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Chinese mainland says no preconditions for comprehensive economic cooperation agreement with Taiwan
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11:10, March 10, 2009

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The Chinese mainland will set no preconditions for opening talks with Taiwan on a proposed "comprehensive economic cooperation agreement" (CECA), commerce Minister Chen Deming said here Tuesday.

Taking into accounts Taiwan's current economic status and the sensitivity of the agriculture issue, the mainland would not ask Taiwan to lift its ban on mainland's agricultural product, nor would it set any other preconditions for the talks on the CECA, Chen said at a press conference on the sidelines of the annual session of the National People's Congress, China's legislative body.

"Taiwan suffered a serious blow in the financial crisis. Under such circumstances, it is of mutual benefits for both sides across the Taiwan Straits to accelerate talks on the CECA," he said.

The main goal is to establish normal and regular trade relations between the two sides of the Straits which would benefit both, Chen said.

Signing the CECA as soon as possible would be conducive to for both sides to tide over the financial downturn, he said.

In his government work report to the NPC Thursday, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said the mainland will push for accelerated normalization of cross-Straits economic relations, facilitate the signing of the CECA, and gradually establish economic cooperation mechanisms tailored to both sides of the Straits.


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