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Taiwan, China urged to study gas pipelines

TAIPEI--Taiwan and China should work together to explore the possibility of building natural gas pipelines across the Taiwan Strait, the vice chairman of Taiwan's Chinatrust Financial Holding Co. said Sunday at a bilateral forum in Nanning, China.

Such pipelines will allow Taiwan easier access to natural gas, Hsueh Hsiang-chuan said at the ninth Cross-Strait Economic, Trade and Culture Forum, a key platform for communication between Taiwan and China's ruling parties, in Guangxi Province.

Hsueh, a former secretary-general of the Executive Yuan, urged the two sides to conduct joint research on natural gas pipelines as part of the effort to address common issues such as stable energy supply, reasonable energy prices and targets for carbon reduction.

Hsueh also worked at the National Security Council and has been a senior advisor to Taiwan's ruling party Kuomintang (KMT) since 2000.

Other participants at the forum called on Taiwan and China to step up collaborative efforts on solar and wind power, while some suggested that the two sides jointly build Chinese medicine hospitals.

The two-day forum wrapped up Sunday evening, with KMT Honorary Chairman Wu Poh-hsiung and Yu Zhengsheng, chairman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, delivering the closing remarks.

During the forum, some 19 joint proposals covering a wide range of areas were submitted, including a plan to accelerate the follow-up negotiations to the 2010 Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) between Taiwan and China.

Taiwan's delegation of 200-plus members included Foxconn founder and Chairman Terry Gou, New Party Chairman Yok Mu-ming, and Hsu Jung-shu, a former member and legislator of Taiwan's major opposition Democratic Progressive Party.

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