Taiwan and China lowered import tariffs on more than 800 products yesterday under the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA).
China cut duties on 557 items imported from Taiwan including fish and bicycles, an increase from 539 when the ECFA was signed in June, China’s Ministry of Commerce said in a statement on its Web site on Wednesday. Taiwan will lower tariffs on 267 items such as tea and cement from China as part of the “early harvest” list.
The “early harvest” list includes items that will enjoy preferential tariffs first under the EFCA, a treaty that also includes the opening of industries.
Cross-strait tensions have eased since President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) took office in May 2008 and dropped the pro-independence stance of his predecessor, making economic relations with China the government’s priority. Taiwan has signed 15 deals with China since 2008, most recently an agreement on medical and healthcare cooperation last month.
“Taiwan’s economic growth is very likely to overshoot in 2011 because of the agreement with China,” Aidan Wang (王誠宏), an economist at Yuanta Securities Investment Consulting Co (元大投顧), said by telephone on Friday. “More significantly, Chinese tourists and capital will contribute to Taiwan’s domestic demand and help the nation to be less export dependent.”
The nation’s benchmark TAIEX has climbed 21 percent since the ECFA was signed and it closed at a two-and-a-half-year high on Friday.
China also opened markets in six service industries yesterday, including banking, securities, insurance, hospital services, design services and civil aircraft repairs, China’s Ministry of Commerce said on Wednesday.
The seventh cross-strait talks this year will continue to discuss an investment protection accord, Zheng Lizhong (鄭立中), vice chairman of China’s Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait, told reporters in Taipei last month.
SURPRISE GUEST: Media reports identified the visitor as Admiral Michael Studeman, director of the J2, which oversees intelligence at the US military’s Indo-Pacific Command A two-star US Navy admiral overseeing US military intelligence in the Asia-Pacific region has made an unannounced visit to Taiwan, two sources told Reuters on Sunday. The sources, who include a Taiwanese official familiar with the situation, said the official was Rear Admiral Michael Studeman. They were speaking on condition of anonymity. After initially saying on Sunday night that it had no comment about the report, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it welcomed the visit of an “unidentified US official,” but declined to give more details because the trip “has not been made public.” Presidential Office spokesman Xavier Chang (張惇涵) yesterday
AUTUMN STRUGGLE: The KMT and TPP set up stages on the rally’s sidelines, while Want Want boss Tsai Eng-meng said the DPP was curtailing freedom of speech Tens of thousands of people in Taipei yesterday took part in the “Autumn Struggle” (秋鬥) — an annual protest march by labor groups — but with this year’s focus on rejecting the government’s plan to allow imports of US pork containing ractopamine residue. “Against poisonous pork, against double standards, against a party-state,” the protesters, mostly wearing black, chanted in front of the rally’s main stage on Ketagalan Boulevard at about noon, before a parade set off at 2pm. Autumn Struggle spokesperson Lee Chien-cheng (李建誠) said this year’s march was divided into three teams, with the first team urging food safety and labor
DEFENSE: The construction of indigenous submarines will be a testament to the nation’s commitment to safeguard its sovereignty, President Tsai Ing-wen said President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday presided over a ceremony to mark the start of construction of the nation’s first indigenous submarine at state-run shipbuilder CSBC Corp’s (台灣國際造船) shipyard in Kaohsiung. “This submarine is an important part of allowing our navy to develop asymmetric warfare and to intimidate and block enemy ships from surrounding Taiwan’s main island,” Tsai said. “With the construction of the submarine to its future commission, we will certainly let the world know our persistence in safeguarding our sovereignty.” Tsai has made boosting the nation’s indigenous defense capacity a central pillar of her defense policy. She recently relaunched the
ESPIONAGE CHARGE: A TAO spokesperson said that the rights of Shih Cheng-ping were ‘fully safeguarded’ during the hearing, which handed him four years in prison China sentenced Shih Cheng-ping (施正屏), a former National Taiwan Normal University (NTNU) professor, to four years in jail for espionage, officials said yesterday. The ruling came a month after Shih made a televised “confession” on state media. Shih, who is also a former chief economist for Chinese conglomerate Huaxia Group (華夏集團), was found guilty by a Chinese court on Tuesday, China’s Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO) told a news briefing. Shih — who vanished after traveling to China in August 2018 — was among Taiwanese who China Central Television (CCTV) last month showed confessing to spying. CCTV often broadcasts suspects admitting to crimes, even