Taiwan to Ease China Trade Ban

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TAIPEI: In the wake of President Lee Teng-hui's convincing win in Saturday's elections, Taiwan announced a plan today to ease its 47 year-old ban on direct trade with China. Taiwan Economic Minister Chiang Pin-kung will submit the proposal to the Taiwanese legislature sometime in June. China and Taiwan had been conducting low-level talks on economic cooperation last summer when China suspended them after Lee visited the United States -- a move Beijing viewed as a play towards seeking international recognition of Taiwan as a nation. Lee said he wants to seek stability for the island, which has seen its economy hurt by China's threats. "We will seek further development in our mainland relations. We will do it well." Lee can negotiate from a position of power now that he has the mandate of the electorate. "Local analysts have expected Lee to take the initiative to break the impasse," TIME correspondent Jamie A. FlorCruz reports from Beijing. "The first step will probably be to open direct sea links, which is a win-win situation for both sides."Sino-U.S. Relations Ride Rocky Road