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Taiwan to give briefing on planned cross-strait summit

Taipei, Aug. 17 (CNA) The Mainland Affairs Council (MAC), Taiwan's main agency responsible for China policy, will hold a briefing Tuesday on a planned meeting of the heads of Taiwan's Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) and China's Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS), according to the council. The briefing will be led by MAC deputy chief Lin Chu-chia (???), Deputy Finance Minister Chang Fan (??) and Deputy Transportation and Communications Minister Wu Meng-fen (???), the MAC said in a statement Monday. The exact date of the SEF-ARATS summit, the 11th of its kind since 2008 when President Ma Ying-jeou took office and contacts with China began expanding, has not been settled. But MAC chief Hsia Li-yan (???) revealed on Saturday that the planned meeting could possibly take place before the end of August. Informed sources have said the upcoming SEF-ARATS summit will likely be held in Fuzhou, the capital city of China's Fujian Province. The SEF and ARATS are two intermediary organizations established to handle cross-strait exchanges in the absence of formal ties. Tuesday's briefing may also provide an update on the status of agreements that at one point were expected to be signed at the planned cross-strait meeting, including a tax agreement and an aviation safety cooperation agreement. SEF Vice Chairman Chou Jih-shine (???) hinted on Aug. 12 that they may not be ready in time for the meeting. He said that while the content of the two proposed agreements has been screened by national security officials and discussed at public hearings, their wording and phrasing still need further review. As for a much-anticipated agreement that would allow travelers from China to use Taiwan as a transit stop, Chou said that after four rounds of negotiations, the SEF and ARATS have achieved some progress, but no consensus has been reached. The SEF believes that the proposed agreements will benefit both sides of the Taiwan Strait and is hoping to reach a final agreement on the deals as soon as possible, he said. (By Chang Shu-ling and Elizabeth Hsu)


Updated : 2021-09-24 21:20 GMT+08:00