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Taiwan, China to prep for high-level talks

TAIPEI -- Officials from the two sides of the Taiwan Strait were scheduled to start a preparatory meeting yesterday for the 10th round of cross-strait talks since 2008, during which two agreements on meteorological exchanges and earthquake monitoring are expected to be signed.

Upon being welcomed by Taiwan's Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF, 海基會) officials at a Taipei hotel, the delegation from the Beijing-based Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS, 海協會) said they look forward to more solid exchanges with Taiwan.

“We will try our best to ... ensure a meeting that generates positive results and lay a strong foundation for future talks,” said ARATS President Chen Deming (陳德銘) after shaking hands with SEF Chairman Lin Join-sane (林中森).

The preparatory meeting, which will be co-chaired by SEF Deputy Chairman Chang Hsien-yao (張顯耀) and ARATS Deputy President Zheng Lizhong (鄭立中), will confirm details of the pacts, expected to be signed by Lin and Chen the following day.

Under the terms of the pacts, the two sides will organize their own task forces and begin convening meetings on data-sharing, personnel exchanges and technological cooperation in related fields.

“The agreements on meteorological exchanges and earthquake monitoring will have a real influence on the safety and welfare of the people on both sides of the Taiwan Strait,” Lin said during his welcoming remarks.

As the preparatory meeting takes place, Lin will accompany Chen on a visit to the National Palace Museum in Taipei.

The SEF and ARATS are the intermediary bodies on each side that handle cross-strait negotiations in the absence of official links.

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