Taiwan-China Free Trade Agreement

Probably old news to most of you.

Taiwan, China Negotiating a Landmark Free-Trade Agreement

[quote]Taiwan and China are negotiating a wide-ranging free-trade agreement that represents an important step toward the possibility of unification of the longtime adversaries.

The Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement would allow the free flow of goods, services and capital across the Taiwan Strait at a time when the economies of the mainland and the democratic self-ruled island are increasingly interdependent. While Taiwanese groups have tried to play down the political implications of the economic pact, those on the mainland are already talking about the eventual union of the two.[/quote]

[quote]But with Taiwan’s economy in recession – its gross domestic product shrank a record 8.36 percent in the last quarter of 2008 – Ma’s administration is hoping that investment from the mainland may provide a boost. In addition, with China set to begin a free-trade agreement with the 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in 2010, Taiwan is under pressure not to be left out.

“Taiwan needs the help of the mainland,” said Sun Shengliang, director of the economic studies center of the Institute of Taiwan Studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. “If the agreement can be signed, it will bring bigger benefit to Taiwan than to the mainland.”

Tsai Lien-sheng, secretary general of the Chinese National Federation of Industries, a trade group in Taiwan, said that if Taiwan does not sign a free-trade agreement with the mainland, “we are going to be marginalized.” Although Taiwan and China in recent years dropped most discriminatory tariffs on each other’s exports, industry groups believe that eliminating such barriers entirely would be in the best interest of both, especially since China has already signed similar agreements with Taiwan’s neighbors and competitors in Asia.

[b]“We cannot compete with paying a much higher duty when other countries have agreed to much lower or zero duties,” Tsai said. “The exports of Taiwan will be harmed severely, and foreign capital will be less interested in investing in Taiwan.”

Hsieh Jun-hsiung, executive manager of the Petrochemical Industry Association of Taiwan, pointed out that Taiwan now sells about half its petrochemical products to the mainland. China imposes a tariff of about 6.5 percent on imports of petrochemical products from Taiwan and a 6 percent tariff on those from South Korea. But South Korea’s tariff will soon be eliminated, putting Taiwanese s companies at a disadvantage.[/b]

“The sooner, the better. We just sent an urgent letter to the government to push them to do it quicker,” Hsieh said. “Our requirement is quite simple: Right now our treatment is unequal compared with other countries. We need equal treatment. If Taiwan keeps the status quo on this, about half of our products will be unsellable soon.”[/quote]


What do you think of those trade associations and groups? Are they lying when they say Taiwanese products will be less competitive in the face of elimination of tariffs and duties between China and other Asian countries?

Personally, dropping all the political crap and ideological garbage that the ideologues are going to spew out of their mouths, I am a fervent supporter of free trade.

There are so many posters starting with “cc” in their handle. I mean, is that really indicating… I mean do you guys HAVE to do that or …

Being serious here, I am thinking about that a long time now.

And yeah, cool the free trade agreement. China, love it.

political crap and ideological garbage

sure, that only comes from one side of the fence, doesn’t it?

bye bye Taiwan, hello China.

[quote=“bob_honest”]There are so many posters starting with “cc” in their handle. I mean, is that really indicating… I mean do you guys HAVE to do that or …

Being serious here, I am thinking about that a long time now.

And yeah, cool the free trade agreement. China, love it.[/quote]

There are a lot of posters with “cc” in their user name? I wasn’t aware of it.

For me, “cc” stands for “Canadian-Corean”, Corean being the old spelling of Korea. I guess there are a lot of other Canadian-Coreans on Forumosa?

Damned, and I thought it mean “Croatian Coconut” and you guys are all paid by the Croatian Coconut empire.
These are the real dangerous guys.

No seriously, this is what they teach you to tell as an explanation? :smiley:

There are a lot of posters with “cc” in their user name? I wasn’t aware of it.
For me, “cc” stands for “Canadian-Corean”, Corean being the old spelling of Korea. I guess there are a lot of other Canadian-Coreans on Forumosa?[/quote] I think Honest Bob has confused you with the likes of CC Tang and some of the other extreme ‘pro Chinese’ posters - most likely interpreting your stand on free trade as being ‘pro China’.

There are a lot of posters with “cc” in their user name? I wasn’t aware of it.
For me, “cc” stands for “Canadian-Corean”, Corean being the old spelling of Korea. I guess there are a lot of other Canadian-Coreans on Forumosa?[/quote] I think Honest Bob has confused you with the likes of CC Tang and some of the other extreme ‘pro Chinese’ posters - most likely interpreting your stand on free trade as being ‘pro China’.[/quote]

That’s unfortunate.

I hope people don’t get my mistake my intentions. I’m a 100% unequivocal supporter of free trade due to being an economics major and current economics graduate student. Not because I’m pro-Taiwan or pro-China or pro-anything in between.

Yeah, I’m pro-free trade as well. But Taiwan has a problem. China is blocking it from signing free trade agreements with other countries by leaning on them. If it signs a “free trade agremeement” with China of the sort being proposed there could be negative consequences.

First, political. The international media has highlighted this as a step on the road to unification. Why is China so eager to get this signed if it has nothing to do with unification? It wouldn’t be. Indeed the only people who are saying this has nothing to do with unification are the KMT. Any agreement doesn’t mean unification is inevitable, but if China dictates the format then it probably will be used as propaganda to that effect and make it hard for Taiwan to decide how it wants to proceed if it wants to have any international support.

Second, there are economic points. Will this agreement benefit China economically more than Taiwan? If there’s too much free movement of goods, capital, workers, etc what’s going to stop Taiwanese businessmen just moving all their work to China? When you have such a disparity in terms of GDP per capita, minimum wage, workers’ rights, rule of law, etc you have to ask yourself how free you want things.

Also, if this were to go ahead it’s unlikely China would relax its attitude re Taiwan signing free trade agreements with other countries. This would make Taiwan eventually completely reliant on China. Then unification would be a matter of when China felt like it, otherwise it would hold Taiwan to ransom.

So although an agreement with China could be good for Taiwan, it could also be very bad. That’s why people are concerned that Ma and the KMT will just give lip-service to their concerns and then do their own thing. I think that any agreement certainly not include freedom of movement of workers and a protection against dumping cheap goods. Make it easier to send remittances, certainly.

I doubt the KMT would sign an agreement with China that was not economically beneficial to Taiwan - in their view - simply because it was a step on the road to reunification with the mainland.

Free trade is a good option for Taiwan and China.

Taiwan has always been an unrulable province full of pirates and renegades.

“The heavens are high and the Emperor is far away” is the best policy for Taiwan.

I don’t think the KMT are signing it simply because it may lead to unification. The prevailing attitude from at least some KMT politicians, if not the government itself, seems to be “the economy’s in the crapper - anything’s worth a shot to stop us losing future elections”.

What happens if the Emperor decides to drop in for a visit?

Didn’t a member of the MAC said that a FTA wouldnt be signed during the first half of this year?

Does it matter whether it’s signed in a month or six? The content is what is important.

Besides, I wonder whether MAC has any real power these days. The KMT grey hairs sort everything out behind closed doors and then give them something to pretend to “negotiate”.

Ma Ying Jeou cannot ignore the risks of kissing ass to China…its dangering Taiwan’s freedom. It should not be “Taiwan is getting closer to China”, it should be Taiwan is getting farther away. We do need to make friends with China however…it would be too risky not to.

If they sign this, we are basicly handing Taiwan over to china on a plate.

That’s what that villa in Jinguashi is for. Oh, wait, different emperor.

That’s what they did, though. Taiwan is just a bargaining chip to them. From Taiwan News on the recent direct flights talks:

[ul]For example, ARATS turned down various requests by the SEF side, such as Taipei’s plea to increase the flights for Taiwan airlines in “golden routes” such as between Taipei and Shanghai and instead graciously expanded flights between Taipei and “hot spots” like Nanchang and Hefei instead and added northward routes that passed only through PRC air control zones to emphasize the “domestic” character of cross-strait air routes.[/ul]

and this too:

[ul]For example, the touted “breakthrough” agreements that opened direct cross-strait commercial marine and air links both denigrated Taiwan’s status by treating such routes as “domestic” through the exclusion of foreign carriers and thus also harmed Taiwan commercial interests by excluding the vast majority of Taiwan-owned ships which fly foreign flags of convenience and by refusing to extend “fifth freedom” or onward passage rights for even Taiwan airlines.

For example, the failure to include onward flight rights in the new pact will reduce Taiwan into a “commercial air dependency” of the PRC, whose airports will gain control over the lion’s share of lucrative “hub” onward connections. Given the widespread claim that Taiwan is rich in capital but short on “investment opportunities” (at least for myopic Taiwan investors), the influx of PRC state-owned companies, with the assistance of local proxies, will be able to use the maximum of 30 percent ownership to secure effective managerial control over Taiwan companies and their technology or knowhow in most economic fields, including telecommunications and news media, snare public works contracts and channels for patronage, and, with investments in hotels and travel companies, secure control over the bulk of renminbi spent in Taiwan by Chinese tourists.[/ul]

Taiwan is an asset to be bargained away in return for KMT influence and power in China and positions for the children of current KMTers in the future PRC-doiminated Asian order.


I am absolutely astonished that Vorkosigan is opposed to this agreement. :laughing: If China invades Taiwan, I hope the US and Japan respond with brute force. This agreement isn’t a political one.

However, most international businesses, Chambers of Commerces, and trade-minded people have lauded this agreement. China has signed preferential trade agreements with a number of other jurisdictions (e.g. Korea). If Taiwan doesn’t receive similar terms, it puts Taiwanese companies at a strategic disadvantage. I don’t understand how any free traders could oppose the free flow of goods, services and capital. Oh, wait a minute. The opposition/foreign cheerleaders were probably not free traders to begin with. :laughing: These foreigners probably applaud the third-world cronyism of the DPP and its quest to turn Taiwan into a Pinoy-style basket case of Asia, seething with ethnic hatred towards minority populations and all the economic dislocation that accompanies such poor leadership.

The simple fact is this–Vorkosigan, a foreign DPP cheerleader if there ever was one, would rather see his DPP friends running the show. In fact, I would venture to say he probably sends CSB lipstick- and tear-stained support letters in jail and autograph requests for CSB’s book–his allegiance seems to run that deep. :laughing: :smiley: And Tsai, with her millions of dollars in holdings and bollinger bolshevik education, perhaps doesn’t need free trade to secure her living. But many struggling SMEs in Taiwan definitely want and need access to the larger China market just to survive. :hand: Sure, it will hurt some companies that have been used to monopolies in Taiwan. But if these companies can’t compete internationally on a level playing field (same as the auto industries in the US), then they don’t deserve to survive.

I’m sure the foreign apologists/fluffers/pseudo-intellectual Taiwan-academic dilettantes that oppose this agreement, also opposed NAFTA back in the day, and also probably supported the WTO protests and that Frenchie named Bove. :laughing: :laughing: :smiley:

These anti-capitalist ex-Maoist developing-world scholars :laughing: couldn’t sell peanuts to a monkey and have no interest in strengthening economic ties. They live in a betelnut tower full of posturing, babble, and/or protests. :laughing: Any jackass can tear down a barn, but it truly takes a carpenter to build one. The protectionism espoused by these foreign commentators, their Taiwanese friends in certain parts of the DPP, and their feebleminded ilk will hurt Taiwan 1000X more than any free trade agreement. Word.

Here is a little bit of information regarding what is happening already, and might be exhacerbated by a FAT:

  • my brother-in-law is a public worker, working for the CoA. In the last 6 years, he worked in a project led by the DPP to research and develop the agriculture of medicinal herbs, widely used in Taiwan on traditional medicine. He developed a few of them that are now capable of being commercial harvests in Taiwan. I helped him also by “illegally” importing seedlings of traditional medicinal herbs from Europe, whenever I went there. Since the KMT went to power, the program went to a halt due to “unreasonable” prices of cultivating in Taiwan, instead the CoA promoted buying the plants from China. This is possible, as herbs are not listed as “agriculture items”. One of the herbs is currently being imported at more than 100K T a year. I personally know one of the best traditional doctors in Taiwan (the type that doesn’t even look at you without you having references) and he is fighting this situation because he has to spend too much time checking out the herbs (more than often, the quality is pretty bad, things are not exactly what they are supposed to be, etc…). That alone defeats the “low price” of goods from China, but we also have to consider that for one single herb we are talking about 100K T, a herb that can be cultivated in the mountain side, and can be planted in areas without destroying local flora (as long as it is controlled, and that was one of the areas my brother-in-law was studying). As the doctor said, someone very big inside the government must be profiting with the import, and this is the current MO of other government offices.

One has to think that, if the FTA is signed, and with the Chinese products coming to Taiwan without taxes, how will Taiwanese made products fair against it? We all know Chinese don’t produce goods to make profit, but to make revenue, so they can get terrain from the local governments, and then build and sell them for profit.

So Chinese medicine from China is no good…