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China, Taiwan launch new economic committee

3 February 2011 No Comment

TAIWAN said on Thursday it has set up a new committee with China to handle economic issues arising from a major trade pact the two sides signed last year.

The Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) has been widely characterised as the boldest step yet towards reconciliation between the former rivals, which split after the end of a civil war in 1949.

The new economic cooperation committee will meet every six months ‘to negotiate and monitor’ issues related to implementation of the ECFA, economic minister Shih Yeh-shiang told reporters.

Taiwan’s vice-economic minister Liang Kuo-hsin and Chinese counterpart Jiang Zengwei will serve as head representatives for the two sides, according to Taiwan’s Strait Exchange Foundation. The island’s China-friendly government says the landmark deal will bolster the economy, but the opposition warns that it can undermine Taiwan’s de facto independence.

Although Taiwan and China have been governed separately for more than six decades, Beijing considers the island part of its territory and has vowed to get it back, by force if necessary.

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