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Mainland, Taiwan negotiators end new round of talks
2009/12/23

TAICHUNG, Dec. 22 (Xinhua) -- Negotiators of the Chinese mainland and Taiwan ended a new round of talks Tuesday as the two sides agreed to cooperate in farm produce quarantine and cross-Strait employment of fishermen, as well as to deal with different product quality standards.

In an evening banquet held by the mainland's Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS) Tuesday, ARATS president Chen Yunlin expressed his gratitude to the Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) and to those in Taiwan who had contributed to the ARATS-SEF meeting.

The fruitful meetings between the two organizations were made possible by both sides across the Taiwan Strait, Chen said.

He said the two sides should continue to contribute to the peaceful development of the cross-Strait ties despite all difficulties.

SEF chairman Chiang Pin-kun said negotiations between the ARATS and SEF had helped sign 12 agreements and reach one consensus between the mainland and Taiwan, all of which were aimed for peace and economic prosperity of both sides.

He called on the two sides to overcome difficulties with wisdom.

During Tuesday's meeting, the ARATS and the SEF signed three agreements on farm produce quarantine, the cooperation in standards measuring, inspection and certification, and on cross-Strait employment of fishermen.

"All the topics we choose to discuss are closely related to the interests of people," said Chen Yunlin at the opening of the talks. "The only way to measure our efforts is whether the agreements really benefit people across the Taiwan Strait."

In the previous three rounds of talks since June 2008, the two sides reached nine agreements concerning transport, trade, tourism, cooperation in finance and fighting crime among other issues.

"We have done many things in the past one and half years that should have been done long before. We will work with our Taiwan counterparts to make sure the agreements are implemented and to close loopholes in them." Chen said.

Chiang Pin-kun said Taiwan and mainland must jointly tackle economic challenges, and the establishment of a cross-Strait economic framework should not be delayed.

He called on both sides to contribute to economic prosperity and development as well as long-term peace and stability.

The agreements reached at previous meetings between SEF and ARATS had brought substantial benefits for the normalization of cross-Strait communication and benefited people on both sides, he said.

However, there was room for improvement and both sides needed to carry out further negotiations, he said.

He called for both sides across the Taiwan Strait to continue efforts to push for the development of systematic talks and promote cross-Strait communication and cooperation.

The ARATS and SEF are expected to discuss future negotiations on the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA), although talks on the agreement were not on the agenda of this meeting.

The two sides reached a basic consensus on avoiding double taxation and strengthening taxation cooperation in a preparatory meeting Monday afternoon.

 
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