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No schedule for cross-strait representative offices: MAC

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Despite a consensus between Taiwan and China in favor of reciprocal, semi-official offices to handle cross-strait affairs, the government currently does not have a specific time frame for their establishment, Mainland Affairs Council Deputy Minister Chang Hsien-yao said yesterday.

Chang said the government has established an interdepartmental task force to handle the setting up of the offices.

Taiwan's Straits Exchange Foundation and China's Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits have agreed to establish reciprocal offices to handle more services regarding cross-strait affairs by the end of March.

According to Chang, the two parties agreed to start talks regarding the issues yesterday. However, he did not state when the talks will conclude.

The Executive Yuan has approved a draft of guidelines that will provide a legal basis for the representative offices.

According to the draft, branch offices of the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits will be granted several concessions.

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