Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou praised Beijing for its “very clear sophistication and flexibility in policy” following his election a year ago, the Wall Street Journal reported. Part of Ma’s election platform was to enhance exchanges with the mainland. Direct air, shipping and postal links have since been re-established between the two sides and agreements have been reached on financial services and allowing mainland investment in Taiwan. However, Lai Shih-yuan, chairwoman of the Mainland Affairs Council, critized China Mobile’s proposed US$540 million investment in Taiwan’s Far EasTone Telecommunications. She said telecom remains off the table as far as mainland investment is concerned. Lai also ruled out mainland investment in Taiwan’s semiconductor industry. Taiwan’s economy contracted a record 10.24% in the first quarter of 2009, but officials said they believed the recession had bottomed out. The island’s statistics agency expects a full-year contraction of 4.25%.
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