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Hill says Government still has a long way to go on Taiwan policy



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M E D IA RELEASE

SENATOR ROBERT HILL LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION IN THE SENATE SHADOW MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS

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T H E S E N A T E

Wednesday, March 13 Canberra 23/91

HTT.T. RAYS G O VERNM ENT ETTT.T. HAS A T.ONG W AT T O (TO ON T A IW A N Ρ Ο Τ .Τ Γ Υ

vs . The Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs, Senator Robert Hill,

* said today's announcement that a Taiwanese trade office would be

k established in Canberra was encouraging, but that the Hawke

Government still had a long way to go to improve Australia's policy towards Taiwan.

Senator Hill said the move was one of many reforms to Australia's relationship with Taiwan which had been suggested by the Federal Opposition.

The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Senator Evans, announced in the Senate that the Government had agreed that a Taiwanese commercial office could be established in Canberra, although no date for this was set down.

"The announcement is an encouraging one,” Senator Hill said.

"However, there is a long list of reforms to Australia's policy _ towards Taiwan which still needs to be implemented.

"There is still a long way to go before Australia's trade relationship with Taiwan can reach its full potential.

"The Federal Opposition has for some time been urging the Government to change its policy towards Taiwan, but the Government has procrastinated."

Senator Hill, who will later this month visit Taiwan as a member of a Coalition and business delegation, said the outstanding policy changes being urged by the Opposition included:

INCREASING the number of Taiwanese students studying in Australia;

DEMONSTRATING real progress towards the establishment of direct air links between Australia and Taiwan;

ALLOWING Taiwan's trade office in Australia to change its name from the Far East Trading Company to something more relevant, such as the Taipei Trade and Cultural Office;

INCREASING the number of Taiwanese staff employed in Australia;

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SPEEDING DP business migration assessments of Taiwanese applicants;

PROVIDING more information for Australian companies on commercial opportunities and contacts in Taiwan; and

PROVIDING Australian business with access to the resources of Austrade.

"The Government's handling, in particular, of the air links issue has been inept,” Senator Hill said.

"It has failed to explain why it has been unable to secure air links when Canada managed to sign a deal last year for flights between Taipei and Vancouver.

"The air links issue is one of many it needs to show real progress on before it can claim to have made real changes to Australia's Taiwan policy.”

(ends)

Enquiries: Senator Hill or Mark Batistich on (06) 277 3170