Newspaper article China Post

China Post Spans Eventful 6 Decades

Newspaper article China Post

China Post Spans Eventful 6 Decades

Article excerpt

The 60th anniversary of the founding of The China Post is an appropriate time for reflection, and also cause for renewal, despite the economic challenges facing Asian economies in the wake of the global financial crash of 2008-2009 and the resulting recession. There are also political challenges, including in particular the growth of North Korea's primitive but real nuclear weapons capabilities, even while the economy of that country staggers through long-term stagnation and human suffering.

A broader historical perspective along with a wider geographic horizon is useful in putting these developments and others in proper context. In 1952, the Korean War had degenerated into a frustrating stalemate, punctuated by steady casualties among the U.N. military forces battling the armies of Beijing and Pyongyang, roughly along the 38th Parallel which today demarcates South and North Korea.

One other consequence of the Korean War was to solidify United States military support for Nationalist China's forces on Taiwan. Soon after North Korea invaded South Korea in June 1950, the U.S. Seventh Fleet moved to protect Taiwan in case of invasion from the mainland.

That grim period of intense Cold War contrasts markedly with today's much more promising economic and political environments. The historic reforms of President Chiang Ching-kuo, which began in 1986 ended martial law, permitted family visits to the mainland, and opened the door to contested democratic elections. Along with the economic reforms on the mainland, these changes permitted profound expansion of investment and trade across the Taiwan Strait.

In early November 2008, the two sides successfully concluded historic negotiations. Four comprehensive agreements were reached, including direct shipping, expansion of weekly passenger flights from 36 to 108, and introduction of cargo flights up to a maximum of 60 per month.

There was also agreement to hold senior talks every six months, which led to the ambitious Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA), signed June 29, 2010. …

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