Mainland trade with Taiwan in 2003 surpassed that of both the US and Japan, according to Taiwan officials, making mainland China Taiwan's biggest trading partner. Mainland-Taiwan trade, which has been indirect since 1949, reached US$46.32 billion in 2003, a year-on-year rise of 23.8%. Shipments from the mainland to Taiwan rose 37.9% over the previous year to US$10.96 billion, while mainland-bound shipments increased 20% to US$35.36 billion. Trade with the mainland composed 17.1% of Taiwan's external trade.
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