China-Taiwan trade deal talks hit semantic speed bump
Wed, May 12, 2010

TAIPEI - Talks between China and Taiwan on a landmark pact that could give a big lift to $109 billion (S$151 billion) in annual trade have stumbled on the choice of wording before the final phase of negotiations, although any delay is likely to be short-lived.

Taiwan objected to the use of the word "liberalisation" in the proposed economic cooperation framework agreement (ECFA), fearing it could spell a too-rapid influx of Chinese goods, said Nationalist Party Deputy Secretary-General Chang Jung-kung.

"Liberalisation should be a goal, but when? We're now negotiating that issue," Chang told Reuters. "If trade is
liberalised, more Taiwan industries will be hurt. "Mainland China must use restraint. Taiwan won't accept the term liberalisation."

Taiwan's government is pushing the ECFA, which it says is essential to ensure the competitiveness of Taiwan's $390 billion economy. But opponents fear it would allow China to pursue its political agenda of claiming sovereignty over the island and would also lead to massive unemployment as Taiwan is swamped by cheap Chinese goods.

"I think the hope of today's government officials for Chinese products entering Taiwan is the slower the better," Chang said.

The pact, which will feature tariff cuts and is expected to be signed in June after decades of hostilities between the two sides, would also worry China if Taiwan got its way on certain electronics exports, Chang said.

"Mainland China has said a lot of Taiwan industrial products are too competitive and if tariffs were cut, China itself would be impacted," he said.




Bookmark and Share
  China-Taiwan trade deal talks hit semantic speed bump
  Congressman Pacquiao ready for one last fight: reports
  Thai "Red Shirt" protesters reject PM's deadline
  Philippines? Aquino prepares for office vowing change
  Malaysia?s Anwar rebuffed in bid to derail sodomy trial
  Thai authorities to sever protesters' supply lines
  N.Korea boasts success in nuclear fusion
  Seven dead, 20 hurt in China school attack
  Fast count stuns nation
  Aquino ahead of count in 12 regions; Estrada only in 4
Schools learn lessons on safety
Taiwan ex-military intelligence chief indicted for graft
Taiwan MPs brawl over opening universities to China
School attacks boost demand for private protection
China pens new chapter in education reform

Elsewhere in AsiaOne...

Investor Relations: Four Singapore firms invest $127m in Tianjin

Wine,Dine&Unwind: Taiwan army buffet for just S$4.40

Health: Chinese doctor pioneers height surgery in Shanghai

Motoring: Peugeot to soon announce venture with China's Changan

Digital: Netizens vent anger over Google

Business: Now hiring in China: Only whites need apply

Just Women: Vagrant goes from beggar to prince

Multimedia: 16 killed in China ahead of Games