Thu, Dec 16, 2010 - Page 3 News List

No cross-strait talks protest, DPP says

By Vincent Y. Chao  /  Staff reporter

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) will not encourage protests during the sixth round of high-level talks between Taiwanese and Chinese envoys in Taipei next week, a party spokesperson said yesterday.

Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait (ARATS) Chairman Chen Yunlin (陳雲林) is expected to arrive on Monday for three days of meetings with Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) Chairman Chiang Pin-kung (江丙坤).

Past meetings between the two semi-official organizations have drawn popular protests. Police estimated that about 30,000 people took part in a DPP-led rally against a meeting between the two in Tai-chung in December last year.

However, Cheng Wen-tsang (鄭文燦), a spokesperson for the DPP, said DPP Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) met with top party officials yesterday and told them the party does not plan to ask its supporters to take to the streets.

“Chen’s visits to Taiwan have become routine business,” Cheng said. “That being said, we will continue to closely monitor the contents of the meeting ... and protect the interests of the people.”

The talks next week are expected to include discussions on medical cooperation, as well as the establishment of investment protocols, which could provide Taiwanese businesses operating in China with greater investment protection.

The two negotiators are also expected to tackle the creation of a cross-strait Economic Cooperation Committee, an issue mandated in the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) signed during the last round of talks in Chongqing, China, in late June.

The nature of next week’s talks will be less controversial than the ECFA, a broad tariff-reduction agreement that drew large protests prior to its signing.

The DPP, nevertheless, does not rule out taking “emergency measures” if any of the agreements that may be signed next week are against Taiwan’s interests or undermine its sovereignty, Cheng said, without elaborating.

The meeting next week will be the second time SEF-ARATS talks have been held in Taipei. The previous meeting took place in November 2008.

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