ARATS chief vows to maximize cross-Strait economic co-op

20:51, January 28, 2010      

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The Chinese mainland's Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS) intends to further advance cross-Strait economic ties and maximize mutually beneficial cooperation this year, ARATS president Chen Yunlin said Thursday.

ARATS would focus on the signing of the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) as well as the protection of intellectual property rights between the mainland and Taiwan in the new year, Chen said at Thursday's ARATS board meeting in Beijing.

The long-awaited ECFA was expected to make systematic arrangements to normalize cross-Strait economic ties and bring the economies of both sides closer.

The year 2010 was critical for creating a new age for the peaceful development of cross-Strait relations, with new opportunities as well as new challenges, Chen said.

The ARATS would explore exchanges in new areas with Taiwan this year, such as culture, education, hygiene and media, Chen said.

Wang Yi, director of the Taiwan Work Office of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, spoke highly at the meeting of the ARATS' work in advancing the cross-Strait consultations among other achievements.

On Tuesday, experts from ARATS and its Taiwan counterpart Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) held in Beijing their first talks to pave the way for the ECFA.

The ARATS and SEF, both authorized in handling cross-Strait issues, are scheduled to hold formal talks on the ECFA at their next round of talks in the first half of this year. The two sides reached 12 agreements concerning a wide range of cooperation in their previous four rounds of talks.

Source: Xinhua
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