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Taiwan slams China for mulling further suspension of tariff cuts

Nikkei Asia | 10 January 2024

Taiwan slams China for mulling further suspension of tariff cuts

TAIPEI (Kyodo) — Taiwan on Wednesday slammed China’s decision to study measures to suspend tariff concessions on more Taiwanese imports after the mainland scrapped preferential tariffs on a dozen chemical products from the island from the start of the year.

In response to Beijing’s announcement on Tuesday, the self-ruled democracy expressed "strong dissatisfaction and condemnation," accusing China of using the economy and trade as a "weapon" to exert pressure on Taiwan in a bid to manipulate and undermine the island’s presidential election Saturday.

The Chinese Commerce Ministry said the mainland is contemplating suspending preferential tariff rates stipulated under a bilateral free trade pact on such Taiwan imports as auto parts and textiles as well as agricultural, fishery and machinery products.

Taiwan’s Foreign Ministry argued cross-strait trade issues should be handled in accordance with World Trade Organization mechanisms, as both are WTO members, criticizing Beijing for adopting unilateral measures.

Beijing maintains the Taiwan government, led by the independence-leaning Democratic Progressive Party, has adopted "unilateral and discriminatory trade restrictions" and has yet to lift them.

Last month, the Chinese ministry said its survey showed Taiwan had prohibited a total of 2,509 import products from the mainland as of late November.

Communist-led China and the self-ruled island have been governed separately since they split in 1949 due to a civil war. Taiwan has accused China of using economic coercion as a means to achieve its goal of bringing the territory into its fold.

 source: Nikkei Asia