Closer Trade Ties across Taiwan Straits

A closer trade tie between China's mainland and Taiwan is an inevitable result of the economic globalization, said Wang Zaixi, deputy director of the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council, at the Western Forum held Sunday in Chengdu.

At the meeting, Wang said that Taiwan has become the fifth largest trade partner and the third largest import market for the mainland.

He said that trade across the straits was over US$160 billion in 1999, of which the mainland's exports accounted for US$26 billion and imports from the island were approximately US$134 billion.

Despite the volatile relations between sides across the Straits, the Chinese government has always stuck with its effort and determination to solve the Taiwan issue. With the help of all the people in the industry and commerce sectors in both the mainland and Taiwan, trade ties have strengthened and are expanding to a larger scale.

In the first eight months, across-straits trade amounted to US$19.4 billion. The number of newly-approved Taiwan-funded projects in the mainland increased by 1,882 during the period, bringing in about US$2.4 billion.

Since the end of last year, the Chinese government has worked out a number of new policies to encourage investment from Taiwan, including preferences in tariffs, income tax, sales tax and machinery imports to Taiwan-funded firms in the inland areas, said Wang.

The development of the huge western region has provided new markets for Taiwan investors, he said, hoping that the across-straits trade can be kept separate from political differences.

(People’s Daily 10/23/2000)

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