TAIPEI, March 18 A crucial trade deal between
China and Taiwan has passed the first hurdle in Taiwan's
parliament despite opposition party concerns about Beijing's
growing influence on the Taiwanese economy, media reported on
The ruling Nationalist Party said an initial review of the
pact had been completed, which could pave the way for a final
review in parliament on April 8, the Commercial Times and the
China Times reported.
The reports said the opposition Democratic Progressive Party
(DPP), which has vowed to protect Taiwan's economy from
excessive Chinese influence, would vote against the deal
although it lacks the numbers to block its final passage.
Mainland China is the island's biggest trading partner and
the two sides have signed a slew of agreements on everything
from transport to tourism since Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou
took office in 2008.
Under the latest trade pact, China will open 80 of its
service sectors to Taiwanese companies, while Taiwan will allow
mainland investment in 64 sectors.
The DPP says the pact will hurt small service companies and
damage the Taiwanese economy.
(Reporting by Faith Hung; Editing by Stephen Coates)