New Rules on Cross-Straits Trade

China Friday issued a set of rules governing trade across the Taiwan Straits, which trade officials say will "enable cross-Straits trade and economic cooperation to grow in a sound, orderly manner."

The set of rules was signed by Shi Guangsheng, minister of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation (MOFTEC) and became effective as of Friday.

The rules, in 15 provisions, specify the guiding principles, ways of management and disputes settlement concerning cross-Straits trade.

MOFTEC Assistant Minister An Min said that drafting of the new rules were based on three principles: the principle of "one China, two systems," the principle of the market economy, and the principle of consistency with existing rules.

He described the rules as a "new initiative to accelerate cross-Straits trade exchanges" following the promulgation last year of detailed rules concerning Taiwan investments in the mainland.

China's mainland has for the past 20 years tried to promote direct links in trade, transportation and postal services (the " three links") across the Taiwan Straits under the principles of peaceful reunification and the policy of "one China, two systems." As a result, cross-Straits trade and economic cooperation has grown vigorously, he said.

He said the Taiwan authorities' rejection of the "three links" and its series of counter-policies, which are getting increasingly unpopular, have undermined the fundamental interests of people on both sides of the Taiwan Straits, particularly those of the Taiwan compatriots.

The assistant minister called on the Taiwan authorities to lift the ban on the "three links" at an earlier date, and remove the uncalled-for restrictions on mainland products with the aim of promoting direct and mutually-beneficial cross-Straits trade and economic cooperation.

Taiwan is now the fifth largest trade partner and the second largest source of imports for the mainland, while the mainland is the second largest export destination of Taiwan goods. Taiwan enjoys the biggest sum of trade surplus among all mainland's trade partners.

MOFTEC statistics indicate that trade across the Taiwan Straits is expected to reach US$30 billion this year. By November this year, cross-Straits trade had totaled US$188.22 billion since 1978, when the figure was only US$46 million.

(Xinhua 12/29/2000)

In This Series

Actual Steps Called to Improve Cross-Straits Relations

Rally Calls for Reunification

Taiwan Authorities Urged to Accept One-China Principle

Closer Trade Ties across Taiwan Straits



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