Taiwan is seeking to sign a trade pact with China which is similar to a free trade agreement (FTA), a newspaper said on Sunday.
The Commercial Times, quoting an unnamed official, said that Taiwan plans to follow the model of Hong Kong and sign a pact to promote trade with China, dpa reported.
The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT, Taiwan's ruling party) and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) will discuss it during the KMT-CCP forum to be held in Hong Kong in December.
Hong Kong, after reverting to Chinese rule in 1997 following 150 years of British colonization, signed the Closer Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) with China in June 2003, helping to open up a huge market for Hong Kong goods and services.
But Taiwan's opposition party the Democratic Progressive Party (DDP) is opposed to signing a CEPA with China, fearing it will downgrade Taiwan's status to that of Hong Kong, now a special zone of China. The Taiwan government plans to call it something other than CEPA, and will refer to it as a Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA).
According to the Commercial Times, President Ma Ying-jeou wants Taiwan to sign CECA with China to prevent Taiwan from becoming marginalized as Taiwan has difficulty in signing FTA with foreign countries or in joining regional FTA, due to opposition from China.
The paper said that Lien Chan, KMT's honorary chairman, will lead the KMT delegation to the KMT-CCP forum to be held in Hong Kong in December.