Page last updated at 13:07 GMT, Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Viewpoints: China and Taiwan deal

As China and Taiwan sign historic agreements to improve direct trade and transport links, people across the region give the BBC News website their thoughts on the landmark deals.


Supper Huang
Taiwan is an independent country with our own government, military, and judiciary. We have all the features of a sovereign state and we separated from China many years ago.

We can talk to China on state-to-state business, just like EU member states talk to the US.

But Taiwan's current government did not press the issue of Taiwan's sovereignty. This deal seems unfair to me because there was no equality between Taiwan and China. We did not even use our formal name - Taiwan - during the negotiations.

Maybe there will be improved relations between the two sides and this is good - but we still worry that closeness to China might end up bringing us trouble in the future.

I want to see the government talk openly about sovereignty rather than economics and trade. There was no public say in the current negotiations. Our congress could not monitor the talks . If there was some participation by the public or the congress, then I might have more confidence.

I have always felt that Taiwan was a part of China. I am happy about the cross-strait trade deal. If trade relations improve, both sides will become friends.

I know my fellow students feel that democracy is a requirement for China. I think Taiwan is a good example for China.
I think this deal is good for both sides of the Taiwan Strait, because shorter flight routes, shipping and other features will save us all money and time. This deal is not about political but about economic and trade relations.

But even closer links - whatever they are - can be positive.

I feel that if China becomes more democratic then Taiwanese people might become happy to be part of China. In mainland China today, we have no democracy.

I am a university student and I know my fellow students feel that democracy is a requirement for China. I think Taiwan is a good example for China. In the past Taiwan was similar insofar as it was only ruled by one party - the Kuomintang. Today, the mainland of China is ruled by one party. If the Kuomintang can change, surely the Chinese Communist Party can change?

This is long and difficult road, but I hope that China will complete it and win the respect of the rest of the world as a democratic country.


I personally view this visit cautiously as it unfolds, and so does my family.

Monica Hsueh
As a Taiwanese, I am worried that the close ties with China will bring more Chinese control. There is still a lot to be discussed and talks are ongoing - so until we have the final blueprint I'm quite ambivalent. My concerns are the liberal policies on Chinese companies investing in Taiwan.

This has never been done before and new investments include key areas like real estate and telecommunications. But I hope that the deal does not allow business to be overly-controlled by the Chinese.

Without a carefully planned investment policy, the Taiwanese government is likely to lose its foothold as an independent entity and China could gain control.

For most people, there is optimism about these talks. But in the media we do hear opposition voices which I personally think is a great thing. This is a democratic society. We have really showed what democracy means.


Zhu Ziming
My hometown is very close to Taiwan. I live just across the straits but I have never been to Taiwan before. I do hope to visit Taiwan some day.

I feel it is so strange that two sides which once fought furiously now sit together in a spirit of consultation and co-operation. Althought we once fought, this development is a real advantage for the future of the Asia-Pacific region.

But I feel anxiety about the deal. I don't think Taiwan can maintain its relative independence the way it did before. But on the other hand I am happy to see a deal which could encourage the integration of the regional economy.

China can learn from Taiwan's political system in order to carry out democratic reforms and Taiwan could learn from the mainland to accelerate economic growth.


I'm really happy that we are talking. Our government has tried to open the channels for communication and that is good.

We can have more opportunities to co-operate with China and this will improve our relationship and also bring change to our economy.

From where I am standing, the visits offer Taiwan a new chance to find synergies with China. We have to think about our long term development in terms of business, trade, transportation and education.

Better relations between China and Taiwan is also good for our international image. Before we focused too much on the political side of things. This is a positive development.

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