China, Taiwan sign trade pact

June 30, 2010 02:23

BEIJING - China and Taiwan, political rivals separated by 60 years of history and hostility, highlighted their growing economic links Tuesday by signing a trade cooperation agreement that could dramatically increase the flow of goods across the narrow Taiwan  Strait.

The pact, which was under negotiation for years, marks a victory for Taiwan's President Ma Ying-jeou, who took office two years ago with a promise of pursuing rapprochement with the mainland and reversing the pro-independence policies of his predecessor, Chen Shui-bian.

The economic cooperation framework agreement follows the opening of air, sea and mail links in late 2008, and builds on strong economic relations that began in the 1980s. Since then, Taiwanese businesses have invested more than $100 billion in china and hundreds of thousands of Taiwanese live in China today.

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