BEIJING, Feb. 26 (Xinhua) -- Chinese mainland and Taiwan negotiators are expected to sign agreements on meteorological and seismic cooperation as they sit down for a tenth round of talks on Thursday, said a mainland spokesman Wednesday.
Chen Deming, president of the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS), left on Wednesday morning for talks to be held in Taipei beginning Thursday, said Ma Xiaoguang, spokesman of the State Council Taiwan Affairs Office, at a regular press conference.
The upcoming talks between the ARATS and the Taiwan-based Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) mark the tenth round of talks between the two sides since the SEF and ARATS resumed talks in June 2008 after a nine-year suspension.
Ma said the agreements will help both sides across the Taiwan Strait to conduct regular meteorological and seismic cooperation through official channels, although academic exchanges in these fields have long existed.
The agreements aim at building both sides' capacity in meteorological disaster warnings, as well as earthquake prevention and relief, Ma said.
Ma added that the two agreements signaled expansion of the fields for negotiation between the ARATS and SEF. The tenth round of talks came amid deepening political mutual trust between the two sides and a warming cross-Strait relationship, said Ma.
Ma also introduced agendas to be addressed in the next phase of cross-Strait negotiations, including an agreement on the avoidance of double taxation, commodity trade agreement and a trade dispute settlement mechanism, and the setting up of cross-Strait offices by ARATS and SEF.
Founded in 1991 and 1990, respectively, ARATS and SEF are authorized by the mainland and Taiwan to handle cross-Strait affairs.