China’s highest ranking negotiator with Taiwan, Chen Deming, recently expressed his wish for both territories separated by the Taiwan Straits to sign, at the end of this year, the proposed bilateral trade agreement and others as well.
Chen Deming responded to the Taiwanese press’s questions during the tour of the Taipei Municipal Zoo to see the only Yuanzai, a giant panda born in Taipei with parents gifted by China. The Asian giant’s negotiator stated that both sides exchanged opinions on the issues concerning signing the trade agreement, and they had already fulfilled 80% of its contents.
The visitor spoke about the recently concluded tenth round of dialogs between the Association for Relations across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS), headquartered in Beijing, and the Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF), headquartered in Taipei. Chen revealed that both parties had also been discussing different issues about the readjustment of the structure of bilateral interactions in economy as well as simultaneous participation in the regional economic integration.
Chen Deming, the president of ARATS, expressed his hope to return to Taiwan at the end of the year. At the head of the Chinese delegation, Chen arrived in Taipei on Wednesday, February 26 to attend the tenth round of regular Taiwan-China dialogs, during the course of which, on behalf of their respective governments, Chen and his Taiwanese counterpart, Lin Join-sane, president of SEF, signed two agreements on bilateral cooperation in meteorology and seismology.
The delegations also touched on viewpoints on promoting educational, cultural, agricultural and fishing exchanges between Taiwan and China, as well as the various viable formulas to allow Chinese travelers to make transit stopovers in Taiwan on their trips to other destinations. In addition, they reached a consensus to incorporate another six different terms on the agenda of the next round of their regular talks, including aviation and flight safety, trade, dispute settlement, tax cooperation and the reciprocal establishment of representative offices.
SEF and ARATS are two quasi-official organizations created by their respective governments in the early 90s to handle all matters concerning exchanges between both sides of the Straits in the absence of official relations.