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Taiwan’s president-elect hopes US can continue to support the island

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Updated Jan. 15, 2024, 12:10 a.m. ET

Taiwan’s president-elect Lai Ching-te told a visiting delegation of former senior U.S. officials on Monday that he hopes the United States can continue to support Taiwan.

Lai added his administration will continue to defend peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait, according to media reports. 

Lai from the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) became Taiwan’s president-elect on Saturday, beating Beijing-favored Hou Yu-ih of the Kuomintang (KMT) and Ko Wen-je of the Taiwan’s People Party (TPP).

His remarks came during the meeting with the high-level U.S. delegation’s three-day trip to the self-governed island to exchange views on bilateral issues and prospects. 

The American Institute in Taiwan (AIT), the U.S.’s de facto embassy in the island, said in a statement on Sunday a delegation made up of former senior officials, including former National Security Advisor Stephen J. Hadley and former Deputy Secretary of State James B. Steinberg, would be in Taipei and would meet with “a range of leading political figures” on Monday.

Former National Security Advisor Stephen J. Hadley (second from right) and AIT Chairman Laura Rosenberger (second from left) in Taipei on Jan. 15, 2024. (Credit: Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs)

The delegation also met incumbent President Tsai Ing-wen at the presidential office on Monday morning, where Hadley conveyed the American people’s congratulations on the election.

“Taiwan’s democracy has set a shining example to the world,” Hadley said, in comments released by Tsai’s office.

“We are honored to have the opportunity to meet with you today to reaffirm that the American commitment to Taiwan is rock solid, principled and bipartisan and that the United States stands with its friends,” said Hadley, adding that he looked forward to meeting Lai and other political leaders.

“We look forward to continuity in the relationship between Taiwan and the United States under the new administration, and for common efforts to preserve cross-strait peace and stability.”

Lai, the incumbent vice-president, has vowed to continue outgoing President Tsai’s efforts to bolster diplomatic ties with democratic allies and protect the island from “threats and intimidation” by China, which claims Taiwan as its own.

Key strategic allies of Taiwan extended congratulations following his triumph and the elections. Antony Blinken, the U.S. Secretary of State, commended Taiwan for its “strong democratic system and electoral process,” while Japan acclaimed the “seamless execution” of the democratic election.

However, Beijing said the DPP “did not represent mainstream public opinion,” referring to Lai garnering only 40% of the vote and the DPP failing to retain a majority in the legislature, adding that the result would not stop “the inevitable trend of China’s reunification.”

The Chinese foreign ministry on Sunday rebuked the U.S. State Department’s statement on the election as “seriously” in breach of the one-China principle, sending a wrong signal to the “Taiwan independence separatist forces”. 

The ministry’s statement reiterated the “Taiwan question” – which Beijing calls the political foundation of bilateral relations – as the first red line that must not be crossed in US-China ties. 

Separately, China’s mouthpiece publication, Global Times, warned on Sunday that China has “both the strength and determination to resolve the Taiwan question once and for all once Lai crosses the red line,” noting that the initiative on solving the Taiwan question firmly lies with the Chinese mainland.

The AIT said in a statement on Sunday the unofficial visit will “convey congratulations from the American people to Taiwan on its successful elections, support for Taiwan’s continued prosperity and growth, and our longstanding interest in cross-Strait peace and stability.” 

Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs also said on the same day that the delegation symbolizes bipartisan government support for Taiwan and demonstrates that democratic values are key factors in “propelling Taiwan towards the international stage and embracing the world,” according to the ministry.

When asked to comment on Taiwan’s election during a press briefing on Saturday, U.S. President Joe Biden reiterated Washington’s position of not supporting Taiwan independence.

In contrast to Beijing’s “one China principle,” which holds that Taiwan is an inalienable part of China and that it should be governed from Beijing, Washington espouses a “one China policy” that takes no position on sovereignty over Taiwan. While acknowledging Beijing’s position, Washington does not take a stance on its validity. 

Edited by Elaine Chan and Mike Firn.

Updated to add remarks made by the president-elect Lai Ching-te and former U.S. National Security Advisor Stephen J. Hadley.

 

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The New Company Law brings substantial changes with implications for new and existing foreign invested enterprises and stakeholders. Foreign investors must assess if adjustments to existing structures

Despite recent economic challenges, many organizations’ China operations provide unparalleled access to one of the world’s largest and most competitive global supply chains. Over the past 30 years, a significant number of foreign invested enterprises (FIEs) have been established in China. As of the end of 2022, the number of FIEs operating in China had exceeded 1.12 million.

Compared to their domestic counterparts, FIEs demonstrate greater caution regarding legal revisions and are diligent in making swift adjustments. This stems not only from the closer scrutiny FIEs face from regulatory authorities but also from their commitment to compliance and maintaining a competitive edge.

Clearly, there has been a shift in China’s corporate regulations—from merely encouraging an increase in the number of companies to focusing on attracting mature enterprises and higher-quality investments. While the transition from a broad approach to a more refined one may cause short-term challenges, it ultimately benefits the company’s long-term development. By returning to the original intent of setting registered capital, it not only protects the interests of creditors but also shields shareholders from the operational risks of the company.

In China’s foreign investment landscape, while most FIEs exercise commercial prudence in determining registered capital—factoring in capital expenditures, operational costs, and setting aside surplus funds—some opt for higher registered capital levels to avoid future capital increase procedures. This typically involves lengthy document signing and registration changes, lasting 1-2 months.

Joint ventures (JVs) often impose stricter payment deadlines for registered capital in their articles of association to ensure both parties’ simultaneous contributions align with operational needs. Conversely, wholly foreign-owned enterprises (WFOEs) tend to favor flexibility in payment deadlines, often allowing full payment before the company’s operational period expires.

Given these circumstances, despite the generally stronger capital adequacy among foreign companies compared to domestic entities, many FIEs could be affected by the new capital contribution rules.

This article is republished from China Briefing. Read the rest of the original article.

China Briefing is written and produced by Dezan Shira & Associates. The practice assists foreign investors into China and has done since 1992 through offices in Beijing, Tianjin, Dalian, Qingdao, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Ningbo, Suzhou, Guangzhou, Dongguan, Zhongshan, Shenzhen, and Hong Kong. Please contact the firm for assistance in China at china@dezshira.com.

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Foreign Tourist Groups on Cruise Ships Fully Permitted Visa-Free Entry in China

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China will allow visa-free entry for foreign tourist groups arriving by cruise ship at 13 ports along the coast, starting May 15, 2024. Visitors must stay with the same ship and in permitted areas for up to 15 days. This policy aims to boost tourism and facilitate high-quality development in the cruise industry.


China’s immigration agency announced that it will grant a visa-free policy for foreign tourist groups to enter China by cruise at all cruise ports along the coast of China, starting May 15, 2024. The tourist group must remain with the same cruise ship until its next port of call and stay within permitted areas for no more than 15 days.

Effective May 15, 2024, the National Immigration Administration (NIA) has officially implemented a visa-free policy for foreign tourist groups entering China via cruise ships. This progressive move aims to enhance personnel exchanges and foster cooperation between China and other nations, furthering the country’s commitment to high-level openness.

Under this policy, foreign tourist groups, comprising two or more individuals, who travel by cruise ship and are organized by Chinese domestic travel agencies, can now enjoy visa-free entry as a cohesive group at cruise ports in 13 cities along the Chinese coast.

The tourist group must remain with the same cruise ship until its next port of call and stay within China for no more than 15 days. The eligible areas for this policy are coastal provinces (autonomous regions and municipalities) and Beijing.

Furthermore, to support cruise tourism development, seven additional cruise ports—Dalian, Lianyungang, Wenzhou, Zhoushan, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, and Beihai—have been included as applicable ports for visa-free transit.

The recent implementation of the visa-free policy for foreign tourist groups entering China via cruise ships is poised to have several significant effects. The policy will provide crucial support for the cruise economy and the overall cruise industry. By facilitating smoother travel for foreign tourist groups, it acts as a catalyst for high-quality development in this sector.

Additionally, under this policy, international cruise companies can strategically plan their global routes by designating Chinese port cities, such as Shanghai, Xiamen, and Shenzhen, as docking destinations. This move is expected to attract more cruise ships to Chinese ports, ultimately bringing in a larger number of international visitors to the Chinese market.

This article is republished from China Briefing. Read the rest of the original article.

China Briefing is written and produced by Dezan Shira & Associates. The practice assists foreign investors into China and has done since 1992 through offices in Beijing, Tianjin, Dalian, Qingdao, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Ningbo, Suzhou, Guangzhou, Dongguan, Zhongshan, Shenzhen, and Hong Kong. Please contact the firm for assistance in China at china@dezshira.com.

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China’s New Tariff Law: Streamlining and Standardizing Current Tariff Regulations

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China’s new Tariff Law consolidates import and export duties, clarifies rules for imposing counter-tariffs, and sets a December 1, 2024 effective date. It codifies existing practices on cross-border e-commerce and rules on the origin of goods into law, impacting trade relations.


China’s new Tariff Law consolidates rules on import and export duties that were previously implemented via several legal documents and makes important clarifications and additions to prior regulations. Among other changes, it stipulates provisions for the Chinese government to impose counter-tariffs on imported goods, codifying these powers into law for the first time. We outline all the notable updates to the China Tariff Law and discuss the implications for the country’ current trade relations. 

On April 26, 2024, the National People’s Congress (NPC), China’s legislature, adopted the Tariff Law of the People’s Republic of China (the “Tariff Law”) after several rounds of revisions.

The new Tariff Law will replace the Import and Export Tariff Regulations of the People’s Republic of China, which fall under the purview of the State Council, and adopts many of its provisions.

Previously, Chinese law had not stipulated legislative powers to implement countervailing tariffs, although China was nonetheless able to impose counter-tariffs on trade partners through other means.

China’s new Tariff Law comes into effect on December 1, 2024.

China’s Tariff Law elevates several existing provisions and practices to the level of law. For instance, Article 3 of the Tariff Law clarifies the obligations of cross-border e-commerce platforms for tariff withholding and implementing consolidated taxation.

The Tariff Law also solidifies the rules and regulations on the origin of goods, stipulating that the application of tariff rates shall comply with the corresponding rules of origin. Although this has been previously implemented in practice, it is the first time this has been codified into law.

This article is republished from China Briefing. Read the rest of the original article.

China Briefing is written and produced by Dezan Shira & Associates. The practice assists foreign investors into China and has done since 1992 through offices in Beijing, Tianjin, Dalian, Qingdao, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Ningbo, Suzhou, Guangzhou, Dongguan, Zhongshan, Shenzhen, and Hong Kong. Please contact the firm for assistance in China at china@dezshira.com.

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