Taiwan has asked state-owned banks to “appropriately handle” their exposure to China, Finance Minister Su Jain-rong has said, amid trade and political tensions between Taipei and Beijing.
Taiwan’s financial regulator said last month that Taiwanese banks’ exposure to China had hit their lowest-ever level, at a time when China has been pressuring the self-ruled island militarily and diplomatically to accept Beijing’s sovereignty.
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Asked by a legislator at a parliamentary session on Monday whether state-owned banks should be reexamining their investment risks in China, Su said: “State-owned banks have already been required to actively handle their China exposure appropriately.”
Taiwan’s big state-owned banks include Bank of Taiwan, Taiwan Cooperative Bank Ltd, and Land Bank of Taiwan Co Ltd.
Taiwan complained last week that China has banned more Taiwanese food and beverage imports in what the government says is part of a pressure campaign by Beijing targeting the Taiwanese food, agriculture and aquatic sectors.
Agriculture and food and drink production are not significant parts of Taiwan’s semiconductor-oriented economy.
But the farming and fishing community is largely based in parts of the island that traditionally support the ruling Democratic Progressive Party, especially in southern Taiwan.
Su said the effect on the alcoholic beverages sector from the latest Chinese ban was “not bad”, putting the value of the affected exports at about 1 billion New Taiwan dollars ($32.55m).