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Office exchange between intermediary bodies far off: SEF chairman

Taipei, Jan. 30 (CNA) The intermediary bodies of Taiwan and China will not begin negotiations on exchanging offices any time soon, as a proposed cross-Taiwan Strait trade pact is at the top of their agenda, Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) Chairman Chiang Pin-kung said Saturday.
"The two sides are busy discussing an economic cooperation framework agreement (ECFA) and have made economic issues the top priority, " Chiang said, responding to a comment by Zheng Lizhong, vice president of the Beijing-based Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS) , that the ARATS will begin exploring the possibility of exchanging offices between ARATS and SEF.
"Exchanging offices is one of the future tasks which the two sides will handle, but not now, " Chiang said.
SEF and ARATS are quasi-official organizations that represent Taipei and Beijing, respectively, in cross-strait exchanges and negotiations.
Chiang also commented that an agreement on cross-strait cultural, education, health and news cooperation will not be clinched in the next round of his meeting with ARATS President Chen Yunlin, slated for May in China.
Chen recently called for greater cross-strait cooperation in the four fields.
(By Kuo Mei-lan and Flor Wang)

Updated : 2021-06-17 16:47 GMT+08:00