l The Cross-Strait Economic Cooperation Committee (CSECC), whose formation was mandated in the “Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement” (ECFA), became operational in the first week of January.
l The CSECC is seen as necessary to facilitate talks on the coordination, implementation, and interpretation of the "early harvest" list (EHL) and other ECFA-related issues.
l There will also be panels set up in the CSECC, which are expected to continue discussions on issues involving commodity trade, service access, dispute settlement, and investment protection.
l Though staffed mostly with economic officials from both sides, the CSECC will remain under the ARATS-SEF framework and operate according to provisions contained in the ECFA.
l While China and Taiwan are not ready to get rid of the “white gloves,” i.e. ARATS and SEF respectively, the substantive matters will hereafter have to be decided by economic officials from both sides.
l Any CSECC agreement will, however, have to be referred by the SEF to Taiwan's Legislative Yuan (LY) for reference or ratification. Legislative oversight is required for the CSECC to perform its functions.
l Incidentally the CSECC—from its format to future operations—could become a pattern for other cross-Strait official negotiations in the future, including those on political matters.