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China extends probe into Taiwan trade restrictions to Election Day eve

China extends probe into Taiwan trade restrictions to Election Day eve

2023-10-10

China has extended its probe into Taiwan’s trade restrictions on 2,455 Chinese products. The investigation was supposed to end by this Thursday, but will be extended by three months to Jan. 12, 2024, one day before Taiwan’s general elections. Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council says the act is politically motivated. According to scholar Chang Wu-ueh of Tamkang University, Beijing is attempting to sway the outcome on Election Day.

In April of this year, the Chinese Ministry of Commerce launched a probe into Taiwan’s import restrictions on Chinese products. It was expected to announce the results this week. But just one day before Taiwan’s National Day, the ministry announced that due to the complexities of the case, it would extend the investigation period by three months to Jan. 12, 2024. That’s one day before Taiwan’s general elections. Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council urged Beijing to stop playing politics with trade.

Voice of Chang Wu-ueh
Tamkang University’s Institute of Mainland China Studies
They want the Taiwanese people to feel that there are benefits to be gained from political trust. And that without political trust, Beijing will take measures it deems necessary, potentially adjusting ECFA’s early harvest list.

Wang Mei-hua (Oct. 4)
Economics minister
Taiwan and China are both members of the WTO. China states that we’ve continued to impose import restrictions on Chinese products. Does that violate the guidelines of the WTO? We are very happy to negotiate that issue within the WTO framework.

Earlier this month, finance specialist Hsieh Chin-ho 謝金河 predicted that economics minister Wang Mei-hua would be the next target of China’s cognitive warfare. He said Beijing may seek to remove Wang from her post, by suspending the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement, ECFA. After China extended its probe, Wang’s ministry reiterated that it would help Taiwan businesses prepare for the impact. The ministry said it was willing to negotiate with China under the framework of the World Trade Organization.

Darson Chiu
TIER researcher
It’s not necessarily the case that cross-strait trade will cease. However, Taiwan industries linked to China, such as petrochemicals, transport, machinery, and textiles, will definitely see a reduction in export orders.

Experts say that if China erects trade barriers and terminates ECFA, Taiwan will suffer a maximum loss of US$20.5 billion, accounting for 4.3% of last year’s export value. But experts don’t see China calling trade to a complete halt. Instead, it might cut products from ECFA’s early harvest list, such as petrochemicals, textiles, machinery, and transport. With three months to go before the elections, China’s attempts to intervene are becoming increasingly clear.


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中國延長貿易壁壘調查"至投票前1天" 學者:干預我國大選

2023-10-10

今年4月中國針對台灣未開放進口中國2455項產品啟動半年的貿易壁壘調查,但昨天(9日)突然宣布"本案情況複雜"要延長調查3個月、到明年1/12台灣總統大選前一天!陸委會表示,中國刻意捨棄WTO架構協商,完全是出於政治動機;學者張五岳也認為,北京用經貿手段影響2024大選,最後很可能操作ECFA項目,對台進行制裁。

中國商務部今年4月宣布對台進行貿易壁壘調查,原定本週公布結果,但就在台灣國慶前一天,中國突然發聲明,因為本案情況複雜,要延長調查期限3個月,到2024年1月12日、這天正好是台灣總統大選前一天,陸委會表示,北京當局應立刻停止政治操作貿易爭端,不應將貿易措施政治化。

[[聲源:淡大兩岸研究中心主任 張五岳]]
“想讓台灣民眾意識到說,有政治互信就可以讓利,那沒有政治互信,北京它認為採取所謂必要的做法,可能動用會到ECFA的早收清單”

[[經濟部長 王美花(10.4)]]
“台灣跟中國都是WTO會員,它也提到我們現在,目前還有限制進口部分,有沒有違反WTO相關規範,我們其實也很樂意在WTO機制下,雙方來磋商”

早在月初,財經專家謝金河就預言,中國認知作戰下一個對象,就是經濟部長王美花,疑似想藉由中止ECFA,讓王美花下台。現在商務部再延長貿易調查,讓經濟部再度強調,會協助廠商、做好因應準備,也願意與中方在WTO架構下協商、處理。

[[台經院研究員 邱達生]]
“不見得兩岸貿易就會歸零,中國大陸相關的這些項目,石化、運輸、機械、紡織,對台灣的外銷訂單,肯定就是會減少”

專家預估,貿易壁壘一旦成立、中國終止ECFA,台灣預估最大損失205億美元,占去年出口值4.3%,但研判中國不會貿然全面喊停,而是取消部分ECFA早收清單,石化、紡織、機械、運輸首當其衝,選戰倒數3個月,中共介入選動作越來越大,經貿單位絕對不能輕忽!


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