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Consensus reached on better implementation of 9 cross-strait pacts
Central News Agency
2014-02-21 11:36 PM
Changsha, China, Feb. 21 (CNA) Taiwan and China on Friday reached consensus on proposals to improve the implementation of nine of 19 agreements they have signed to date. The consensus came after a two-day meeting in Changsha between the intermediary bodies handling negotiations for the two countries in the absence of official ties -- Taiwan's Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) and the Beijing-based Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS). The Changsha meeting was held to review the implementation and impact of the 19 cross-Taiwan Strait pacts signed since 2008 when President Ma Ying-jeou of Taiwan set in motion a more conciliatory approach toward China. During the review, consensus was reached on strengthening the implementation of accords covering cooperation in the fields of finance, air transportation, sea transportation, health care, crime fighting, food safety, investment protection, fishing crews, and agricultural quarantines. The most notable progress came when Beijing finally agreed to study the feasibility of allowing transit stops by Chinese travelers in Taiwan, said SEF Vice Chairman Chang Hsien-yao, Taiwan's top negotiator at the Changsha meeting. The SEF welcomed the response and hoped the mainland side will outline plans for discussion, Chang said. Other concrete results included Beijing's agreement to be more active in helping Taiwan track down several fugitives at large on the mainland, including former lawmaker Lo Fu-chu, who was convicted in 2012 of money laundering and insider trading and sentenced to four years in prison. China also agreed to deepen cross-strait financial exchanges through a cooperation and monitoring platform and to study Taiwan's proposal to launch "express delivery by sea" between the two sides, according to the SEF. Meanwhile, Chang announced that ARATS President Chen Deming will meet with Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Council Minister Wang Yu-chi after the 10th round of SEF-ARATS talks in Taipei on Feb. 26-27. He also said that the SEF and ARATS have agreed to complete negotiations on a proposed merchandise trade deal and a planned dispute-resolving mechanism as early as possible. (By Lawrence Chiu and Elizabeth Hsu)
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