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China, Taiwan ink trade and crime-fighting deals

The longtime rivals signed deals Sunday on boosting cross-strait flights, joint-crime fighting, and financial cooperation, but steered clear of politics.

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Longtime rivals China and Taiwan signed a raft of commercial and crime-fighting deals on Sunday in Nanjing, in the third round of talks in a year.

Progress in cross-strait relations has been remarkably fast. But now, with much of the "low-hanging fruit" in trade and transit deals already picked clean, the question many in Taiwan are asking is: What comes next?

Beijing considers self-ruled Taiwan as part of its territory, and longs to see it return to the fold. So it hopes talks will move on to political issues.

But in Taiwan, President Ma Ying-jeou has ruled out discussing unification. And the pro-independence opposition is becoming increasingly alarmed by how far and fast he has cozied up Beijing.

"Some people think Ma's government has made too many concessions on Taiwan's sovereignty," said Lin Wen-cheng, a cross-strait expert at National Sun Yat-sen University in Taiwan's second-largest city, Kaohsiung, and former adviser to two presidents.

On Sunday, the two sides inked deals on boosting cross-strait flights, joint-crime fighting, and financial cooperation. They also issued a statement on allowing Chinese investment in Taiwan.


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