China, Taiwan hold third round of trade talks

China and Taiwan on Sunday held a third round of negotiations for a major trade pact in a bid to seal the deal this month.

Experts from the two sides will discuss during the one-day meeting in Beijing the main content of the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA), the state Xinhua news agency said.

The ECFA is intended to normalise China-Taiwan economic ties and bring the two economies closer, Xinhua said. The first round of talks took place in January in Beijing and the second two months later in Taipei.

Taiwan's Beijing-friendly government, which says the deal will boost growth and employment, has been pushing to sign the agreement in June.

However, the two sides were "stuck" in negotiations, Taiwan's premier said Saturday, in the latest sign that they may miss this month's deadline.

"We are stuck on some items as certain Taiwanese industries will lose their competitiveness without tariff reductions but some Chinese industries are concerned about the impact," Wu Den-yih said in a statement.

The pact is expected to include a list of industries that will benefit first from preferential tariffs, as well as measures on protecting intellectual property rights, according to Taipei officials.

But opponents in Taiwan say stronger competition from China will cost jobs and the accord will make the island more dependent on the mainland.

Taiwan and China have been governed separately since a civil war in 1949, but Beijing considers the island part of its territory and has vowed to get it back, by force if necessary.

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