Tue, Mar 21, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Cross-strait trade slid 0.7% in 2016 as relations cooled

Staff writer, with CNA

Bilateral trade between Taiwan and China reached NT$117.9 billion (US$3.86 billion) last year, down 0.7 percent compared with 2015, as relations between the two sides cooled, the Mainland Affairs Council yesterday said in a report to the Legislative Yuan.

While imports from China fell 2.8 percent to US$44 billion and visitor arrivals from across the Strait dropped 16.2 percent to 3.47 million, Taiwanese exports to China rose 0.6 percent to US$73.9 billion last year, the report said.

Chinese investments in Taiwan rose 1.5 percent last year to US$248 million, the report said.

Meanwhile, the value of Taiwanese government-approved investments in China by Taiwanese companies declined 11.8 percent to US$9.67 billion last year, the council said, attributing it mainly to rising operating costs.

Cross-strait ties have cooled since President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) took office in May last year.

The “1992 consensus” — a term former Mainland Affairs Council chairman Su Chi (蘇起) admitted making up in 2000 — refers to a tacit understanding between the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and the Chinese government that both sides acknowledge there is “one China,” with each side having its own interpretation of what “China” means.

The report said that China has reduced the number of tourists allowed to visit Taiwan and suspended official meetings related to bilateral trade and economic agreements as a result of political tensions, even as unofficial contacts and the exchange of information have continued.

The council said that bilateral economic exchanges are the foundation of the peaceful development of cross-strait relations, and that it hoped China would agree to discuss such exchanges in the interest of the people on both sides.

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