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Nov 07, 2008, No. 090

  • Date:2008-11-07

The second Chiang-Chen Talks establish a normal operation mechanism for institutionalized negotiations between the SEF and the ARATS and have major significance for promoting the normal development of cross-strait relations

The second "Chiang-Chen Talks" officially concluded today. Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) Chairman Chiang Pin-kung led the SEF negotiation team to the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) at 2:00 p.m. to report on the process of the second round of talks between the SEF and the ARATS. MAC Minister Lai Shin-yuan thanked the negotiation team for its hard work and highly affirmed the four agreements reached on the issues of air transportation, sea transportation, postal service and food safety.

Minister Lai was then accompanied by Chairman Chiang and the negotiation team to the Executive Yuan to present a briefing to Premier Liu Chao-shiuan. Premier Liu expressed his approval of the fruitful results of the talks. He said that the four agreements signed during the talks would contribute greatly to promoting cross-strait exchanges and protecting public security, as well as consolidate the foundation for institutionalized negotiations between the two sides. Premier Liu also indicated that international media reports have shown that the results of the four agreements have received positive evaluation from the overwhelming majority of the international community. This demonstrates that the government's opening up of cross-strait relations is in the correct direction and that the government has the confidence to continue promoting its opening-up policy.

Soon afterwards, Minister Lai held a press conference at the Government Information Office. She stated that, with full authorization from the MAC, the SEF has coordinated with related ministries to complete negotiations and sign the four agreements. This fruitful outcome has established a normal operation mechanism for institutionalized negotiations between the SEF and the ARATS and has major significance for promoting the normal development of cross-strait relations. This significance includes: further implementing the institutionalized negotiation mechanism between the two sides; greatly upgrading the level of cross-strait interactions; underscoring the key points in the current phase of cross-strait negotiations; embodying a new model for cross-strait negotiations and interactions based on parity; stabilizing cross-strait relations, and promoting regional peace.

Minister Lai also stated that when President Ma and she jointly met with Chairman Chen Yunlin, they specially emphasized not only that the two sides should "face up to reality, adhere to mutual non-denial, and work for the benefits of the people and cross-strait peace," but also that there exists an irrational reality of the international and military confrontation between the two sides. Such emphasis is helpful for the Mainland side and the international community to understand the position and principles held by Taiwan.

Minister Lai further stated that some political parties and related persons in Taiwan have harbored doubts about the second "Chiang-Chen Talks" and have even demonstrated and protested against the talks, thus resulting in something slightly regrettable in the negotiation process. However, the United States, European Union, Japan and other countries have formally welcomed and expressed support for cross-strait dialogue and the signing of the agreements. In the future, the MAC will coordinate with related agencies to strengthen communication with persons with different points of view in Taiwan, as well as reinforce explanations aimed at major countries in order to build understanding and consensus among various sectors.

Minister Lai finally indicated that in the future the two sides would hold discussions on priority issues for negotiations in the next phase. These include: strengthening the order of cross-strait exchanges (joint crackdown on crime, expanding food safety cooperation, and quarantine and inspection of agricultural products); cross-strait financial cooperation (establishing a banking supervision and management mechanism, signing a memorandum of understanding on cross-strait securities and futures supervision and management, and promoting cross-strait financial interaction); cross-strait economic and trade cooperation (cross-strait investment protection agreement, avoidance of double taxation, a mediation mechanism for cross-strait economic and trade disputes, cross-strait cooperation on standard inspection, measurement and certification, and cross-strait intellectual property rights protection), and other issues. Both sides have a strong intention to carry out follow-up discussions and will include issues of consensus within the scope of agreements to be signed during the next round of talks.