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.

Printable version
CLOSE X
See also
Taiwanese take to the streets against pro-China trade deal
21/12/2009
Taipei and Beijing reach historic deal on direct flights, trade, postal services and food
04/11/2008
Taipei postpones trade talks with Beijing
19/10/2009
Taiwan and Singapore to discuss a free trade agreement
05/08/2010
The "most important" talks between China and Taiwan since 1949 underway in Nanjing
11/02/2014