Friday, April 15, 2011

Post-ECFA cross-Strait negotiations

l  Since the cross-Strait rapprochement first began in June 2008, there have been fifteen agreements, including the “Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA),” signed between China and Taiwan. Despite the significant progress made in areas from transportation to tourism, however, the two sides have no “review mechanism” in place to examine the impact and evaluate the progress of these signed agreements.

l  As such, Beijing and Taipei plan to initiate an institutional dialogue at the deputy level—between the vice president of China’s Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait (ARATS) and the vice chairman of Taiwan’s Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF)—to monitor and assess these signed agreements.

l  Besides the ongoing negotiations on post-ECFA agreements, Beijing and Taipei have also agreed to conduct a review of the agreements on cross-Strait transportation links, financial services, tourism, and inspection of agricultural products. The two sides will likely adopt a step-by-step approach and review the 15 agreements in the order that they were signed.

l  Given what had transpired after the devastating earthquake in Japan, Beijing and Taipei have also agreed to begin discussions, possibly as early as this summer, for cross-Strait cooperation on nuclear safety, particularly in the areas of exchange of safety information, experience in plant operations, and the advanced warning system in case of accident.

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