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Media: Xiamen will host next round of talks between Taiwan and China

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The third meeting between Taiwan and China’s top cross-straits negotiators could take place in the Chinese city of Xiamen, close to the Taiwanese-held island of Kinmen, media reports said Tuesday.
The first round in more than a decade was held in Beijing in June, and resulted in direct weekend charter flights and the opening of Taiwan to more Chinese tourists in July.
The second round was hosted by Taipei in early November. The four agreements signed on November 4 resulted in daily direct charter flights, direct shipping links and expanded postal connections starting Monday, and in closer cooperation on food safety issues. The talks were marred though by numerous protests against China.
According to a report in Hong Kong’s Chinese-language Wen Wei Po, Xiamen vice mayor Ding Guoyan said his city was likely to host the third round of cross-straits talks at a yet-to-be-determined date early next year. Ding was addressing a symposium on the possibility of establishing a cross-straits economic zone.
Xiamen is in Southern China’s Fujian Province, and within view of Taiwan’s outlying island of Kinmen. Tourists and business people already travel by boat between the two locations.
Financial and economic issues are expected to be the main topics of discussion when Straits Exchange Foundation chairman P.K. Chiang holds negotiations with his Chinese counterpart, chairman Chen Yunlin of the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits, for the third time.
Taiwan wants better protection for its estimated hundreds of thousands of nationals doing business in China, while Taiwanese banks and insurance groups are also eager to do more business there. In the other direction, Chinese investors are reported to be especially interested in Taiwan’s real estate market.
The reports about the next round of cross-straits talks follow the start of direct daily flights Monday.
A Shenzhen Airlines flight from Shenzhen was the first to arrive in Taiwan at Taipei’s Sungshan Airport, while a flight of Taiwan’s TransAsia Airways heading from Sungshan to Shanghai was the first to leave in the other direction.
At Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, a total of 30,372 people entered Taiwan Monday, or 4,293 more than the previous Monday, immigration statistics showed.
Sungshan, formerly in use as the capital’s domestic airport, is to handle expanded traffic, Civil Aeronautics Administration director general Lee Long-wen said Tuesday. The CAA was working on introducing flights between Sungshan and Northeast Asia, he said without elaborating.
The present charter flight services are likely to turn into regular services during the first half of next year, Lee said at the launch of the first EVA Air flight from Sungshan to Shenzhen.
Next week, the number of flights between Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport and China will increase from 52 to 54, and between Sungshan and China from 44 to 47, Lee said.
Monday also marked the resumption of direct shipping service between the two sides of the Taiwan Straits for the first time in 59 years. Transportation links were halted following President Chiang Kai-shek’s 1949 withdrawal to Taiwan in the face of Communist victory in China.