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Taiwan's top cross-strait negotiator arrives in Fuzhou (update)

Fuzhou, China, Aug. 24 (CNA) Lin Join-sane (???), chairman of Taiwan's semi-official Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF), arrived in the southeastern Chinese city of Fuzhou on Monday in preparation for the next round of high-level meetings with his Chinese counterpart. Lin and the SEF delegation were greeted by Chen Deming (???), president of China's Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS), at the hotel at which they will stay during the meetings. The formal talks, being held by the two intermediary bodies authorized to handle cross-strait affairs in the absence of formal ties for the 11th time since 2008, were to begin later Monday. The main items on the agenda of this latest round of talks are planned agreements on double taxation avoidance and aviation safety, which are expected to be signed on Tuesday afternoon. When greeting Lin, Chen said the two sides will also exchange opinions on the issues of allowing Chinese nationals to transit through Taiwan and increasing transportation convenience. Lin said trade and economic interactions have grown more intense as the number of cross-strait flights have increased, making the agreements to be signed particularly important to people's lives on the two sides. Before leaving Taiwan earlier Monday, Lin said the deal on double taxation avoidance will help relieve Taiwanese businesses and citizens operating in China from having the same income taxed twice and also encourage Chinese investment in Taiwan. The aviation safety agreement is expected to help improve flight safety and the punctuality of cross-strait flights, especially as the number of flights between the two sides of the strait increases to 890 per week beginning on Oct. 1, Lin said. The two agreements will bring the total number of agreements signed by Taiwan and China since 2008, when cross-strait ties began warming, to 23. As for a much-anticipated agreement that would allow Chinese travelers on international flights to transit through Taiwan, Lin expressed hope that it could be signed by the end of the year. Taiwan had hoped that the agreement would be signed at the current summit meeting of the SEF and ARATS, but it was postponed because the two sides could not bridge their differences in time. Lin said the proposed deal would not only benefit Taiwan but also China, because it would offer Chinese travelers a new transit option and help ease the pressure Chinese airports have come under because of increasing transit demand. During the trip, Lin will also meet with Zhang Zhijun (???), chief of China's Taiwan Affairs Office; You Quan, the Communist Party chief of Fujian province; and Su Shulin, governor of Fujian province. (By Zep Hu, Y.F. Low and Elizabeth Hsu)

Updated : 2021-09-20 15:58 GMT+08:00