The China Post
Date: December 3, 2015
By: Yuan-Ming Chiao
TAIPEI, Taiwan — The head of mainland China’s semi-official organization for Taiwan relations broached cross-strait cooperation on long-term care for the elderly yesterday.
Chen Deming (陳德銘), chairman of China’s Association for Relations across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS, 海協會), proposed the idea on the second day of his Taiwan visit, stating that China could learn much from Taiwan’s experience in elderly care. Chen spoke at a seminar at Taoyuan’s Chang-gung Memorial Hospital, saying that elderly care was not just a means to an end, but also needed to show promise.
“Confidence and responsibility contribute greatly to mental health,” Chen said, remarking on how quickly the number of 60 to 70-year-old retirees was growing in the local areas he used to serve. China has a growing elderly population, with estimates of 200 million people above the age of 60.
Chen added that mainland China could avoid course corrections on its path to establishing more comprehensive elderly care by learning from Taiwan, which has longer experience. He extended an olive branch to Taiwanese corporations through the institutional mechanisms of dialogue between the ARATS and its Taiwan counterpart, the Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF, 海基會). He added that opening the market to elderly care in China is a pivotal part of the latest “Five Year Plan” which was recently approved by its largely ceremonial congressional body.
Any deal, however, will hinge on passage of the Cross-Strait Trade in Services Agreement, currently logjammed in the Legislature pending passage of a control mec [FULL STORY]