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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Taiwan Media: Entry to Aid Ties

TAIPEI, Taiwan — Taiwan's entry to the World Trade Organization will gradually improve relations with rival China, but will also pose serious tests for the island's economy, local media said Monday.

The WTO approved Taiwan's entry during a ministerial meeting in Qatar on Sunday, one day after China was admitted into the global trading body.

Newspapers said it should spur cross-strait dialogue, as Taiwan was entering the WTO as a customs territory and not a sovereign nation, skirting the thorny issue of sovereignty under which Beijing views Taiwan as a breakaway province.

An editorial in the mass-circulation China Times called the WTO entry "a major step to improve cross-strait relations." The Commercial Times, a top business daily, said in an editorial that Taiwan's WTO entry is a "major breakthrough" for its impact on a more pragmatic China policy, but noted caution.

"The rich result of the pragmatic foreign policy can not guarantee the economic benefits. On the contrary, entering the WTO will be the beginning of a more severe and critical test to Taiwan's economy," the paper said.