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China invites Taiwanese investment in shipping

Beijing: Taiwanese shipping companies are awaiting their government's reaction to an invitation by the Chinese Government to invest in the country's shipping industry. At the Cross-Strait Trade and Economic Forum on Sunday, Chinese vice communications minister Xu Zuyuan announced that Taiwanese firms would not only be allowed to invest in wholly-owned shipping and container transport firms, but also operate ports and highways.

"While this offers a little more flexibility for investment, basically it still depends on the government," said Winsor Huang, spokesperson for Taiwan-based Yang Ming told Reuters.

Taiwanese firms have traditionally been unable to invest in China as a result of political tension between the two countries - China has laid claim to the island, which continues to maintain its independence. China's invitation is likely to be rejected by the Taiwanese government, which is unlikely to increase its economic dependence on an opponent to its sovereignty.  Taiwan saws a trade surplus of $27bn with China for 2006.  [01/05/07]

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