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Bulletin — 30 May 2012

Chairman’s Message

Dear members and friends,

The Australian Office

The ATBC welcomes the change of name of Australia’s representative office at Taipei to ‘The Australian Office’. The new name better reflects the scope of the interests that the Australian Office at Taipei promotes on behalf of the government and people. We offer our congratulations to Mr Kevin Magee, Representative, on his vision and persistence in working to have the new name accepted by the Taiwan government.

Resignation of Chairman Edward Chen

Earlier this month, Edward Chen, Chairman of our Taiwan counterpart organization, the ROC-Australia Business Council (ROCABC), resigned his position as Chairman of Taiwan Power Corporation (Taipower). He had served as Chairman of Taipower, in our view very effectively in extremely difficult circumstances, for several years. I have been in touch with Chairman Chen, who is well known and respected by many ATBC members. When I have more news about his future plans I shall let members know.

Annual General Meeting 21 June 2012

This year’s AGM and AGM Luncheon will be held at Macquarie Group in Sydney, on 21 June, the thirteenth consecutive year that Macquarie have sponsored the event. Many thanks to Macquarie — and to Mr Ben Way for his great interest and support.

Taiwan’s Representative at Canberra, Ambassador Katharine Chang, has accepted our invitation to attend the AGM Luncheon as Guest of Honour and to deliver an address.

A Notice of the meeting has already been sent to members. I am looking forward to seeing everyone on 21 June.

Bilateral Economic Consultations 19–20 June 2012

The annual ‘Bilateral Economic Consultations’ (BEC) between Australia and Taiwan will be held on 19–20 June, at Canberra. Mr Francis Liang Kuo-hsin, Vice Minister for Economic Affairs, will lead the Taiwan delegation at the BEC. The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has invited me to speak, representing Australian businesses with interests in Taiwan.

If you have issues or problems in your business dealings with Taiwan and would like me to raise them at the BEC, please let me know as soon as possible. The BEC influences the way the two national governments formulate and adjust their policies and programs supporting bilateral trade and investment. It’s a valuable opportunity for us to make our views heard and to shape the thinking of ministers and officials.

26th Joint Conference of ATBC and ROCABC

Our counterpart, the ROC-Australia Business Council (ROCABC), hosts this year the 26th Joint Conference. The Joint Conference will be held in early September, at Kaohsiung. We’ll advise dates and a detailed program as soon as possible. For the second year in a row, the annual ‘Joint Energy and Minerals Trade and Investment Consultations’ (JEMTIC), managed by the two governments, will be held in conjunction with our Conference.

The annual Joint Conferences are the premier events in Australia-Taiwan relations. They attract the movers and shakers in business, as well as ministers and other senior public sector people, from both countries.

Members and friends who attended the 25th Joint Conference in August last year, at the Hyatt Regency Sanctuary Cove, can attest to the outstanding success of the event and the tremendous value in participation.

Clayton Utz — ATBC Business Luncheon 25 May Brisbane

This event was quickly overbooked and those lucky enough to take part enjoyed an event of high quality. The three guest speakers, Ambassador Katharine Chang, the Hon Robert Cavallucci MP, Assistant Minister for Multicultural Affairs in the new Queensland Government and Mr Rowan Callick, Asia Pacific Editor,The Australian, each made informative and entertaining addresses.

The ATBC acknowledges Clayton Utz’s generous event sponsorship.

President Ma Ying-jeou’s second term

Following his victory in the January presidential election, on 20 May Ma was sworn in for a second term. His inauguration address contained few surprises. There was some muted debate in Taiwan and elsewhere about his reference in it to ‘One Country Two Areas’ and his statement that ‘One China of course is the Republic of China’. It took the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) a couple of days to decide how publicly to respond to Ma’s words. Its leaders had wanted Ma to go further and adopt their formulation. Their reticence is interpreted by many experts to mean that Beijing now recognizes the gulf between the CCP and the KMT understanding of the meaning of the ‘1992 consensus’ — ‘One country, different interpretations’.

In Taiwan public opinion polls, President Ma’s popularity remains at low levels — about the same as Prime Minister Gillard’s in Australia!

The new cabinet sworn in after President Ma’s inauguration contained few new faces. Our friend Timothy Yang retained his post as Minister for Foreign Affairs and Shih Yen-hsiang continues as Minister for Economic Affairs.

Ross Maddock


30 May 2012