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    » 12/23/2009, 00.00

    CHINA – TAIWAN

    Free trade talks between China and Taiwan edging along



    Negotiators sign three deals on industrial, fishery and agricultural co-operation, but postpone any comprehensive agreement to the second half of next year. Protests continue in Taiwan over closer ties with the mainland.
    Taichung (AsiaNews/Agencies) – China and Taiwan signed agreements on industrial, fishery and agricultural co-operation; however, they did not finalise their Economic Co-operation Framework Agreement.

    The three deals were came during the fourth round of direct bilateral talks between the two parties, which were held behind layers of protective barbed wire, far from protesters.

    A double taxation avoidance agreement was cancelled at the last minute

    The comprehensive agreement “has been made an important agenda item for the fifth round of cross-strait talks in the second half of next year," said Zheng Lizhong, vice-chairman of Beijing's Association for Relations across the Taiwan Strait.

    With yesterday’s agreements, the two sides now have signed 12 deals since June 2008, a month after the Kuomintang (KMT) came back to power under President Ma Ying-jeou.

    Ma, a former mayor of Taipei, was responsible for the KMT’s return to power after eight years under the Democratic Progressive Party, and for pushing ahead with talks with the mainland.

    However, his party suffered a defeat in recent municipal elections and his government has had to rethink its position in light of vociferous protests against the presence of a mainland delegation on the island

    Many in Taiwan are in fact afraid that too much reliance on the mainland would inevitably lead to a loss of national sovereignty.

    Indeed, protests continued throughout the four-day Sino-Taiwanese meeting, with thousands of people gathering across from the Windsor Hotel, the venue for the talks, to protest.

    Pro-independence Taiwanese and members of the Falun Gong were particularly active.

    The latter have especially slammed China for its brutal repression of the spiritual movement on the mainland.

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    See also

    21/12/2009 TAIWAN – CHINA
    Taiwanese take to the streets against pro-China trade deal
    More than 30,000 people gather in Taichung where Sino-Taiwanese trade talks are set to take place. Many in Taiwan fear agreement might lead to job losses and less sovereignty.

    04/11/2008 TAIWAN – CHINA
    Taipei and Beijing reach historic deal on direct flights, trade, postal services and food
    On a live broadcast, Chinese and Taiwanese delegations sign deal to increase the number of flights and shipping links between the two countries. Political differences are temporarily put aside. Tight security measures are imposed to “protect” the Chinese guest from pro-democracy protests.

    19/10/2009 TAIWAN – CHINA
    Taipei postpones trade talks with Beijing
    Trade pact between the two nations is raising expectations and fears on the island. It could lead to more unemployment but for the government it is an opportunity that must be seized.

    05/08/2010 TAIWAN – SINGAPORE
    Taiwan and Singapore to discuss a free trade agreement
    Both sides announce that talks are underway. In the past, Beijing opposed similar deals to keep Taiwan isolated. For the island nation, it could mean the dawn of a new age in international relations.

    11/02/2014 CHINA - TAIWAN
    The "most important" talks between China and Taiwan since 1949 underway in Nanjing
    Top officials from their respective cross-strait agencies are involved in talks aimed at (informally) bridging further the gap between the two sides. Beijing wants a free trade agreement; Taipei stresses the importance of freedom of the press. Source tells AsiaNews that "The status quo is not in question."



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