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Mainland's Taiwan affairs office supports suspension of preferential tariffs on some Taiwan chemicals

By ZHANG YI | | Updated: 2023-12-21 15:15
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The Chinese mainland's Taiwan affairs authority on Thursday expressed support for the decision to suspend certain tariff reductions for products from Taiwan in response to the discriminatory trade restrictions the island put on mainland products.

The mainland will suspend tariff reductions on some chemicals from Taiwan in response to the island's unilateral, discriminatory trade restrictions that have violated the economic pact between the two sides.

Starting Jan 1, a total of 12 items of chemical products from Taiwan, including propylene and paraxylene, will no longer enjoy the preferential tax rates stipulated in the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA), the Office of the Customs Tariff Commission of the State Council said in a statement on Wednesday.

The ECFA, which was signed in 2010 between the two sides based on the 1992 Consensus that embodies the one-China principle, is a comprehensive cross-Strait economic pact intended to lower commercial barriers.

As Taiwan's trade measures, such as bans and restrictions on mainland products, have breached the ECFA, the commission has decided to suspend the tax reductions on the aforementioned products according to the pact, the statement said.

Zhu Fenglian, a spokeswoman of the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council, said on Thursday that the Democratic Progressive Party authorities have attacked the ECFA and failed to lift discriminatory trade restrictions against the mainland after coming to office.

Instead, they have intensified rule modifications and created obstacles that hinder economic exchanges and cooperation between the two sides, leading to the decision to suspend certain tariff reductions, she said.

"Such a problem could have been resolved through cross-Strait consultations," Zhu said, but the DPP's refusal to recognize the 1992 Consensus and its pro-independence stance have broken the foundation for communication, harming people on both sides of the Strait.

It is hoped that cross-Strait relations can return to peaceful development, so that both sides can engage in negotiations and resolve economic and trade issues based on the 1992 Consensus, she added.

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