China-Taiwan Accord

Nothing but good news in the latest deal between China and Taiwan:

The direct sea links alone will cut shipping costs by around $36 million a year, according to estimates from Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council. This is no small change: More than 40% of Taiwanese exports went to China in 2007, and two-way trade was $130.2 billion — yet the trade and the traders had to travel through a third country, usually Hong Kong. The number of direct charter flights will increase to 108 per week from 36, and new air routes will cut hours off flying times. … 

Credit goes to Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou for smoothing the waters. Elected in March on a platform of better relations with the mainland, Mr. Ma made it clear he wanted to negotiate on cross-Strait economic, transportation and cultural links on the basis of the “1992 Consensus,” under which the two sides agreed to disagree about what constitutes “China.” The Chinese delegation’s very presence in Taipei this week suggests negotiations on an equal footing. That’s a big change.

China and Taiwan will integrate peacefully as long as the mainland’s government continues to moderate over time. And as Thomas Barnett says, “The big-war scenario is dead.”

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