Published: 12:48, December 29, 2023 | Updated: 12:50, December 29, 2023
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DPP's door best place for election meddling charge
By China Daily

In this undated file photo the Taipei 101 skyscraper commands the urban landscape in Taipei, Taiwan. (PHOTO / XINHUA)

The Customs Tariff Commission last week announced that starting from the beginning of next year a total of 12 items of chemical products from Taiwan, including propylene and para-xylene, will stop enjoying the preferential tax rates stipulated by the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement.

Beijing said the move was in response to the "unilateral, discriminatory trade restrictions" the island's authorities had imposed on products from the Chinese mainland that breach the cross-Strait free trade agreement.

The comprehensive economic pact lists 806 goods approved for tariff reductions and is intended to lower the barriers to commerce and promote cross-Strait trade. It was signed by the two sides across the Taiwan Strait in June 2010 on the basis of the 1992 Consensus.

Soon after announcing the tariff move, the mainland authorities said that they are willing to work with relevant parties in Taiwan and offer assistance for the resumption of exports of Taiwan's agricultural and aquatic products to the mainland. In light of this, the mainland authorities announced that, based on an assessment of the rectification efforts of the island's grouper farmers, they had given a green light to the resumption of grouper imports from Taiwan, which were suspended in June 2022 because of safety issues.

The mainland's twin announcements prompted some people on the island who are ill-disposed toward the Chinese mainland to claim that Beijing was employing a carrot and stick approach to influence the upcoming election on the island.

But the recent decision by the Chinese mainland to end tariff concessions for some Taiwan products was justified given the island's authorities have imposed restrictions and bans against mainland products, which are aimed at politicizing trade issues and undermining cross-Strait trade cooperation.

The island's business circle should blame the ruling Democratic Progressive Party for such an undesirable outcome as it was the DPP that has flouted the ECFA.

Since taking office, the DPP, with its pro-independence agenda and reckless separatist deeds, has done more harm than good to the smooth implementation of the ECFA.

The DPP authorities have not only violated the ECFA rules by imposing discriminatory restrictions on mainland goods, they have also refused to recognize the 1992 Consensus. So it is the DPP authorities that bear the responsibility now that the ECFA is experiencing some headwinds.

The suspension and reinstatement of approval for imports of grouper from the island are entirely due to the actions of the industry on the island.

As for the allegation that the mainland is seeking to influence the local leadership election on the island, those making the allegation are the ones attempting to do that.