Taiwanese businesses meet with China amid tariff tensions

Taiwanese businesses meet with China amid tariff tensions (TVBS News)
Taiwanese businesses meet with China amid tariff tensions (TVBS News)

TAIPEI (TVBS News) — Lin Por-fong (林伯豐), Chairman of the Third Wednesday Club (三三企業交流會), led a delegation of 23 Taiwanese business leaders to meet with Song Tao (宋濤), the head of China's Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO) on Tuesday (June 11) ahead of the reduction in tariff concessions under the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) starting June 15.

The announcement from the other side of the Strait came at the heels of the inauguration of President Lai Ching-te (賴清德), amid heightened cross-strait tensions and is seen as a direct response to Taiwan's new administration.

Cross-Strait Business Dialogue

Lin expressed a desire for increased economic, cultural, and religious exchanges to foster peace and shared prosperity between the two sides.

However, Song criticized the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) for stirring up cross-strait antagonism and employing unfair practices against mainland products, which he claimed led to the cessation of some ECFA tariff preferences.

Taiwanese Businesses Seek Common Ground

During the meeting, Taiwanese entrepreneurs voiced their hope for the restoration of ECFA benefits and emphasized the importance of peaceful cross-strait exchanges.

Businessman Chen Tien-wen (陳田文) suggested that both sides should explore new cooperative opportunities, especially in the development of AI and electronics.

This visit, the first major Taiwanese business delegation to China since President Lai's office, aims to understand the latest policies affecting Taiwanese businesses in China.

The reduction in ECFA tariff concessions marks a significant shift in cross-strait relations, underscoring the complexities of the economic and political ties between Taiwan and China.

As businesses on both sides of the strait navigate these changes, the call for peace and cooperation remains a central theme in their discussions.