FUZHOU – Negotiators for the mainland’s Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS) and Taiwan’s Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) are holding their 11th round of talks on Tuesday in the mainland’s southeastern city of Fuzhou.
ARATS President Chen Deming and SEF Chairman Lin Join-sane are expected to discuss and sign two agreements, on cross-Strait cooperation in civil aviation flight safety, and on avoidance of double taxation in cross-Strait trade.
In his speech before the talks, Chen said the two agreements will help economic and social development and improve people’s lives on both sides of the Strait.
The civil aviation agreement will make flying safer, reduce civil aviation enterprises’ costs and deepen cross-Strait exchanges in this industry, while the tax deal will reduce costs for enterprises and individuals and encourage cross-Strait direct investments, he said.
“The goals and the direction of our two sides are consistent with each other in general and we also understand each others’ concerns,” Chen said.
“The economy and people’s livelihoods are among the major concerns of people on either side of the Strait, and they are also among the priorities in ARATS-SEF negotiations,” he said.
According to Chen, cross-Strait relations have been developing stably since the last round of talks last year, although there have been some frustrations. The ARATS and the SEF are also keeping in close contact and have made progress over their disagreements, he said, characterizing talks between the two organizations as an important avenue to promote peaceful development of cross-Strait ties and people’s livelihoods.
Agreements signed at previous talks have facilitated exchanges across the Strait and enhanced mutual benefits. “Facts have proved that the negotiations between the mainland and Taiwan have brought benefits to the general public and various sectors on both sides,” the ARATS chief said.
Lin said in his speech that the two sides’ resolve to promote peace and prosperity across the Strait is unshaken despite some difficulties.
He also expressed condolences for the victims of the recent explosions in the mainland city of Tianjin and thanked the mainland for its support after a June tragedy at a concert in New Taipei City in which theatrical colored powder fired from a stage caught fire, killing a number of the crowd.
The interval between this round of talks and the 10th round in February last year, which was held in Taipei, is the longest since talks between the two organizations resumed in 2008.