On June 29, 2010, Mr. Chen Yunlin, Chairman of the mainlands Association for
Relations across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS) and Mr. Chiang Pin-kung, Chairman of
the Taiwan-based Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) signed the Cross-Straits
Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA). The ECFA is an agreement
which aims at institutionalizing economic cooperation across the Taiwan Strait. As a
critical legal measure to the future interaction across the straight, it would facilitate and
regularize economic cooperation and trade exchanges between two sides.
The idea of a cross-Strait economic pact dates back to April 2005 when Hu Jintao,
general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, and
Lien Chan, then chairman of the Kuomintang (KMT) Party in Taiwan, jointly issued
the common aspiration and prospects for cross-Strait peace and development
Beijing. In this document, the two parties proposed to jointly promote all-round
economic exchanges between the mainland and Taiwan and establish a cross-Strait
economic cooperation mechanism. It was confirmed that the consensus will be built into
the KMTs policy as a keynote of Premier Ma Ying-jeous regional leader campaign.
On December 31, 2008, Hu Jintao delivered a speech at a meeting in commemoration
of the 30th anniversary of the Message to Compatriots in Taiwan.
He put a clear
position in this speech that the mainland and Taiwan could sign a comprehensive
economic cooperation agreementand build a unique mechanism to achieve mutual
benefit. Not surprisingly, this proposal was well received by Ma Ying-jeou. Since to a
large extent, our success in the [regional leader] election can be attributed to our partys
policy in handling the cross-straight relations, its quite natural that we will stick to our
words,said Mr. Chiang Pin-kungin in an interview by Caijing Magazine.
several rounds of talks, negotiators were finally able to ink the deal in Chongqing,
1As a legal mechanism, the Cross-Straits Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) has at three
antecedents: the creation of the Cross-Strait Common Market Foundation in 2000 by the current vice regional leader
of Taiwan, Vincent Siew; the formal accession of the two side across the strait to the WTO in 2001; and the signing
of Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA) by the mainland with Hong Kong and Macau, respectively.
Cross-Strait Matrix: the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement
, 9 C
ttnews%5BbackPid%5D=7&cHash=f0b872132a (last visited on Jan. 6, 2011).
2Hu Jintao, Chinese President, Address at the ceremony commemorating the 30th anniversary of the announcement
of Message to Compatriots in Taiwan (available only in Chinese),
newscenter/2008-12/31/content_10586495.htm (last visited on Jan.18, 2011).
Jiang Bingkun: ECFA Taiqian Muhou
[Chiang Pin-Kung Talks as an Insider on the ECFA Negotiation]
(available only in Chinese), CAIJING, July, 5, 2010,
chargecontent2.jsp?id=110473226&time=2010-07-05&cl=106&page=1 (last visited on Jan. 28, 2011).