Canadian Manufacturing

China woos Taiwan with $95 billion in loans

BEIJING—China has earmarked $95 billion in loans from state banks to woo Taiwanese investors as it tries to build closer ties with the self-ruled island that Beijing claims as its own, according to the official Xinhua News Agency.

The two sides separated in 1949 amid civil war and have no official ties but are rapidly building commercial relations.

Four state banks will offer credit totaling 600 billion yuan ($95 billion) to Taiwanese-invested mainland businesses, Chinese official Wang Yi was cited as saying.

The pledge comes amid a mini-stimulus launched by Beijing to reverse an economic slump with more spending on building airports and other public works and promises of more bank loans to private companies to generate jobs.

The mainland is Taiwan’s biggest trading partner, with exports to China worth $124 billion last year.

Taiwanese companies have invested $130 billion in China over the past two decades and much of the island’s labour-intensive manufacturing has shifted to the mainland, where wages are lower.

China is increasingly important to Taiwan as a market as global demand for the island’s exports weakens. However, mainland Chinese investment in Taiwan totaled $132 million as of last year, due partly to restrictions imposed by the island’s government to avoid being dominated by its giant neighbour.

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