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September 20, 2017

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China has no reason to oppose Malaysian FTA: envoy

China has no reason to oppose Taiwan's possible signing of a free trade agreement (FTA) with Malaysia, as ultimately the signing will be beneficial to both sides of the strait, Taiwan's top envoy to the Southeast Asian country said yesterday.

"The R.O.C., Malaysia and mainland China are three important regional economies, " Lo Yu-chung (羅由中), Taiwan's representative in Malaysia, told the Apple Daily yesterday.

Taiwan has already signed the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) to facilitate bilateral, cross-strait economic exchanges. So if Taiwan and Malaysia sign an FTA, it will be beneficial to both sides of the Taiwan Strait and to the Southeast Asian country, he noted.

"China has no reason or need to express objection over Taiwan's possible signing of an FTA with Malaysia," Lo noted.

Lo made the remarks during a telephone interview with local reporters when asked to comment on Malaysian media reports on Wednesday that quoted the Chinese ambassador to Malaysia as expressing opposition to any move by Malaysia to sign an FTA with Taiwan.

During a question-and-answer session following a speech at the Asia-Europe Institute in Universiti Malaya on Tuesday, Huang Huikang (黃惠康) stressed that China is not against non-official exchanges and ties in trade and education between the peoples of Malaysia and Taiwan.

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