Chinese negotiator in Taiwan for talks

Taipei, Feb 26: Chen Deming, president of the China-based Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS), arrived in Taiwan Wednesday for a new round of cross-Taiwan Strait talks.

Chen was received by Lin Join-sane, chairman of Taiwan-based Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF), at the Grand Hotel, where the two will hold talks Thursday, Xinhua reported.

The latest ARATS-SEF talks, the 10th round since 2008, are expected to result in the signing of two agreements on meteorological and earthquake monitoring cooperation.

The two agreements will centre around disaster prevention and relief with the aim of protecting people’s life and property, Lin said at an inaugural speech.

With 19 agreements inked in previous talks, the signing of the two new agreements will give the two sides “21 expressways for cross-Strait exchanges and cooperation”, Lin said.

In his inaugural speech, Chen said the meeting between China’s Taiwan affairs chief and his Taiwanese counterpart gave him more confidence, yet made him feel the urgency of the tasks that lie ahead.

“Chairman Lin and I are carrying a lofty mission to cement the family ties and realise the dreams shared by the two sides,” Chen said.

Chen is scheduled to visit Taipei’s Palace Museum Wednesday afternoon, while his deputy will conduct preparatory negotiations with the SEF’s deputy chief.

Following Thursday’s talks, Chen will meet Taiwan’s mainland affairs chief Wang Yu-chi.

On Friday morning, Chen will visit panda cub Yuan Zai, born to a pair of giant pandas given as a goodwill gift to Taiwan by the Chinese mainland in 2008, at Taipei Zoo before heading back to Beijing that afternoon.

Founded in 1991 and 1990, respectively, the ARATS and SEF are authorised by China and Taiwan to handle cross-Strait affairs.

IANS