China, Taiwan thaw rivalry, talk trade
A container barge sits moored at a container terminal in Hong Kong.
TEXT OF STORY
Bill Radke: Today, China and Taiwan started what could be historic trade talks. From Shanghai, Marketplace's Scott Tong tells us about an economic thaw in this political rivalry.
Scott Tong: Proponents say a trade deal could create a quarter-million jobs in Taiwan. Taiwanese insurance companies, banks and auto parts makers would face lower tariffs and other barriers in the vast China market.
Taiwan-based businessman Mark Forman says the island territory needs the new business; its longtime old customer isn't buying.
Mark Forman: The American customer demand will probably never see the levels that it did prior to the almost implosion that we had last year. So I think it behooves Taiwan to have a lot more access to the China market.
Beijing makes that argument, as does Taiwan's ruling party. But the Taiwanese opposition thinks a trade deal will create losers, like farmers who won't be able to compete. And as Taiwan opens its doors to China, economist Chen Li Ying wonders who Beijing will really send over.
Chen Li Ying: China always will put some spies within their student group, or whatever.
Trade deal foes are spooked about Beijing's true intentions. The talks are expected to last til May at the very least.
In Shanghai, I'm Scott Tong for Marketplace.