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Taiwan approves historic trade deal with China

Taiwan’s legislature on Tuesday approved a wide-ranging trade pact with China, removing the final hurdle to a historic accord that has stirred controversy on the island but will reduce tariffs on hundreds of products on both sides of the Taiwan Strait and deepen economic ties between the one-time enemies.

Under the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA), China has agreed to open 11 service sectors to Taiwanese companies, such as banking, accounting, aircraft maintenance, insurance and hospitals.

China will reduce tariffs on 539 Taiwanese goods worth USD13.83 billion, accounting for around 16.1 percent of the island’s China-bound exports, while Taiwan will reduce tariffs on 267 Chinese goods worth USD2.86b, accounting for 10.5 percent of Chinese exports to Taiwan.