Taiwan confirms China has not ended trade agreement

MAC says Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement still in effect despite worries it will not be renewed

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MAC spokesman Chiu Chui-cheng. 

MAC spokesman Chiu Chui-cheng.  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) said Wednesday (Sept. 16) that Beijing is not ending the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) and all trade agreements between the two countries will remain in effect.

The preferential trade agreement was signed in 2010 to reduce tariffs and commercial barriers between Taiwan and China. After the ECFA expired on Saturday (Sept. 12), Taiwan manufacturers worried there would be adverse effects if it ended.

Even though the Taiwan government downplayed the effects of the ECFA being terminated by saying the impact on the country's trade revenues would be less than five percent, proponents of the pact believe it is key to ensuring Taiwan's inclusion in economic dialogues in the region, reported UDN.

During a press conference, MAC confirmed no changes have been made to any of the cross-strait trade agreements. It stressed that scholars and business owners in the country have advocated for the continuation of ECFA, so the government will respect public opinion and continue current policies.

Meanwhile, China's Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO) also said Beijing has not altered its trade policies with Taiwan. However, it urged the Tsai administration to maintain good relations with the Beijing authorities and accused it of "destroying cross-strait exchanges," reported Liberty Times.