Edited by Peter C.Y. Chow
Chapter 2: A comparison between the CEPA and the ECFA
Since the inauguration of reforms and opening in China in 1979, economic integration has evolved rapidly among the four economies of the Chinese Economic Area (CEA), namely the Chinese Mainland, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau. The CEA rapidly became a heavyweight in world trade and investment, and the dynamism of the CEA reshaped the East Asian regional economy as well as the world economy. For brevity, the Chinese Mainland will be referred to as the Mainland or China. Hong Kong and Taiwan will be referred to as the duo, and the duo plus the Mainland will be referred to as the trio. In this chapter, the CEA is often taken to be the economies of the trio. Strictly speaking, the CEA should be the quad, as it also includes the economy of Macau. However, as Macau’s economy is very small, it is often ignored in our discussion. Hong Kong and Macau reverted to Chinese rule in 1997 and 1999, and Beijing has long insisted that Taiwan is part of China. However, the quad involves four separate customs territories, and trade and investment among the four take the form of external trade and investment. In economic literature, China’s economy usually means the Mainland’s economy instead of the trio or the quad. It is thus necessary to designate the economy of the trio or quad as the CEA.
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