• Directory of Taiwan

EU welcomes signing of cross-strait pacts

The European Union expressed its support Tuesday for the latest agreements established between Taiwan and China, which it said represent "a significant positive step towards finding pragmatic solutions that benefit people on both sides of the (Taiwan) Straits."
Javier Solana, the EU High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy, said in a statement that the European Union has always taken the firm view that the Taiwan question must be resolved peacefully through constructive dialogue between all concerned parties.
"I therefore commend the determination of both sides to take up these opportunities that contribute to reinforcing stability and security in East Asia," Solana said.
"The European Union will continue to adhere to its one China policy and will provide firm support to future initiatives that advance meaningful dialogue across the Straits," he added.
In their latest meeting in Taipei Tuesday, Taipei-based Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) Chairman Chiang Pin-kung and Beijing-based Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS) President Chen Yunlin signed four agreements covering the expansion of air links, the launch of direct cross-strait shipping and postal services and the establishment of a reporting mechanism for food safety issues.
The agreements marked yet another achievement between the two sides since dialogue was resumed five months ago. During their first meeting in Beijing in June, Chiang and Chen signed two accords on the launch of nonstop cross-strait charter flights on weekends and the admission of larger numbers of Chinese tourists to Taiwan.
The SEF and ARATS are intermediary bodies set up by Taiwan and China, respectively, to handle cross-strait affairs in the absence of official ties. Chen is the most senior People's Republic of China official to have ever set foot on Taiwanese soil.