China delays Taiwan free trade talks amid US arms plan

China has postponed a second round of free trade talks with Taiwan until after the Lunar New Year holiday amid US plans of arms sales.

China delays Taiwan free trade talks amid US arms plan

China has postponed a second round of free trade talks with Taiwan until after the Lunar New Year holiday amid US plans of arms sales.

The Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA), which the export-reliant island hopes to sign in the first half of this year, could lower tariffs and increase investment across the Straits as well as opening the door for Taiwan to press ahead with free trade agreements with Southeast Asian nations.

The second round of negotiations will be delayed until late February or early March as Beijing has said there is "no way" to send negotiators to the island earlier, the Taipei-based China Times newspaper reported on Thursday.

Taiwan's China policymaking body confirmed the estimated dates but said they did not represent a delay in talks.

Taiwan's acceptance of a $6.4 billion package of U.S. weapons has had "no effect" on trade talks despite Beijing's outrage toward Washington, said a media relations officer at Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Office, a government body.

In preliminary meetings late last month, Taiwan and China had pledged to accelerate negotiations for ECFA.

An official at China's Taiwan Affairs Office said her agency had "no related information so far" about a postponement.


Reuters

Last Mod: 04 Şubat 2010, 12:27
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