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Cross-strait heads to meet May 23 on Kinmen

Cross-strait heads to meet May 23 on Kinmen

Taipei, May 15 (CNA) The heads of the top cross-Taiwan Strait negotiating bodies will meet May 23 on the outlying island of Kinmen, according to announcements made Friday by Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) and China's Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO). The meeting will be led by MAC head Hsia Li-yan (???) and TAO head Zhang Zhijun (???). The MAC said the meeting will examine what progress has been made on issues discussed during a previous meeting last November in Beijing between former MAC head Wang Yu-chi (???) and Zhang, including a cross-strait trade-in-goods agreement, a proposal to use Taiwan as a hub for Chinese airlines, and the establishment of reciprocal representative offices on each side of the strait. In addition, Hsia will express Taiwan's wish to participate in the China-led Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) initiative and will appeal for improved judicial cooperation, such as the extradition of high-profile fugitives convicted of economic and financial crimes. The meeting will also cover issues that affect Kinmen residents, such as a scheme to export water from China to Kinmen, poaching and plundering of sea sand, ocean garbage, greater freedom of travel of people and goods between the islands of Kinmen and Matsu and the Chinese port of Xiamen, and ideas to attract more Chinese tourists to Kinmen and Matsu. Zhang is expected to return to China May 24 after spending the day visiting Kinmen's renowned attractions, including factories producing traditional candies and cooking knives. He will also attend a banquet with Kinmen residents and Chinese spouses residing on Kinmen. A day earlier, Hsia vowed to lodge a protest against China's national security law draft bill, which had its second reading in the National People's Congress Standing Committee last month. The bill asserts that the people of Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau are obligated to safeguard China's sovereignty and territorial integrity, and that Beijing will not tolerate division. (By Chen Chia-lun and Ted Chen)


Updated : 2021-09-26 19:01 GMT+08:00