Jon Adams in the CSM reported on the CCP-KMT talks last weekend:
On Sunday, the two sides inked deals on boosting cross-strait flights, joint crime-fighting, and financial cooperation. They also issued a statement on allowing Chinese investment in Taiwan.Max Hirsch for Kyodo noted:
The flight deal will normalize cross-strait air links, boosting them from 108 charter flights to 270 scheduled commercial flights per week between 25 cities in China and five in Taiwan. Just a year ago, the two sides only ran special holiday charter flights between a handful of cities.
The financial agreement paves the way for banks and insurers do business on the other side of the Strait. And the crime-fighting deal will help counter cross-strait drug trafficking and money laundering, and make it harder for Taiwanese fugitives to hide out in the mainland.
Such deals appear to have majority support here. A government-commissioned poll showed that 53 percent are happy with the pace of cross-strait opening or even think it's going too slow, compared to 34 percent who believe it's going too fast.
The law enforcement pact commits the two sides to crack down on crimes involving kidnapping, weapons, drugs and human trafficking across the strait, as well as economic crimes involving fraud, money laundering and forgery.Of course the agreement makes no mention of individual fugitives from justice in China -- they are virtually all KMTers.
Taipei, according to media there, had hoped the crime-fighting pact would also facilitate the extradition of white-collar Taiwanese criminals on the lam in the mainland. However, the agreement makes no mention of individual fugitives from justice.
The Economist blogger Charlemagne -- as an aside, it is entirely detestable the way that magazines have rechristened their opinion writings "blogs" as if they had some authenticity independent of the media organization they work for -- observed of Europe's interactions with China:
Meanwhile, Europe’s trade deficit with China hit nearly €170 billion ($250 billion) last year. China has erected myriad barriers to European firms, notes a scathing new audit of EU-China relations by the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR), a think-tank. The trend is ominous. In five years, China wants 60% of car parts in new Chinese vehicles to be locally made. This is alarming news for Germany, the leading European exporter to China thanks to car parts, machine tools and other widgets.If Europe cannot enforce open markets on China, how will Taiwan?
UPDATE: William Pesek in Bloomberg has a surprisingly sensible (for Bloomberg) piece on Taiwan's opening to China. It would be nice if someone besides us bloggers would point out that (1) Ma is not in charge of cross-strait policy; the Party Old Guard is (2) China's "growth" is overblown and may well turn out to be fictive, as it consistently has in the past, and (3) China does not "want Taiwan back" since it never owned it; it wants to annex Taiwan. At least he mentioned factor price equalization, a problem that is commonly discussed in local papers, but seldom appears in the international media.
- The Economist on China's Navy
- The Taipei Times reports on William Stanton, possible successor to Steve Young at AIT.
- Kurt Campbell, longtime Taiwan/China expert, nominated for Asia post in Obama Administration.
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