Taiwan-China trade pact could boost film industry

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A planned trade pact with China could not only boost Taiwan's economy but also help its film industry, a report said, citing a parliamentary study.

The Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement would allow Taiwan better access to the Chinese film market with the rights to co-produce and screen films on the mainland, the Central News Agency quoted the study as saying.

The document cited Hong Kong as a successful example, saying Beijing loosened its restrictions on films from the southern Chinese territory after they agreed the Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement.

China limits the number of foreign films screened there each year and the authorities often order producers to cut scenes that are deemed too violent, sexual or sensitive.

Taiwan hopes to start formal negotiations next month with Beijing on the trade deal, which calls for the removal of barriers to ensure the smooth flow of goods and personnel between them.

The island's China-friendly administration says the agreement could lift economic growth by one percentage point.

However, the opposition, which favours independence from China, has warned the pact could imperil the island's separate status.

Taiwan and China split at the end of a civil war in 1949, but Beijing still considers the island part of its territory, vowing reunification, even if it has to use force.