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China Warns Taiwan against Casinos on Kimmen Island
- May 27, 2015 By Oliver Young -
Taiwan has been warned by Chinese official not to proceed with its plans of starting its own casino industry on the Kimmen Island. China threatened Taiwan that it might face revocation of transportation and trade privileges with the mainland.
The Kimmen Island is located only two kilometres off the Fujian province’s coast and starting casino industry over there is seen as an attempt to attract mainland tourists. However, Taiwan has been taking very small steps towards fulfilling this project that started back in 2009 when the casino ban in Taiwan was lifted.
There still hasn’t been passed a legislation that should provide the framework for the development of casino resorts and the likelihood of this to happen is extremely small if Beijing continues to interfere.
“Small Three Links” Policy Might Be Revoked
As was reported by EJInsight, Zhang Zhijun, the director of the Taiwan Affairs Office, told local industrial representatives that both sides need to keep on the right path. He warned businessmen that opening of casinos would result in China revoking the “Three Small Links” policy.
This policy was first presented in 2008 and allows direct postal, trade and transportation channels between Taiwan and China. Those unfamiliar with the situation should know that Beijing officially considers Taiwan to be its “renegade” province instead of a different country.
This move hasn’t surprised anyone since Chine has made similar threats in the past as well. For example, the country’s province of Fujian made an announcement that it wouldn’t allow its citizens to travel to Matsu after the islanders approved referendum on the desirability of a local integrated gambling resort. This ban would be very similar to China’s decision to ban Guangdong province locals from visiting another gambling heaven – Macau.
Naturally, the move would mean bad news for any Taiwan casino’s prospects since it would lose a huge number of possible customers even before it officially starts offering gambling services.
Taiwan Outraged by China’s Meddling and Threats
Taiwanese officials and citizens have been outraged by China’s meddling and threats. Therefore, there have been statements that Taiwan will continue its plan with or without external support.
The president of Taiwan’s Legislative Yuan, Wang Jinpyng, said that they would do their work no matter what and that casino investors should decide whether they want to take the risk of starting projects in the Kimmen or Matsu island regions. Jinpyng also pointed out that Taiwan’s casino plans and the mainland’s policy are two separate things.
A legislator from the pro-independence Taiwan Solidarity Union, Lai Chen-Chang also expressed frustration saying that Zhang’s remarks were nothing but interference with Taiwan’s autonomy.
For the record, some large and well established casino operators including MGM resorts International, Caesars Entertainment Corp. and Las Vegas Sands Corp. have assessed the feasibility of investing in the country.
Therefore, it remains to be seen how everything will play out for Taiwan and whether the country will soon have its first casino resort.