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Red Cross societies to mark 20th anniversary of Kinmen Agreement

Red Cross societies to mark 20th anniversary of Kinmen Agreement

Taipei, Sept. 10 (CNA) The Red Cross societies of Taiwan and China are planning to jointly mark the 20th anniversary of the Kinmen Agreement, which they signed in 1990 at a time when bilateral political relations were at an impasse.
The agreement was signed on the Taiwan-held outlying island of Kinmen on Sept. 12, 1990, mainly to facilitate the repatriation of mainland Chinese stowaways and illegal immigrants.
Former and incumbent officials of the two Red Cross societies, will visit Kinmen on Sept. 21 to review the historic work that was done in a pragmatic manner to address the stowaway issue on the basis of humanitarian considerations, said Dr. C.V. Chen, president of the Taiwan Red Cross Society.
Recalling the events of 20 years ago, Chen said that in the first few years after 1987 when Taiwan began allowing its residents to visit their relatives in China, many mainland Chinese tried to sneak into Taiwan proper and its outlying islands of Kinmen or Matsu.
Several Chinese stowaways who were caught and sent back died accidentally in the repatriation process, which was not well managed prior to 1990, he said. The Taiwan government, therefore, thought it was vital to reach an agreement with China on the issue, he added.
Chen said the government assigned the ROC Red Cross Society to explore the possibility of signing of an agreement with its counterpart in China, in the absence of official contact between the two sides.
"When we approached China's Red Cross Society and suggested an accord to prevent any other repatriation tragedies, it responded favorably right away," Chen recalled.
The Kinmen Agreement, the first of its kind between Taiwan and China since 1949, laid out measures to systematically tackle problems such as repatriation of hijackers, criminals and illegal immigrants across the strait, Chen noted.
(By Chen Li-ting and Deborah Kuo)




Updated : 2021-05-07 13:24 GMT+08:00