SEF head vows to seek more benefits in talks with China

Taipei, June 20 (CNA) Taiwan's top negotiator with China said Thursday that he will do his utmost to secure the greatest possible benefits for Taiwan in talks with the Chinese authorities. "We will seek to maximize benefits and minimize any impossible adverse impact," Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) Chairman Lin Join-sane said prior to his departure for Shanghai for a new round of cross-Taiwan Strait talks. High on the meeting agenda will be the signing of a service trade agreement to further expand cross-strait markets, Lin said. The agreement will be a major follow-up to the landmark Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement signed between the two sides in 2010. Working-level officials from the SEF and ARATS are scheduled to hold preparatory talks later in the day to discuss some technical details and put the final touches on the service trade pact. Lin and his Chinese counterpart, Chen Deming, president of the Beijing-based Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS), are scheduled to ink the new pact the following day. It will be the first time that the two meet for talks since they took over from their predecessors Chiang Pin-kung and Chen Yunlin, respectively. Besides sealing the service trade pact, both sides will also review how previous cross-strait agreements have been implemented and draw up the agenda of the next round of high-level talks, SEF officials said. Lin said last month that both sides are in the process of pursuing another agreement on trade in goods, which is expected to be signed by the end of this year. (Chiu Chun-chin and Sofia Wu)