Really Going WTO?  (c) Simon Xi Zhang, 2002



5. Indirect Financial Transactions (Trade in Services)

Similar indirectness requirement existed in banking sectors, too. Direct transaction between Taiwanese and Chinese banks (including their overseas branches) was forbidden[27]. The Ministry of Finance later published Regulations Governing Permission of Financial Transactions between Taiwan Area and Mainland Area (hereinafter Financial Regulations) in 1993. Local branches of Taiwanese banks cannot participate in the indirect transaction at all. Everything had to be conducted through Overseas Branch of Taiwanese banks[28], and Overseas Branch could deal only with mainland branches of foreign banks and overseas branches of Chinese banks[29]. The first indirect transaction took place at Hong Kong in July 1994, three years after the termination of "Period of Mobilization". Application procedure for conducting transaction with Chinese bank overseas branch was issued finally in late 1997[30].

Therefore, a Taiwanese buyer and Chinese seller had to find a third-area middleman, a third-area transportation point, and at least one (if not involving a foreign bank’s mainland branch, then two) overseas bank to complete a single cross-strait trade in goods.

Due to the strict "indirectness" requirement pervading everywhere in Taiwanese law on cross-strait relationship, the simple transaction over the Taiwan Strait had to become global. 

[27] Article 36(1), Relations Statute.

[28] Article 2, Financial Regulations.

[29] Overseas Branch was not permitted dealing with Chinese bank branch locating in mainland area, Id. Also, see, Ministry of Finance Opinion Letter, Tai-tsai Rung-tze No.86643430 (September 10, 1997) (forbidding an Overseas Branch issuing L/C where the designated beneficiary bank was to be mainland branch of a Chinese bank).

[30] Ministry of Finance Letter, Tai-tsai Rung-tze No.86807983 (September 26, 1997)