Sun, Apr 19, 2009 - Page 1 News List

Details finalized for cross-strait talks

THREE TOPICS Formal negotiations will be held next Sunday in Nanjing and will include agreements on financial cooperation, cross-strait regular flights and crime

By Mo Yan-chih  /  STAFF REPORTER

The third round of cross-strait talks between the Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) and China’s Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait (ARATS) will be held from April 25 to April 29 in Nanjing, China, a preparatory meeting for the talks determined yesterday.

The delegation and representatives of the SEF will arrive in Nanjing on April 25. SEF Chairman Chiang Pin-kung (江丙坤) and his counterpart, ARATS Chairman Chen Yun-lin (陳雲林), will hold the formal negotiations on April 26, SEF Secretary-General Kao Koong-lian (高孔廉) told a press conference after the preparatory meeting at Taipei Grand Hyatt Hotel yesterday.

Kao, ARATS Deputy Chairman Zheng Lizhong (鄭立中) and their respective delegations held the preparatory meeting yesterday to determine the time, venue and agenda for the ­upcoming talks and put the final touches on three pacts to be signed during the meeting.

Chiang and Chen are expected to sign three agreements after the negotiations; one each on financial cooperation, changing direct cross-strait charter flights into regular flights and joint efforts to combat crime, as well as a joint statement on opening Taiwan to investment from China, Kao said.

Kao said the SEF and ARATS would not sign three ­memorandums of understanding (MOU) on banking, securities and futures, and insurance that Taiwan had wanted to sign because of the complexity of each of the three items.

Both sides would discuss the three items during the negotiations before signing the MOUs at a future date, he said.

In response to possible discussion of the government’s proposed economic cooperation framework agreement (ECFA) with China, Kao said the preparatory meeting did not touch on the issue.

“Both sides agree that the issue should be addressed when the time is ripe. At the current stage, each side will focus on making the necessary preparations,” he said.

Mainland Affairs Council Chairwoman Lai Shin-yuan (賴幸媛) and China’s Taiwan Affairs Office Director Wang Yi (王毅), however, had said on a different occasion that representatives from the two sides would exchange ideas on an ECFA during the talks.

Asked whether China would help repatriate Taiwanese fugitives such as former Tuntex Group chairman Chen Yu-hao (陳由豪) after signing an agreement on combating crime, Kao said the meeting did not address any individual cases, but added that ­repatriating economic criminals would be included in the agreement.

Zheng declined to divulge more on the matter during a press conference held by ARATS.

Kao declined to confirm Lai’s comment that a new air route would be determined during the meeting, and that both sides would seek to make cross-strait transportation more convenient for people on both sides of the Taiwan Strait.

Chiang and the SEF delegation will meet Wang on April 26, and visit Taiwanese businesses in Nanjing, Yangzhou and Shanghai in the following days before returning to Taiwan on April 29.

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