l After Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou won his first presidential election in March 2008, Beijing and Taipei have since held eight ARATS-SEF summits and signed eighteen agreements that made the ongoing cross-Strait economic engagement irreversible.
l Besides facilitating bilateral trade and commercial activities, the signing of the mutual investment protection agreement and the customs cooperation pact on August 9, particularly the former, will eventually made flows of personnel and capital a two-way exchange.
l It also became apparent that the institutionalized talks between ARATS and SEF have come to a turning point when negotiations in the future will not be exclusively on economic issues. It thus gives rise to the question: after 18 agreements in four years, what’s in store for cross-Strait relations?
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