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High – ECFA

The recent Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement between China and Taiwan is bringing the two countries together

Frommherz 6/29/10 (Thomas, Chief Editor at CEOWorld, “What is China Taiwan Economic Framework Cooperation Agreement (EFCA)?”

China and Taiwan have signed a landmark trade agreement, some 60 years after the island cut ties with the Chinese mainland. Under the new deal, tariffs on goods traded between the two sides will be scrapped and Taiwanese firms is to have access to services on the mainland. Aiming to establish a systematic mechanism for enhancing cross-Strait economic cooperation, the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) was agreed upon by the mainland’s Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS) and Taiwan’s Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF). The ECFA will formally take effect one day after both sides “complete due procedures and notify each other”, the agreement said. Under the 16-article agreement, the two sides agreed to “gradually reduce and remove trade and investment barriers and create a fair environment”. The agreement also provides protection for cross-Strait investments to boost two-way capital flows. The two sides agreed on the items to be included in the “early harvest programme” to benefit from the pact first with preferential duty cuts and treatment. The “early harvest programme” will launch within six months of the ECFA taking effect, the agreement said. The two countries will continue discussing agreements for commodity trade, service trade and investment for six months after the ECFA takes effect. China and Taiwan will jointly set up a committee for cross-Strait economic cooperation to ensure ECFA agreements can be reached and to supervise the implementation of the ECFA. The Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement ends import tarrifs on some 800 items, such as textiles, petrochemicals and machinery over two years, and open up some of their service sectors to each other. The framework pact will also pave the way for both sides to reach further market liberalisation in goods and services and put in place processes for investment protection.
The ECFA is the greatest economic integration between the two – benefits are for both countries

Singh 7/3/10 (Gunjan , Singh is a Research Assistant at the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses,

In a historic step, China and Taiwan are ready to sign the Economic Co-operation Framework Agreement (ECFA). It is expected that this trade agreement will be a great step in the ongoing economic integration. There will be a major lifting of tariff of about 800 commodities and will create a large number of employment opportunities for the Taiwanese. It will accelerate the level of Taiwanese growth by more than 1.7%. By showing the good returns from the ECFA the Kuomintang government is hoping to see positive results in the 2012 mayoral elections. Though it took about 2 years of negotiations to reach the point of actually signing the deal there is a general apprehension within the Taiwanese community about the future outcomes. The analysts are predicting that it will be Taiwan which will be the major beneficiary. There is also a general consensus that Beijing will use this step to gain political mileage, more than economic. As Taipei becomes more and more ingrained in the Mainland economy, its political independence might be compromised. This may also have an effect on the Taiwan–United States relations. The more influence China has on Taiwan, with the increase in the economic interdependence in addition to the KMT government which has been a pro-reunification section, one can expect a large change in the Taiwan-US dynamics. It would not be far fetched to conclude that Taiwan may like to use its closeness with Beijing in order to gain some economic as well as political mileage in the international space.
President Hu is hailing the recent agreement as a peaceful development of relations

AP 7/12/10 (“Hu hails China-Taiwan trade pact”,

President Hu Jintao hailed a historic trade pact between China and Taiwan on Monday when he met with the chairman of Taiwan's ruling Nationalist Party, saying it signals progress on their deepening ties. Hu told Chairman Wu Poh-hsiung during his visit that the trade deal signed last month is an "important achievement" that helps reach the two sides' goal of "peaceful development of relations." Footage of their meeting was aired on the evening news by national broadcaster China Central Television. Last month, negotiators for China and Taiwan signed a trade deal that slashes tariffs on a wide range of products, pushing their economies closer together and further easing political hostilities across the Taiwan Strait. The threat of military conflict has lingered since Taiwan and China split amid civil war in 1949, but in recent years, the tensions have eased under the policy of rapprochement taken by Taiwanese president Ma Ying-jeou. Under his tenure, regular air and sea links have resumed after a hiatus of 60 years and restrictions on Chinese investment in Taiwan have been lifted. "As long as the exchanges and consultations are made on an equal footing, relations will be pushed forward and a feasible method could be found for a gradual settlement of the problems constraining the cross-straits relations," Hu said. In the meeting, Wu passed on a message to Hu from Ma, who called for closer ties following the signing of the trade pact. The deal, formally known as the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement, is expected to boost bilateral trade, which already totals $110 billion a year.
There is public popularity for the agreement and it goes into effect immediately

Yu and Dingding 7/13/10 (Xie and Xin, Staff writers for China Daily,

Top Chinese mainland and Taiwan leaders have expressed their latest confidence in the peaceful development of cross-Straits ties, following the signing of a historic trade pact. Hu Jintao, general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, said on Monday that the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) signed last month was an important achievement in the peaceful development of relations across the Taiwan Straits and a sign that economic and trade ties have entered a new stage. Hu said the ECFA was in line with the interests of people on both sides of the Taiwan Straits and the fundamental interests of the Chinese nation. He also said he hopes that the cross-Straits trade pact will take effect as soon as possible to bring practical benefits to people from both sides. Hu met Wu Poh-hsiung, honorary chairman of Taiwan's ruling Kuomintang (KMT) party, on Monday afternoon in Beijing. It was the third meeting between the two leaders since 2008, when the KMT became the ruling party in Taiwan. Hu said both sides should continue to push for normal cross-Straits economic ties. Wu brought Hu greetings from Taiwan leader Ma Ying-jeou, also chairman of KMT, and a message. The message, which was condensed into 16 Chinese characters, read: "Looking into realities, overcoming differences and seeking common ground; accumulating mutual trust and further creating win-win situations." Wu said Ma is confident of the peaceful development of cross-Straits relations, and he believed that Taiwan will complete the legislative review of the ECFA before August and start implementing it as soon as possible. Li Jiaquan, a senior researcher with the institute of Taiwan studies affiliated to the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said it was notable that both Hu and Ma extended greetings during the meeting, which was rarely seen before. "It creates a good atmosphere ... and also matches the current trend of cross-Straits relations. I believe there is profound meaning behind the greetings," he said. But he said time is still not ripe for talks on political and military issues. "Both sides need to consolidate what has been achieved and firmly hold onto the right direction, as well as take their time to move forward step by step," he said. The ECFA, a landmark trade pact signed on June 29, is a wide-ranging agreement that will reduce tariffs on hundreds of petrochemical, textile and other items. It also opens service sectors such as banking to cross-Straits investment, aiming to bind the two economies closer.

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