China and Taiwan sign a landmark trade deal





China and Taiwan signed a landmark tariff-slashing trade deal on Tuesday, boosting economic ties and easing political tensions six decades after the rivals split amid civil war.

The Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) cuts tariffs on 800 products and opens up service industries, giving a major boost to around $100 billion (£66.5 billion) in annual two-way trade.

But it covers only the easiest of potentially thousands of items targeted for tariff cuts in years ahead and euphoria could fade quickly as the two move to much tougher negotiations.

The biggest deal in 60 years between the political rivals was signed in Chongqing, the hilly, foggy wartime capital of China for the Kuomintang (KMT) party, which now rules Taiwan after losing a civil war to Mao Tse-tung's Communists in 1949....



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