Tue, Oct 29, 2013 - Page 3 News List

ARATS chairman receptive to cross-strait pipeline plan

Staff writer, with CNA

A Chinese official responded positively on Sunday to the suggestion that Taiwan and China jointly explore the possibility of building natural gas pipelines across the Taiwan Strait, saying the two sides may discuss the proposal.

Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS) Chairman Chen Deming (陳德銘) was quoted by the China News Service as calling the suggestion “quite professional.”

The issue may be discussed by ARATS and the Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF), Chen was quoted as saying.

Before he was appointed in April, Chen served as the Chinese minister of commerce for more than five years.

The suggestion that Taipei and Beijing work together to study the possibility of building the pipelines was made by was made by a Taiwanese academic at the annual forum between the Chinese Communist Party and the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), which ended yesterday.

The pipelines would serve as another example of tangible cooperation between the two sides of the Strait, Wei Po-tao (韋伯韜) of the KMT’s National Policy Foundation said.

Wei cited a plan to supply Kinmen with water from China’s Fujian Province as an example of such cooperation. That project is to be launched next year.

However, Wei’s proposal was not among the 19 common views released at the end of the forum.

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