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Cross-strait talks next year to focus on trade issues: SEF head

Cross-strait talks next year to focus on trade issues: SEF head

Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) Chairman Ching Pin-kung said Friday that trade issues will be the focus of cross-Taiwan Strait consultations next year.
Chiang made the remarks during a board meeting of the SEF, a semi-official body set up by Taiwan to handle exchanges with China.
At the top on the agenda next year will be a supervisory cooperative mechanism between banks across the Taiwan Strait and related issues, the signing of an investment guarantee agreement, and the signing of an agreement to avoid double taxation, Chiang said.
Looking ahead, Chiang expressed the hope that his counterpart, Chen Yunlin, chairman of the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait (ARATS), will visit Taiwan later this year for a second round of talks between the SEF and the ARATS.
He said the SEF and the Mainland Affairs Council, Taiwan's top coordinating agency on China policy, are now busy preparing for Chen's upcoming visit, and are hoping that he will sense the Taiwan people's "sincerity and goodwill."
Chiang also said this year's cross-strait consultations will focus on "transportation" issues. These will include increasing in the number of weekend charter flights, opening more direct flight destinations in China than the current five, adding new direct flight routes, launching cross-strait cargo charter flights, establishing direct shipping links and expanding direct links between the outlying islands of Kinmen and Matsu and China's Fujian province.
In addition, the consultations will focus on cross-strait cooperation in areas such as crime fighting, oil exploration, climate change and weather research, earthquake research and disaster prevention.
A landmark meeting between Chiang and Chen in June this year in Beijing signaled a thawing of cross-strait relations which had been frozen for a decade.
During Chiang's four-day visit to Beijing in mid-June, he signed two cross-strait cooperation agreements with Chen on the launch of weekend direct cross-strait charter flights and the admission of more Chinese tourists to Taiwan, starting July 18.


Updated : 2021-06-14 21:08 GMT+08:00