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SEF, ARATS see their roles remaining strong
Central News Agency
2014-02-26 05:33 PM
Taipei, Feb. 26 (CNA) The roles of the two intermediary bodies across the Taiwan Strait will remain strong in ties between Taiwan and China in the future, the deputy heads of both organizations said Wednesday. The Beijing-based Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS) and its Taiwan counterpart, the Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF), were preparing for their 10th round of high-level talks the following day, when two agreements on meteorological exchanges and earthquake monitoring are expected to be signed. At the opening of a preparatory meeting in Taipei, ARATS Deputy President Zheng Lizhong said the functions of his organization and the SEF will continue to be strong although the two sides have agreed to establish regular communication between their official agencies. "(The SEF and the ARATS) will continue to discuss administrative matters and negotiations between the two sides," said Zheng, who co-chaired the opening with SEF Deputy Chairman Chang Hsien-yao. Chang, meanwhile, said past exchanges between the SEF and ARATS had laid the foundation for the institutionalization of talks between Taiwan and China. The roles of the two intermediary bodies will remain strong, if not more important, he said. The comments came after government ministers from Taiwan and China held a breakthrough formal meeting in Nanjing earlier this month. This development gave rise to speculations on whether discussions between the SEF and ARATS -- dubbed "white glove" talks because they allowed the two sides to have indirect contact -- would be superseded by official talks. During the Nanjing meeting, the heads of Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) and its counterpart, the Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO) -- the top cross-strait policy planners on each side -- agreed to establish a regular mechanism to facilitate quick and efficient communication. (By Lee Hsin-Yin)
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