Dire Straits. Taiwan-Mainland ties warm amid economic deep freeze

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The Taiwanese economy is in serious strife, which could trigger further engagement with the Mainland. The island's fourth quarter GDP plunged an unprecedented 8.4% and further slides are possible this year as the island's manufacturing-based economy suffers amid the global economic slump. Direct aviation links, enhanced in Dec-08 with the commencement of weekday cross-Strait services, are expected to strengthen as the economic storm rages.

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