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Chinese bankers to visit Taiwan in mid-Oct.

TAIPEI, Oct. 7 Kyodo

A group of Chinese bankers will visit Taiwan in mid-October, marking the first trip to the island by high-ranking officials in the mainland's banking sector, local media reported Monday.

Led by Li Ruogu, assistant governor of the People's Bank of China, the group will attend a seminar organized by a private financial study organization on Oct. 14-15, which will aim at promoting mutual understanding between bankers from both sides of the Taiwan Strait, the United Daily News said.

''Li's visit to Taipei is very meaningful since he is the highest-level administrator who takes charge of reviewing Taiwan banks' applications for setting up branch offices in China,'' the report quoted a Taiwan government official as saying.

Li is reportedly one of the prospective candidates to become the chief of the People's Bank of China, which is China's central bank, the official added.

It is very likely that Li, along with several representatives of China's state-run banks, will meet with some government officials during their stay, the report said.

In August, Taiwan relaxed its regulations to allow major local banks to operate direct cross-strait transactions that are channeled through offshore banking units.

Following Taiwan's move, the People's Bank of China also allowed five Chinese banks to conduct similar business with Taiwan.

So far, a total of eight Taiwan banks have submitted applications to China for establishing branch offices, but only two banks, the United World Chinese Commercial Bank and the Changhwa Commercial Bank, have received permission from Beijing.

China sees Taiwan as part of its territory which should be brought back into the fold, even though the island has been on its own for more than 50 years.

In spite of their political rivalry over the past decades, the economies of both sides have become increasingly intertwined in recent years.
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Publication:Asian Economic News
Geographic Code:9TAIW
Date:Oct 14, 2002
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