Sun, Feb 23, 2014 - Page 3 News List

Taiwan, China reach consensus on nine deals

Staff writer, with CNA

Taiwan and China on Friday reached a consensus on proposals to improve the implementation of nine of 19 agreements they have signed to date.

The consensus came after a two-day meeting in China’s Changsha between the intermediary bodies handling negotiations for the two countries in the absence of official ties — the Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) and the Beijing-based Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS).

The Changsha meeting was held to review the implementation and impact of the 19 cross-strait pacts signed since 2008 when President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) set in motion a more conciliatory approach toward China.

During the review, consensus was reached on improving the implementation of accords covering cooperation in the fields of finance, air transportation, sea transportation, healthcare, crime fighting, food safety, investment protection, fishing crews and agricultural quarantines.

The most notable progress came when Beijing agreed to study the feasibility of allowing transit stops by Chinese travelers in Taiwan, SEF Vice Chairman Chang Hsien-yao (張顯耀) said.

The foundation welcomed the response and hoped China would outline plans for discussion, Chang said.

Other concrete results included Beijing’s agreement to be more active in helping Taiwan track down several fugitives at large in China, including former legislator Lo Fu-chu (羅福助), who was convicted in 2012 of money laundering and insider trading, and sentenced to four years in prison.

China also agreed to deepen cross-strait financial exchanges through a cooperation and monitoring platform and to study Taiwan’s proposal to launch “express delivery by sea” between the two sides, according to the foundation.

Meanwhile, Chang announced that ARATS Chairman Chen Deming (陳德銘) is to meet with Mainland Affairs Council Minister Wang Yu-chi (王郁琦) after the 10th round of SEF-ARATS talks in Taipei on Wednesday and Thursday.

He added the two organizations have agreed to complete negotiations on a proposed merchandise trade deal and a planned dispute-resolving mechanism as early as possible.

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