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Taiwan, China preparing to review results of bilateral pacts
Central News Agency
2013-12-08 08:34 PM
Taipei, Dec. 8 (CNA) Taiwan and China are preparing to meet again to review the results of agreements the two countries have signed over the past five years, with the meeting likely to take place by the end of the year. Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Council said it is collecting information from related government agencies on issues they hope to address in the meeting with Chinese authorities, MAC spokeswoman Wu Mei-hung said recently. The two sides first met to review progress in implementing bilateral agreements in Taipei in July 2011 and covered pacts on tourism, air travel, the inspection of agricultural products, food safety and mutual legal assistance. The meeting in 2011 was hosted by Kao Koong-lian, vice chairman of Taiwan's Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) and his Chinese counterpart Zheng Lizhong, vice president of Beijing-based Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS). During the meeting, both sides agreed on several issues, such as allowing Chinese tourists to visit Taiwan without being part of a group and increasing the number of weekly direct flights between Taiwan and China from 370 to more than 550. The SEF and the ARATS are quasi-official organizations responsible for cross-strait relations in the absence of official ties. Meanwhile, the next meeting of the Cross-Strait Economic Cooperation Committee, which coordinates issues related to a framework agreement on trade between Taiwan and China, will be held in Taipei on Dec. 10. The two sides will review the implementation of the "early harvest" program under the cross-strait Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) signed in 2010 and progress made in follow-up negotiations on merchandise trade, the SEF said. The meeting will also discuss the issue of the Taiwan Electrical and Electronic Manufacturers' Association and China's Association of Economy and Trade Across Taiwan Straits setting up representative offices in each other's territory, according to sources. (By Scarlett Chai and Elaine Hou)
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