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China approves lower tariffs with Taiwan for 2022 in line with cross-strait agreement

Beijing says it will continue other tariff reductions in free trade agreements with various countries

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Wang Mei-hua. 

Wang Mei-hua.  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — China’s Ministry of Finance announced on Wednesday (Dec. 15) that the Tariff Commission of the State Council has approved tariff cuts for 2022 in line with the "Cross-Strait Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement" (ECFA).

The ECFA between Taiwan and China came into effect in 2010, and it officially expired last year, though neither side appears to have formally terminated it. Taiwan’s Minister of Economic Affairs Wang Meihua (王美花) said in October that the country has not received any communications from China indicating it intends to terminate provisions of the agreement, per a CNA report.

Last year, Taiwanese officials threatened not to renew the ECFA, citing public anger over China’s handling of the COVID-19 outbreak. Yet Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) later said that China is not ending the ECFA and that all trade agreements between the two countries will remain in effect.

China has announced it will also continue to implement tariff reductions in its free trade agreements with ASEAN nations, Chile, and Singapore as well as its "Closer Economic Partnership Arrangements" (CEPA) with Hong Kong and Macau into next year.

China also said it will continue with its free trade agreements with Australia, New Zealand, Peru, Costa Rica, Switzerland, Iceland, South Korea, Pakistan, and other countries.