Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Post-election cross-Strait relations: what to look for?

* Media speculations have already begun regarding the 2012 presidential election in Taiwan, including the likely contenders and their respective prospects of winning. With the island's democracy deepening and maturing, not many changes in policy, including those on cross-Strait relations, are expected even if there's another change of power at the central level.

* The primary focus will remain on economics, though non-economic considerations will assume greater importance in future cross-Strait negotiations.

* With ECFA taking effect on January 1, 2011, most expect a busy year--at least more capital and personnel exchanges between China and Taiwan--in cross-Strait economic ties. It is also important that the trade pact delivers the expected boost to the economies of both China and Taiwan.

* Among the industries where cross-Strait cooperation is more likely, semiconductor, petrochemical, automobile (including electric), and renewable energy (particularly solar) remain atop the list.

* Negotiations will soon resume between tourism officials from both sides over individual travels (including mainland tourists) to the island, instead of the current requirement of five people in a group. Tourism-related industries--hotels, restaurants, and retail--stand to benefit the most when it is expected to take effect in Q I next year.

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