Despite intermittent diplomatic friction, the cross-strait economic relationship has blossomed. China entered the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2001 and, within a month, Taiwan entered as "Chinese Taipei." Bilateral trade between China and Taiwan in 2007 reached $102 billion, up from $8 billion in 1991 (PDF) . China is Taiwan's largest trading partner; in 2007, 30 percent of Taiwan's exports were sold to China. Likewise, Taiwan ranks in the top ten of China's trading partners. Taiwanese businesses have invested an estimated $150 billion in the mainland since 1988. In 2009, Taiwan opened up one hundred of its industries to mainland investments. China and Taiwan have also agreed to allow banks, insurers, and other financial service providers to invest and work in both markets. Negotiations between the two for an Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement that will ease trade restrictions even further are scheduled for late 2009.
The year 2009 also marked the increase of direct flights between China and Taiwan to 270 per week from 108. Moreover, Taiwan increased its daily quota of visitors from China to three thousand, a ten-fold increase.
cfr.org Updated: August 11, 2009