Taiwan has had discriminatory trade and investment policies towards China, severely limiting economic engagement across the Strait. Not having free and open trade with China, one of the largest and most important parts of the East Asian economy, has resulted in Taiwan's underperforming in attracting foreign direct investment, effectively cut Taiwan off from participating fully in East Asian production networks and prevented the deepening of its specialisation in the regional and international economy. The Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement is a watershed in cross-Strait relations and gives Taiwan the opportunity to integrate more fully into the East Asian economy. There is pressure now for Taiwan to pursue preferential trade deals with other countries. This is not the best way forward; rather, Taiwan should pursue a multilateral trade strategy and focus on domestic reforms that will bring larger economic gains, economic diversification and avoid the political risks to the cross-Strait relationship associated with preferential deals.