China and Taiwan Build Economic Ties
Forging a suitable economic relationship between China and Taiwan is not a clear cut situation and progress is extremely slow. Taiwan is beginning to open its economy to China at a snail’s pace. In an interview with Ma Ying-jeou, ROC President, the reasons for the sluggish progress were discussed, which included that Taiwan was not willing to negotiate on their objectives and current cross-strait economic development, and commented that he had weighed up both the positive and negative risks that entering the economy of China might bring.
Even though Taiwan is working at strengthening their relationship with China, they do not want to become too dependent on Beijing. Taiwan has a very strict policy when it comes to Beijing trade and their cross-strait relations, which is maintained through a policy that maintains no use of force, no unification and no independence. The ROC President commented that he did not foresee that his government will break these ties or policy. He was quoted saying that “We are fully aware of the potential risks and challenges, but developing relations with China also helps us create business opportunities. I believe the majority of the people agree that the strategy we adopted met Taiwan’s interests.” He went on to say “The development of cross-strait relations should proceed step by step and we have been busy dealing with economic and cultural issues, and there’s no timeframe to discuss other problems, including political issues.”
Of course, these decisions have been met with some opposition from the Democratic Progress Party. Tsai Ying-wen, the Chairwoman of the party is convinced that the administration is making the wrong decision, referring to the Cross-Strait Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement that came into effect on the 12th of September 2010. She also said that with economic benefits there was always a political price to pay. Ma Ying-jeou stressed that more talks would be held with China, but that any negotiations done with China would be held under the ECFA policy and that his administration viewed the development of cross-strait policies as a priority. The development would also look at larger trading partners and free-trade agreements.