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May 16, 2002: Taiwan, China seal landmark accord

Pact to jointly explore for oil is one of the boldest moves to tear down obstacles to bilateral trade and investment

Image Credit:
Taiwan state-run Chinese Petroleum Corp president Pen Wen-yen (right), chairman Chen Chao-wei (centre) and their Chinese counterpart Wei Liucheng,president of China National Offshore Oil Corp, signing a landmark agreement in Taipei to jointly explore for oil, sidestepping political wrangling between Taiwan and China. - Gulf News Archives
Gulf News

Taiwan’s state-run Chinese Petroleum Corp and its Chinese counterpart signed a landmark pact to jointly explore for oil in one of the boldest moves to tear down obstacles to bilateral trade and investment. CPC and China National Offshore Oil Corp (CNOOC) plan to invest a total of $25 million over four years to hunt for oil, sidestepping a political stalemate between Taipei and Beijing, rivals since the Chinese civil war ended in 1949. The agreement also paves the way for both state firms to jointly develop the Chaoshan block in the open seas about 140km from Taiwan’s southern port city Kaohsiung. “As far as I know it’s the first large-scale cooperation between two state-owned enterprises across the Strait,” said CNOOC President Wei Liucheng after the signing. The agreement was the second major commercial deal involving state-controlled companies after China Eastern Airlines signed a pact last year to sell a 25 per cent stake in its cargo unit to Taiwan’s China Airlines, in which a government-run fund has a controlling stake.

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