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Mainland supports ARATS, SEF to set up offices on opposite sides
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16:57, May 13, 2009

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The Chinese mainland supports the two organizations engaged in cross-Straits talks to set up offices on each other's side, said a mainland official here Wednesday.

The mainland's Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits and Taiwan's Straits Exchange Foundation ended their third round of meetings since 2008 in late April, reaching agreements on regular direct flights as well as financial and judicial cooperation.

"Once both sides agree that the conditions are in place, the mainland is willing to talk about this issue," Yang Yi, spokesman of the State Council (cabinet) Taiwan Affairs Office, told a regular press conference here.

In addition, it also encourages shipping firms, airline companies, tourism agencies and financial institutions to set up offices on the opposite sides, he said. "This is a necessary step to facilitate tourism, business and other exchanges across the Taiwan Straits."

On May 8, Taiwan leader Ma Ying-jeou suggested the two sides set up offices on each other's side under "some programs."

When asked by reporters to comment on Ma's policy involving mainland affairs in the past year, Yang said, both sides of the Straits had seized rare opportunities and taken positive actions to realize a breakthrough in cross-Straits relations and head for a bright future of peaceful development.

"Favorable development of cross-Straits relations is hard earned. We should cherish it," he said.

"We hope the two sides will stick to the principle of building mutual trust, laying aside disputes, seeking consensus and shelving difference, and creating a win-win situation. We should continue working together."

Source: Xinhua

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