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September 20, 2017

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Cross-strait trade dipped slightly in 2016: MAC

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Trade between Taiwan and mainland China dropped 0.7 percent year in 2016, according to the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) Monday.

According to a MAC report submitted to the Legislative Yuan, the total amount of trade between both sides amounted to US$117.9 billion. Exports from Taiwan to the mainland rose 0.6 percent to US$73.9 billion dollars, while imports from China to Taiwan fell 2.8 percent to US$44 billion.

The rising cost of doing business in China also affected investment by Taiwanese businesses, which fell to US$9.67 billion in 2016, down 11.8 percent. On the other hand, approved Chinese investment in Taiwan rose 1.5 percent, to US$247.63 million.

The report added that since Taiwan's political transition last May, China has used "noneconomic means" to reduce the number of its tourists visiting the island, while trying to segment tourism policy between localities administered by pan-Blue and pan-Green governments. The continuing cross-strait political impasse was also preventing further negotiations on previous economic agreements concluded with China, though both sides were still maintaining "more or less regular contact" and an exchange of reports and information, the report stated.

Since President Tsai Ing-wen took office last May, cross-strait relations have cooled, due mainly to China's insistence that the so-called "1992 consensus" is the sole political foundation for the development of cross-strait exchanges and the Tsai administration's refusal to accept it as a precondition.

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