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Taiwan looks for more cross-strait economic inroads

TAIPEI -- Taiwan's top negotiator with China told his Chinese counterpart Wednesday during a meeting in Taipei that he hopes the two intermediary bodies that handle cross-Taiwan Strait negotiations will focus more on economic cooperation and promote the two sides' integration into regional economic systems.

Taiwan's Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF, 海基會) Chairman Lin Join-sane (林中森) made the remarks while welcoming Chen Deming (陳德銘), president of China's Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS, 海協會), at a Taipei hotel.

Chen for his part said that a meeting held earlier this month between Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Council (陸委會) Minister Wang Yu-chi (王郁琦) and Zhang Zhijun (張志軍), head of China's Taiwan Affairs Office (國台辦), the top officials in charge of cross-strait policy making, helped boost the confidence of the SEF and ARATS in engaging in discussions in the 10th round of SEF-ARATS talks — scheduled for Thursday — since 2008.

Two agreements on meteorological cooperation and earthquake monitoring are expected to be signed during the talks.

Chen said that despite the tight schedule for completing the mission, the two intermediary bodies will do their utmost to accomplish it.

An ARATS delegation led by Chen arrived in Taipei earlier in the day for his first talks with Lin in Taiwan. Lin said that the two pacts scheduled to be inked during the talks are for the protection of people's lives and property.

Chen said he has been thinking about how to promote further cooperation between the two sides since he last visited Taiwan three months ago. That visit was to promote trade and economic exchanges.

In addition to inking the two pacts, negotiators from the two semi-official organizations will discuss what topics will be put on the agenda of the 11th round of cross-strait talks, Chen added.

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Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS) President Chen Deming (陳德銘), foreground left, speaks to Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) Chairman Lin Join-sane (林中森), foreground right, in Taipei, yesterday. Chen yesterday arrived in Taiwan for the 10th round of high-level SEF-ARATS talks. (CNA)

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