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Taiwan's chief negotiator hails breakthroughs in cross-Straits ties
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07:45, January 22, 2009

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Taiwan's chief negotiator Ching Pin-kung hailed Wednesday significant progress on cross-Straits relations over the past year.

The cross-Straits relations in 2008 have made several breakthroughs, said Chiang, chairman of the island's Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF), at Wednesday's press conference.

SEF and mainland's Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS), the two main negotiation bodies, held their first meeting in Beijing last June after the talks were suspended for almost 10 years. The second meeting was held in Taiwan in November.

The two sides reached six agreements after the two rounds of talks, including the historical direct links of transport, trade and post services which started on December 15.

"With all these breakthroughs, the cross-Straits ties have turned to be normal and practical with mutual trust and understanding," Chiang said.

Chiang said SEF would persist with building "positive" and "interactive" cross-Straits relations in the coming new year.

The main topics in the next round of the talks between the mainland and Taiwan, scheduled for later this year, would include joint efforts on cracking down on crimes, financial cooperation and regular cross-Straits flights, Chiang said.

Board members, supervisors and consultants in SEF planned to visit the mainland in 2009, according to Chiang.

Source: Xinhua

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