THE CHINESE Petroleum Corporation (CPC), one of Taiwan's largest state-owned enterprises, is setting up a joint company with the China mainland counterpart company China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC) to extract and refine oil. CNPC does not have the means to refine crude oil and currently contracts out this work to Japan but is keen to use Taiwan, because it can offer lower coats and is closer to markets in southern China.

For reasons of national security, Taiwan cannot sell the refined product directly back to China, but would have to ...

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