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Gov't to launch security measures for cross-strait talks

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Mainland Affairs Council Minister Wang Yu-chi (王郁琦) said yesterday that the government will launch a national security review mechanism for the systemization of cross-strait negotiations, as well as step up Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement follow-up talks and public communication.

In 2013, the government saw a lot of results in its expansion of economic and trade relations, with the Cross-Strait Bilateral Investment Protection and Promotion Agreement as well as Cross-Strait Customs Cooperation Agreement coming into effect, the signing of the cross-strait trade in service pact, as well as the economic cooperation agreements with New Zealand and Singapore, Wang said.

The government will continue to conduct talks over the cross-strait trade in goods agreement, as well as push for Taiwan's participation in the Trans-Pacific Partnership and Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, the minister said, adding that the government will also push for greater economic and trade cooperation with ASEAN member states and the EU.

The fact that the cross-strait trade in services agreement has so far not been able to take effect is “somewhat unfortunate,” Wang said, adding that the pact, once it comes into effect, can help Taiwanese investors in mainland China and those planning to set up businesses there.

The executive branches of government understand the need to respond to public demand, and they also understand the problems that have arisen from the controversies surrounding the pact, the minister said, adding that the administration will launch a national security review mechanism this year and step up its efforts to communicate with the public.

Speaking about his planned visit to mainland China, Wang said that the main purpose of the visit is to increase mutual understanding and trust between the two sides of the strait, in order to allow the organizations in charge of cross-strait affairs to become more efficient at communication and management of cross-strait issues.

The minister added that he will relay the concerns of Taiwanese investors in mainland China during his visit, and that he will also visit schools to better understand the study environment of Taiwanese businesspeople's children on the mainland.

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