
Head of the International Department of the Ministry of Foreign Trade, Yi Xiaozhun, added that after entry to WTO, Taiwan must abide by the "one China principle" in addition to the trade body's regulations.
The ministry has also sent a note to WTO members asking them to observe the "one China principle" in future dealings with Taiwan.
Yi said it would be "unwise" for Taipei to continue resisting the so-called three links -- shipping, communications and mail -- between both sides of the Taiwan Strait.
China's Chief Trade Negotiator, Long Yongtu, also indicated that since shipping was an integral part of trade, WTO status for both China and Taipei should mean the immediate establishment of the three links.
Taipei officials, however, insisted that there was no direct correlation between WTO membership and the three links.
Taiwan Economics Minister Lin Hsin-yi said upon Taiwan's accession on Sunday that it was good news for the island's businesses, many of which had established footholds in the mainland.
Lin said there should be more protection for mainland-based Taiwan companies since disputes between Taiwan businesses and local governments could now be settled in WTO courts.
Meanwhile, opposition parties in Taiwan have held large-scale demonstrators in Taipei to demonstrate against worsening unemployment.
The unemployment rate of 5.3% is expected to worsen as more than 100,000 jobs are expected to be lost following the influx of foreign goods and farm produce.
Politicians from the main opposition party, the Kuomintang, have also attacked President Chen Shui-bian for refusing to discuss the "one China principle" with Beijing.
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