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China's top negotiator leaves island after tour

TAIPEI -- China's top negotiator with Taiwan left for home Tuesday after concluding an eight-day visit of Taiwan that focused on visits to free trade pilot zones and issues related to cross-Taiwan Strait trade cooperation.

Chen Deming (陳德銘), president of the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS, 海協會), expressed his appreciation for everything and said he would visit Taiwan often in the future.

Some Falun Gong (法輪功) protesters unfurled banners at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, but they were kept away from Chen's trade delegation by policemen.

Kao Koong-lian (高孔廉), vice chairman of the Straits Exchange Foundation (海基會), saw Chen's delegation off at the airport.

Earlier Tuesday, Chen met with Hon Hai Group (鴻海集團) Chairman Terry Gou (郭台銘) and visited the group's production base in Tucheng, New Taipei.

Chen, a former commerce minister, said he has known Gou for more than two decades and has seen Hon Hai, also known as Foxconn, evolve from a precision mold manufacturer into a high-tech and multinational systems solutions provider with design and R&D capabilities.

After the visit, he said he was especially impressed by Hon Hai's technological applications related to carbon nanotubes and new concept cars of the future.

Chen, who arrived in Taiwan on Nov. 26, visited eight counties and cities in Taiwan, free trade pilot zones, and Taichung, Taipei and Kaohsiung harbors during his stay.

He saw several of Taiwan's leading enterprises, including Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (台積電), MediaTek Inc. (聯發科), Delta Electronics Inc. (台達電), HTC Corp. (宏達電) and the Yulon Group, and also called on China-invested businesses in Taiwan and the representative offices of Bank of China and China Chamber of Commerce of Machinery and Electronic Products.

In addition, he met behind closed doors for an hour with KMT Honorary Chairman Lien Chan (連戰), Perng Fai-nan (彭淮南), governor of the Central Bank of the Republic of China (Taiwan), and other political and business people.

Chen also had a meeting with former Vice President Vincent Siew (蕭萬長), who also serves as the honorary chairman of the Cross-Strait Common Market Foundation, to discuss how to promote the consensus reached ata cross-strait entrepreneurs summit last month.

Despite his busy schedule, Chen took time out to visit Eslite Bookstore (誠品書店) and said he loved the ambience of the store and hoped China's Xinhua Book store could learn from it.

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Chen Deming (陳德銘), president of the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS, 海協會), left, puts his palms together in greeting when meeting Hon Hai Group (鴻海集團) Chairman Terry Gou (郭台銘) in New Taipei City, yesterday. Chen arrived in Taiwan on Nov. 26 and visited eight counties, cities and Taiwan's free trade pilot zones during his eight-day stay on the island. (CNA)

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