Thu, Dec 23, 2010 - Page 3 News List

CROSS-STRAIT TALKS: Chinese envoy wraps up negotiations

CRITICISM:The DPP and the TSU said that the agreements so far signed with China do little to protect Taiwanese businesspeople in China or the sovereignty of Taiwan

By Ko Shu-ling  /  Staff Reporter

China’s Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait (ARATS) Chairman Chen Yunlin (陳雲林) wrapped up the sixth round of high-level cross-strait talks in Taipei yesterday, with both sides promising to strengthen exchanges and sign more agreements.

His Taiwanese counterpart, Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) Chairman Chiang Pin-kung (江丙坤), said he believed the SEF and ARATS would continue -negotiating, exchanging and serving people on both sides of the Taiwan Strait.

“There are more agreements to be signed and more exchanges to be held,” he said. “We hope people on both sides of the Strait can benefit from the negotiation results and exchanges thus far.”

Chiang said the most important mission of the SEF and ARATS was to help advance peace and economic prosperity across the Taiwan Strait. Chiang said the two agencies would continue to -negotiate in the spirit of dignity and equality, and would proceed gradually by putting aside differences to create a win-win scenario.

“I also hope to meet Chairman Chen in the near future so we can continue to work for cross-strait peace and prosperity,” he said in the lobby of the Grand Hotel where Chen and his delegation stayed over the past three days.

Although the two sides did not close a deal on investment protection this time because of the complexity of the issue, they agreed to keep talking and to place the issue on the agenda of their next meeting next year.

Chen said he realized there were many difficulties ahead, but added that “any obstruction on the way can only interrupt the scheduling, but never stop the mega trend of peaceful development across the Taiwan Strait.”

Commenting on the protests during his stay, Chen said there was “a big difference” between the protests this time and those of his last trip. He did not elaborate.

Chen thanked the law enforcement officers and security details for being “worried and afraid for their security” during his and his entourage’s stay.

At a separate setting yesterday, DPP Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) spoke out against the talks, saying they failed to tackle more pressing issues, including investment protection.

She also expressed concern that the words “embody cross-strait specialties” appeared in the agreement text, suggesting that it localized relations between Taiwan and China. It was degrading to Taiwan’s sovereignty, she said.

“The DPP has to remind [the government], the best method to conduct relations with Beijing is by only working with the world towards China,” she said.

Taiwan Solidarity Union -Chairman Huang Kun-huei (黃昆輝) also said the agreements that Taiwan has signed with China these past two-and-a-half years are useless to Taiwan and Taiwanese businesspeople in China.

Issues such as Taiwan’s request for compensation for victims of China’s toxic milk, repatriation of serious Taiwanese white-collar criminals and listing Taiwan’s LED, petrochemical and automobile industries in the “early harvest” program of the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA), remain stalled, Huang said, adding that “all that shows Taiwan has totally failed in the negotiations.”

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY VINCENT Y. CHAO AND RICH CHANG

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