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Dec 22. 2009, No. 093

  • Date:2009-12-22

The MAC highly affirms the results of the fourth Chiang-Chen Talks

The fourth Chiang-Chen Talks formally convened today (December 22, 2009) at the Windsor Hotel Taichung. On the afternoon of the same day, Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) Chairman Chiang Pin-kung and Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait (ARATS) Chairman Chen Yunlin represented the two sides in signing three agreements on "cross-strait cooperation on the inspection and quarantine of agricultural products," "cross-strait cooperation on standards inspection, measurement and certification," and "cross-strait fishery labor cooperation." The Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) highly affirmed the results of the talks.

The MAC indicated that, after four Chiang-Chen Talks, institutionalized negotiations between the SEF and the ARATS now have entered a normalized phase. This signifies that cross-strait relations are developing sequentially towards benign interactions, which can help establish a secure and stable environment for national development. In addition, the three agreements reached at the fourth Chiang-Chen Talks all respond to economic issues that urgently need to be addressed in order to develop cross-strait economic and trade relations and improve the order of cross-strait economic and trade exchanges. They are also closely related to the livelihood, rights and interests of the people and will have a strong promotional effect on upholding the people's rights, interests and welfare. The MAC also highly affirms the achievements reached at this round of talks.

Regarding the issue of "avoidance of double taxation and strengthening of tax cooperation," the competent authorities on both sides across the Strait have been communicating and negotiating steadily during this period and have reached consensus on the main contents. The MAC highly approves and thanks the persons involved in the negotiations on both sides for their hard work and dedication. However, further communications and discussions are needed between officials of the two sides on the more technical issues. Since these issues are entirely unrelated to sovereignty or political considerations, it is hoped that the negotiations can be completed and the agreement promptly signed and implemented in the near future to help eliminate double taxation across the Taiwan Strait, improve the competitive conditions for Taiwanese businesses, and further attract transnational enterprises to invest in Taiwan. The MAC emphasized that this situation represents the gradual maturing of cross-strait institutionalized negotiations. In future negotiations, full consensus also must be reached before agreements can be signed.

During the talks, the two sides also further reviewed the implementation status of the nine agreements previously signed. They exchanged views in particular on strengthening Mainland tourist visits to Taiwan, increasing the number of cross-strait flights, seeking compensation and providing assistance related to the melamine-tainted milk incident, jointly fighting crime, promoting Mainland investment in Taiwan, and conducting renminbi clearance business. The MAC stated that this review mechanism is highly important to the implementation of the previously signed agreements, which will not only enable the full implementation of the agreements but will also contribute to the welfare of the people on both sides.

The MAC stated that negotiations during the fifth SEF-ARATS talks in the first half of next year will focus mainly on the Cross-Strait Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA), as well as address the issue of protecting intellectual property rights (IPR). The MAC believes the ECFA is conducive to the institutionalization of cross-strait economic and trade relations and the establishment of a stable long-term framework for cross-strait economic cooperation. The MAC also believes that the signing of an IPR agreement between the SEF and the ARATS in the future will actively and effectively protect the legal IPR interests of the people of Taiwan. The MAC hopes that the SEF and the ARATS will promptly begin negotiations and make arrangements for specific matters.

The MAC also indicated that, during the talks, the two sides jointly recognized the increasing seriousness of natural disasters resulting from climate change. Although the two sides have already cooperated on natural disaster prevention and risk management under the APEC framework, this time the SEF and the ARATS can further jointly encourage specialized private organizations on the two sides to strengthen exchanges and cooperation on monitoring, prevention and control, as well as early warning for earthquakes, typhoons, floods and other natural disasters. The MAC highly affirmed the efforts of the SEF and the ARATS. It believes that these endeavors will not only help reduce the loss of life and property on both sides due to natural disasters, but they will also actively respond to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Copenhagen.

The MAC indicated that the issues of the four Chiang-Chen Talks have all been transparent, open and available online in full content for public review. In addition, for the fourth Chiang-Chen Talks, MAC Minister Lai Shin-yuan coordinated with the deputy ministers and director-generals of the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance, and Council of Agriculture to brief the public on the contents of the negotiations through press conferences over a month ago, as well as proactively report to the Legislative Yuan. Compared to the signing of the Arrangements for Specialized Cross-Strait Charter Flights in 2006, when the people of Taiwan learned about the arrangements only after they were signed, this round of negotiations was highly transparent.

The MAC finally reiterated that in engaging in cross-strait institutionalized negotiations, the government has always adhered to Taiwan’s position to protect the rights and interests of the Taiwanese people and uphold national interests. The MAC stressed that only through continued cross-strait communications and negotiations will it be possible for us to inform the Mainland side of the ROC side’s policy positions and the demands of the people in Taiwan. The government will definitely engage in interaction of this kind to firmly safeguard national sovereignty and the rights and interests of the people. The MAC emphasized that, through the fourth round of talks, the people of Taiwan expressed different positions, enabling the Mainland’s ARATS to experience the social plurality in Taiwan. The government respects and understands this. In the future promotion of related policies and negotiations, the MAC will adhere to the principle of procedural transparency and openness, fully respect Taiwan’s public opinion, expand communications, and explain the specific significance of such policies and negotiations to the various sectors of society through multiple channels so as to build an even greater consensus for the government's promotion of mainland China policy.