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Negotiators from the Chinese mainland and Taiwan have signed a long-awaited Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement, known as the ECFA. It's a move hailed by many as a milestone in cross-Strait relations.
Negotiators from the mainland's Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits, and the Taiwan-based Straits Exchange Foundation, inked the ECFA during the fifth round of talks since the two organizations resumed negotiations after an 11-year suspension.
The two sides agreed to gradually reduce and remove trade and investment barriers. The agreement also provides protection for cross-Strait investment to boost two-way capital flows. The two sides will continue discussing agreements for commodity trade, service trade and investment six months after the ECFA takes effect.
The mainland and Taiwan will also jointly set up a committee for cross-Strait economic cooperation to ensure other agreements can be reached, and to supervise the implementation of the ECFA.
Zheng Lizhong, Vice Chairman of ARATS said "We always believed that the establishment of the economic cooperation system across the Straits is good for both sides to find a practical approach to get ourselves economically connected with the Asian Pacific economies. I think both sides have this willingness and we will try the best to work it out."