For Taiwanese companies, the business environment in mainland China feels “targeted,” but why do they stay there?

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“We still face operational challenges. Even after wine shipments to the mainland resume, we still need to obtain new registration numbers and follow new packaging and labeling regulations,” said Kinmen, Taiwan. said the sales manager of the prefecture-based Kinmen Gaoliang Liquor Store. Anonymous. “The registration process is a complicated document chase…I have heard that some people have sought help from mainland brokers who charge exorbitant fees.”

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But the sales manager said the regulatory “long distance” to transport the product to the mainland meant that Kemoi Island, a Taiwan-controlled offshore island also known as Kinmen, was about 5 kilometers from Xiamen in Fujian province. He said it was difficult despite the fact that She has lived in Xiamen for several years.

It added that not all export applications will be approved.

“Therefore, we hope that cross-Strait politics and the January presidential election on the island will proceed as Beijing wishes, and that peace across the Strait will further expand and that we and many others will benefit from. “I hope that I can get better and focus on business rather than other things,” she said.

The Chinese government views the autonomous island as a rebel prefecture that must be reunited with the mainland, by force if necessary. Some Taiwanese businessmen also accuse the Chinese government of politicizing trade.

04:06

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Foxconn billionaire Terry Gou announces candidacy for Taiwan president as an independent candidate

Cross-Strait relations have deteriorated since Tsai Ing-wen of the independence-leaning Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) came to power in 2016 and was re-elected in 2020, hampering trade, tourism and investment with the mainland. .

Taiwanese companies trying to enter the market through the maze of newly changing mainland rules say they also feel left out.

As of last week China International Import Expo At the International Conference on International Cooperation (CIIE) held in Shanghai, representatives of several Taiwanese companies in attendance claimed to have been “squeezed into a corner.”

Kinmen Gaoliang’s booth was located near a remote corner, with prime real estate occupied by exhibitors from the United States, Hong Kong, and Southeast Asia. When she and other Taiwanese business people complained, Expo organizers said all booths were randomly assigned to exhibitors and that booths from the same country or region were grouped together. She said she was told.

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A sales manager at the Kinmen Gaoliang store said, “This year’s venue, which is the fifth year, was the worst, with very few customers.”

The number of exhibitors in Taiwan has remained at a low level in recent years. According to CIIE’s exhibitor list, more than 100 companies participated in 2019, but that number has decreased to 20 last year and 19 this year.

For the second year in a row, Taiwan’s Foreign Trade Development Bureau has decided not to send a delegation.

A total of 3,400 exhibitors from 154 countries and regions participated in this year’s expo.

Meanwhile, Taiwanese companies looking to expand across the Strait face uncertainty due to the recession. A probe launched by the Chinese government this year Affects Taiwan’s “trade barriers” affecting 2,455 mainland products.

Operating environment [in mainland China] Staying in the country is becoming increasingly difficult for Taiwanese, who are faced with the difficult choice of staying or leaving the country.

Jean-Pierre Cabestin, Baptist University

The Chinese government has for years banned imports of some Taiwanese fruit and seafood products, citing quality issues, many of which are major exports from Taiwan’s agricultural region, which is seen as the political base of Tsai and the Democratic Progressive Party. It is.

“Taiwanese businesses are under pressure to vote for opposition candidates. The business environment is becoming increasingly difficult for Taiwanese, and Taiwanese are faced with difficult choices: stay or leave,” Hong Kong said. said Jean-Pierre Cabestin, professor emeritus of social sciences at Baptist University’s School of Government and International Studies.

President Xi Jinping vowed in a letter to the Cross-Strait Entrepreneurship Forum on Tuesday to make further efforts to promote cross-strait exchanges and integrated development, improving the well-being of Taiwan’s people and businesses. He pledged further efforts to achieve this goal. The annual summit in Jiangsu province is considered an important platform to promote cross-strait economic exchanges.

One of the features of Fujian’s plan is “ The interconnected circle of life” Between Xiamen and Kinmen, visiting Taiwanese will no longer need to register as temporary residents and will instead be encouraged to settle in Fujian, buy a home and start a business there., Take steps to facilitate market access.

But Kinmen Gaoliang, a sales manager who has lived in Xiamen for years, said he remains skeptical.

“If you want to come, [to the mainland] Already here, it’s hard to imagine anyone avoiding the mainland [to visit]Even with streamlined rules,” she said.

HKBU’s Cabestan said Taiwanese companies that choose to remain should keep their political views to themselves and focus on business. “The Taiwanese government will likely remain green and continue to push for a change of direction away from China, but one of the key determining factors will be profits,” he said.

And like many others, Kinmen Gaoliang’s sales manager said he was hopeful that cross-Strait relations would stabilize after the election. But no matter what happens, she has no intention of leaving the mainland, and neither does the company.

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