Mon, Oct 28, 2013 - Page 1 News List

KMT, CCP agree to prioritize service trade agreement

By Mo Yan-chih  /  Staff reporter

The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and the Chinese Communist Party yesterday agreed to facilitate the implementation of the cross-strait service trade agreement as a top priority as they concluded a two-day economic forum in Nanning, China.

The agreement, signed in June during the ninth round of cross-strait talks, is yet to be approved by the Legislative Yuan amid concerns about its potentially negative impact on local service industries.

In announcing the suggestions of the two parties at the closing ceremony of the annual Cross-Strait Economic, Trade and Culture Forum, KMT Vice Chairman John Chiang (蔣孝嚴) said that both sides of the Taiwan Strait will further promote cross-strait trade while continuing to push for the implementation of the service trade agreement.

Other priorities include follow-up negotiations on the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA), negotiations on dispute settlements, the establishment of a transparent and convenient trade investment environment, and systemization of cross-strait relations.

Former KMT chairman Wu Poh-hsiung (吳伯雄) yesterday said the two sides will also push ahead with setting up representative offices on each side of the Taiwan Strait, responding to the growing exchanges between China and Taiwan, and said top officials that handled cross-strait relations should visit each other soon.

“It’s not right that officials that handle the cross-strait affairs have not been to the other side of the Taiwan Strait... We should seek breakthroughs and make such meetings happen,” he said at the forum’s closing ceremony.

He described Mainland Affairs Council Minister Wang Yu-chi’s (王郁琦) meeting with China’s Taiwan Affairs Office Director Zhang Zhijun (張志軍) at the APEC summit earlier this month in Indonesia as “a good beginning,” calling on Zhang and Yu Zhengsheng (俞正聲), chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Committee, to visit Taiwan soon.

“I think there are plenty of appropriate opportunities for such visits. For instance, when the cross-strait representative offices are set up, [Wang and Zhang] can attend the opening ceremonies on either side of the Taiwan Strait. It would be very meaningful,” he said.

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