China confident of security during Taiwan talks

Updated: 2009-12-16 21:30
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BEIJING: A Chinese government spokesperson said Wednesday that this month's talks between the Chinese mainland and Taiwan on the island will be supported and welcomed by Taiwan people.

The mainland believed the Taiwan authorities would take necessary measures to maintain security of the talks and the mainland delegation, said Fan Liqing, spokeswoman for the State Council Taiwan Affairs Office, at a press conference in Beijing.

The spokeswoman was responding to a Taiwan correspondent's question on a reported plan by Taiwan's opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) to hold a rally of 100,000 people in Taichung, where the cross-Strait talks will be held on December 22.

The mainland's Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS) president Chen Yunlin and Taiwan's Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) chairman Chiang Pin-kung will meet for the fourth round of talks since they resumed negotiations in June last year after a 10-year suspension.

It was hoped the two sides would exchange views on the cross-Strait Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) during their talks in Taichung, Fan said.

It would be an important opportunity for both sides to initiate a formal negotiation within the two organizations, she added.

Based on the ECFA's principle of mutual benefit to boost cross-Strait economies, the mainland would give full consideration to Taiwan's reasonable concerns and the Taiwan people's practical interests, Fan said.

The ECFA had been praised as a mutually beneficial policy by research institutions on both sides, she said.

The talks would continue to benefit the economy and livelihoods of people on both sides as well as cross-Strait exchanges and cooperation, Fan said.

The agenda of the talks includes discussion of labor cooperation in the fishing industry, cooperation in inspection and quarantine of agricultural products and in standard measurement authentication, avoidance of double taxation and boosting taxation cooperation.

The ARATS delegation would also tour Taichung City, the surrounding area and the Sun Moon Lake, and leave the island on December 25.

The spokeswoman said Chen Yunlin had expressed a wish to meet Taiwan people who survived Typhoon Morakot in August, which the two organizations were still negotiating.

The spokeswoman also said that the mainland was delighted to see that a total of 2,153 minority families and 4,769 students in Taiwan had received mainland assistance from a donation of 20 million yuan (2.94 million US dollars) in August.