The Straits Exchange Foundation and the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS) yesterday signed a cross-strait service trade agreement in Shanghai during the ninth round of cross-strait talks, opening the service sectors on both sides to further cross-strait exchanges.
Under the pact, which includes four chapters and 24 articles, 64 Taiwanese industries will be opened to Chinese investment, while China will open up 80 industries to Taiwan.
The Taiwanese industries include transportation, tourism and traditional Chinese medicine, while China will open up its finance, retail, electronics, publishing and travel sectors.
Under the agreement, Chinese investors will be allowed to open hotels in Taiwan.
Taiwan will also allow Chinese travel agencies to establish a maximum of three branches in the country and provide services to Taiwanese. However, they will not be allowed to accommodate any foreign tourists, including Chinese.
Taiwanese investors will be allowed to set up travel agencies in China, as well as open restaurants or hotels.
Chinese companies will be allowed to open beauty parlors or hair salons in Taiwan, but would only be allowed to employ Taiwanese.
While China will open its publishing industry to Taiwanese investment, Taiwan will allow Chinese companies to invest in Taiwanese businesses in the printing service industry, with a maximum of 50 percent stock ownership.
On financial services, Taiwanese companies will be allowed to invest security companies in Shanghai, in Shenzhen and Chinese-controlled Fujian Province.
In signing the pact, foundation Chairman Lin Join-sane (林中森) and ARATS Chairman Chen Deming (陳德銘) both lauded the agreement for deepening cross-strait exchanges in the service sector.
Lin said 80 percent of the deal opens the two sides’ service sectors to the same or greater degree as the Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA) that was signed between Hong Kong and China in 2003, with 90 percent of financial services covered in the cross-strait agreement opened, just like in the CEPA.
The cross-strait service trade agreement is a major follow-up to the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) and the General Agreement on Trade in Services under the WTO.
“The service trade agreement is a pact that benefits related sectors across the Taiwan Strait and promotes the interests of the public on both sides. It will result in a win-win situation for both sides,” Lin said.
After signing the pact, Taiwan and China cannot revise or cancel the agreement within the next three years.
The two sides will hold an annual meeting to review the implementation of the pact.
The agreement also includes an emergency negotiation mechanism, which gives related industries from each side the right to demand negotiations and seek solutions if the agreement negatively affects their businesses sectors.
ORDER OF 66 JETS: Delivering the F-16s faster and enabling Taiwan to develop its fleet into one of the biggest in Asia would be based on ‘risk assessment,’ one official said The US is looking for ways to accelerate delivery of Taiwan’s next generation of newly built F-16 jets, US officials said, bolstering the Taiwanese air force’s ability to respond to what Taipei and Washington see as increasing intimidation by the Chinese military. The officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that they have not yet come up with a solution on how to speed up delivery of Block 70 F-16s, manufactured by Lockheed Martin Corp and equipped with new capabilities. The aircraft are slated to be delivered by the end of 2026. Taipei has privately expressed its wish for a faster delivery
‘STIRRING CONFLICT’: Chinese content farms use hundreds of fake accounts to reach ‘every corner of society,’ an official at the Investigation Bureau said China is conducting disinformation campaigns that involve more than 400 fake accounts targeting Taiwanese on social media, the Investigation Bureau said on Friday. China is trying to infiltrate social media, Internet forums and online chatrooms that are popular among Taiwanese to subvert the public’s trust in the government, destabilize society and meddle in elections, the bureau said. Since it started tracing fake accounts and disinformation to Chinese content farms in April last year, the Information and Communication Security Division investigated 2,773 such cases, the bureau said. It has forwarded 174 cases to prosecutors, who have listed 234 people as suspects, the bureau added. An
SEARCHING LINKS: While targeted testing added cases to existing clusters, new cases were linked to the Taipei Grand Hotel and an Yilan hotel, Chen Shih-chung said The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday reported 52 local COVID-19 cases, including 30 linked to Taoyuan businesses and 15 linked to Kaohsiung Harbor. The remaining seven cases include a cluster of four — three family members and a friend — in Taipei and New Taipei City, two cases linked to a Tasty Steak (西堤牛排) restaurant in Taoyuan’s Jhongli District (中壢) and one case in Yilan County, said Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center. As 70 cases were on Friday and Saturday reported among workers at Askey Computer Corp (亞旭) in Taoyuan’s Farglory Free Trade Zone
SHOW OF FORCE: Incursions of 39 Chinese warplanes on Sunday and 13 yesterday were likely in response to US-Japan exercises off Okinawa, military analysts said China on Sunday sent 39 warplanes — mostly fighter jets — into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ), in its second-largest single-day incursion, the Ministry of National Defense said. Thirteen warplanes entered the zone yesterday, it added. The ministry late on Sunday said that the air force scrambled aircraft to broadcast warnings and deployed air-defense missile systems. The Chinese warplanes included 24 J-16 fighters — which experts say are among China’s favorite jets for testing Taiwan’s air defenses — 10 J-10s and one nuclear-capable H-6 bomber. Yesterday’s incursion included eight J-16s and two J-16Ds — a jet introduced at an air show last year