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Taiwan chief negotiator wishes no violence at coming talks

Updated: 2009-12-19 23:09
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TAIPEI: Taiwan's Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) Chairman Chiang Pin-kung Thursday called for peaceful and rational reaction to the coming cross-Strait talks.

The rally, planned by some political parties and local people in Taichung where the talks would be held on December 22, should not turn into violence as it did during the second round of talks on the island, Chiang said.

"It is natural that people have different opinions about an event and their right to express it should be respected," he said. "But such opinions should be expressed in a peaceful, rational, law-abiding and orderly way."

He said he hoped that Taiwan people could work together to put cross-Strait relations on a track of normal development and mutual benefit.

According to the agenda announced last Thursday, the mainland's Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS) and SEF will discuss labor cooperation in the fishing industry, cooperation in the fields of inspection and quarantine of farm produce and standard measurement authentication, avoidance of double taxation and boosting taxation cooperation.

The talks would improve the environment for Taiwan's economic development if the two sides can reach agreements on these issues, Chiang said.

The two sides "have no time to waste" to improve economic cooperation, he said.

When the condition is ready, the two could talk about the cross-Strait Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA), protection of investment and intellectual property and a mechanism to solve economic disputes, he said.

Fan Liqing, spokeswoman for the State Council Taiwan Affairs Office, told a press conference in Beijing Wednesday that it was hoped the two sides would exchange views on the ECFA during the Taichung talks.