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Taiwan Parliament Passes China Trade Deal Print E-mail
by Tom McGregor    Wed, Aug 18, 2010, 07:21 PM

Bill Taiwan.jpgTaiwan’s parliament has voted in favor of a wide-ranging trade pact with mainland China, despite vigorous boycott by the pro-independence opposition party.

The BBC News reports that, “China is seen to have made the greater economic concessions for a deal meant to seal a political rapprochement. Taiwan will continue to bar labor from China, its biggest trading partner.”

Yet, the deal has proven to be extremely divisive on the island and the government of Taiwan refused to grant a popular referendum on the matter.

With 68 votes for and none against in the 112-seat parliament, the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) was passed.

Cheng Ching-ling, a legislator with the pro-China Koumingtang (KMT) party, said, “the ECFA is extremely important to Taiwan if it hopes to avoid being marginalized economically amid an increasing number of trade blocs.”

But Tsai Huang-lang. a parliamentarian for the main opposition Democratic Progressive Party, said, “once the agreement becomes effective, which is inevitable now, Taiwan will lose its sovereignty and become like Hong Kong and Macau.”

According to the BBC, “outside parliament protesters shouted slogans against the deal, including ‘(President Ma Ying-jeou is selling out Taiwan” and ‘ECFA means more unemployment.’ The pact provides Taiwanese firms with access to banking and insurance markets in China, and cuts to tariffs on hundreds of Chinese and Taiwanese products.”

The trade pact could boost bilateral trade which already totals $110 billion a year. In June, Chinese and Taiwanese leaders signed the deal.

Nearly $14 billion worth of Taiwanese goods exported to China will have their tariffs decreased or eliminated.

To read the entire article from the BBC News, link here:

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