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Economic Daily News: Cautiously expedite cross-strait pact

Economic Daily News: Cautiously expedite cross-strait pact

Taiwan's government should strive to sign a bilateral agreement with China on the liberalization of merchandise trade with China as soon as possible but also be extremely prudent and transparent during the process. Finalization of the trade-in-goods pact is urgently necessary to prepare Taiwan for the impact of a free trade agreement (FTA) between China and South Korea set to take effect next year. Regardless of when the cross-strait agreement will actually be signed, it is critical for Taiwan to at least complete negotiations on the technical aspects of the pact before the end of the year so that progress will not by stymied by Taiwan's presidential election in January 2016. That's because no matter which party takes power after the election, Beijing might be more careful when dealing with Taiwan in the future, which could delay the agreement. In addition, Taiwan needs the pact to prove to members of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), a China-led trade bloc, that it can maintain pragmatic and normalized trade relations with the mainland. Those relations have stalled after a student-led movement occupied Taiwan's Legislature over a trade-in-services agreement with China last year. Taiwan has shown strong interest in joining the RCEP and U.S.-led Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) because their members account for 70 percent of Taiwan's export markets. However, how the government carries out its bid for the cross-strait pact is also vital as it must win the trust of the people. The government must come up with complementary measures to help industries potentially vulnerable to a free trade pact and eliminate political rhetoric to convince the country's people that the pact will benefit them. (Editorial abstract -- Nov. 3, 2015) (By Lee Hsin-Yin)


Updated : 2021-09-18 22:45 GMT+08:00