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Backgrounder: Key talks between ARATS, SEF

English.news.cn   2012-08-07 11:23:37            

TAIPEI, Aug. 7 (Xinhua) -- Chen Yunlin, president of the Chinese mainland-based Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait (ARATS), is expected to arrive in Taipei on Wednesday for a new round of talks with Chiang Pin-kung, chairman of the Taiwan-based Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF), scheduled for Thursday.

Their meeting, the eighth meeting held between the two since 2008, is expected to result in the signing of two cross-Strait agreements on investment protection and customs cooperation.

Founded in 1991 and 1990, respectively, ARATS and SEF are authorized by the mainland and Taiwan to handle cross-Strait affairs.

The following is a summary of previous talks held between the two organizations:

In November 1992, ARATS and SEF held talks in Hong Kong. The organizations reached what is called the "1992 Consensus," an agreement that calls for both sides to adhere to the one-China principle.

In April 1993, ARATS President Wang Daohan and SEF Chairman Koo Chen-fu held a historic meeting in Singapore. It was the first public meeting between the leaders of the two organizations. They signed four agreements on economic and trade cooperation.

From 1993 to 1998, the two organizations held more than 20 rounds of talks, including one between Wang and Koo in Shanghai in 1998.

In 1999, negotiations between the two organizations were suspended when former Taiwan leader Lee Teng-hui began to pursue "Taiwan independence."

In March 2008, relations started to improve when ARATS and SEF agreed to resume talks based on the "1992 Consensus."

On May 28, 2008, General Secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee Hu Jintao met with Wu Poh-hsiung, Taiwan's Kuomintang (KMT) chairman at the time, in Beijing.

From June 12 to 14 the same year, ARATS President Chen Yunlin and SEF Chairman Chiang Pin-kun held their first talks since 1999 in Beijing. The two signed agreements concerning charter flights and tourism.

On Nov. 3, 2008, Chen led a delegation to Taiwan for a five-day visit and held talks with Chiang. Both sides signed four agreements on direct shipping, air transport, postal services and food safety.

On April 26, 2009, Chen and Chiang signed three agreements on opening regular flights, boosting financial cooperation and cracking down on crime during their third round of talks in Nanjing, capital of east China's Jiangsu Province. The two sides also agreed to help boost investment by mainland companies on the island.

On Dec. 22, 2009, mainland and Taiwanese negotiators in their fourth round of talks agreed to make cooperative efforts concerning the quarantine of farm produce, the cross-Strait employment of fishermen and the handling of product quality standards.

On June 30, 2010, Chen and Chiang signed the long-awaited Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) in southwest China's city of Chongqing, a move hailed by many as a milestone in cross-Strait relations, during the fifth round of talks. Both sides also signed an agreement on intellectual property rights protection.

On Dec. 21, 2010, a new round of talks was held in Taipei, where both sides signed a medical and health cooperation agreement and discussed an investment protection agreement.

On Oct. 20, 2011, the seventh round of talks between Chen and Chiang was held in Tianjin, where both sides signed an agreement on cross-Strait cooperation concerning nuclear safety and a joint statement regarding the acceleration of negotiations for a future cross-Strait investment protection agreement.

Editor: Chen Zhi
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