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Taiwan policymaker vows transparency in China deals

 Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Council Chairwoman Lai Shin-yuan holds a press conference in hopes to ease fears that Taiwan will sell out to China, symbol...

Taiwan China

Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Council Chairwoman Lai Shin-yuan holds a press conference in hopes to ease fears that Taiwan will sell out to China, symbol...

Taiwan's top China policymaker Monday defended upcoming talks with Beijing and pledged that any deal with the mainland would be transparent and would not jeopardise the island's sovereignty.

Lai Shin-yuan, chairwoman of the Mainland Affairs Council, said the Kuomintang government would not forge any secret deals with China during the talks, which are expected to kick off next week.

"Once agreements are signed, I will report to the Legislative Yuan (Taiwan's parliament). Everything can be examined in broad daylight," Lai told reporters.

Her remarks come a week before top Chinese envoy Chen Yunlin is expected to arrive for an unprecedented trip to the island.

The scheduled visit sparked a mass anti-China rally at the weekend, as hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets of Taipei to denounce the government's warming ties with Beijing, which they claim threaten the sovereignty of the self-ruled island.

The pro-independence organisers claimed that up to 600,000 people took part in the biggest demonstration since President Ma Ying-jeou's China-friendly Kuomintang took office in May.

Police in the capital put the turnout at around 180,000.

Relations between Taipei and Beijing have improved dramatically since Ma came to power promising to boost business and tourism links with China following eight years of strained relations under the government of the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party.

Chen is head of China's quasi-official Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait, an organisation authorised by Beijing to handle civilian exchanges with Taipei in the absence of official contacts.

The talks, which are expected to begin shortly after Chen's arrival on November 3, are the first such high-level negotiations to be held in Taiwan.

The two sides are expected to discuss establishing closer shipping and air cargo links.