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Apr 26. 2009, No. 026

  • Date:2009-04-26

Third Chiang-Chen Talks Proceeds Smoothly and Produces Fruitful Results

The third Chiang-Chen Talks officially convened today (April 26, 2009) in Nanjing, mainland China. This afternoon, Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) Chairman Chiang Ping-kun and Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait (ARATS) Chairman Chen Yunlin represented the two sides in signing three agreements, including the "Agreement on Joint Cross-Strait Crime-fighting and Mutual Judicial Assistance," "Cross-Strait Financial Cooperation Agreement" and "Supplementary Agreement on Cross-Strait Air Transport." The two sides also reached a consensus on jointly promoting mainland Chinese investment in Taiwan.

Under the principle of "equality, dignity, pragmatism, and mutual benefit," the delegations of both sides communicated frankly with each other and actively promoted related matters, thus achieving fruitful results during the talks. This has again proved the ability of the SEF and the ARATS to institutionalize and normalize the handling of economic and technical issues through negotiation channels. In addition, the two sides also reached agreement on issues related to the upholding and strengthening of the order of cross-strait exchanges, such as stopping cross-border crime, protecting the rights and interests of the people, and establishing mechanisms for judicial cooperation. These agreements will have a positive impact on promoting the continued smooth development of cross-strait economic and trade relations in the future. The Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) therefore strongly approves of this outcome.

The MAC emphasizes that the signing of the "Agreement on Joint Cross-Strait Crime-fighting and Mutual Judicial Assistance" establishes an institutionalized cooperation platform for joint cross-strait crime prevention. The agreement will enable the two sides across the Strait to deter crime by exchanging information and to crack down on crime through mutual assistance in investigating and arresting criminals as well as through joint crime-fighting efforts. The two sides will also provide mutual assistance in expatriating criminals, obtaining evidence in investigations, and delivering official documents for the completion of prosecution and trial procedures for criminal conviction and sentencing. At the same time, cross-strait cooperation on fighting crime also further lays a foundation for cooperation on preventing cross-border crime. Under the agreement, persons from Taiwan that are taken into custody in the Mainland Area may, with assistance from the government, be visited in the Mainland by their family members. In accordance with the stipulations of both sides across the Strait and based upon the inmates’ personal wishes, the government can assist in taking back the inmates. The government will also help them to re-enter society as soon as possible after due judicial processes have been completed. Moreover, results of adjudication or arbitration concerning the private rights of the people on either side can be affirmed or enforced under the principle of reciprocity. This is aimed at providing more comprehensive judicial protection to interested parties in private rights disputes.

In the area of cross-strait financial cooperation, the two sides defined the scope of cooperation to include financial supervision and management, currency management and other cooperation affairs. The two sides agreed to sequentially engage in follow-up negotiations, including talks on the negotiation and signing of three memoranda of understanding (MOUs) on cross-strait financial supervision and management mechanism (in the banking, securities and futures sectors) as soon as possible, negotiations on market access, and issues related to currency management mechanisms, such as cash exchange, supply, flow-back operations, and other related arrangements. In the future, the foundation that has been laid down by the expansion of cross-strait financial cooperation will be conducive to carrying out effective supervision and management of financial institutions. The establishment of branches in the Mainland by Taiwan’s financial institutions can provide financial support and services to Taiwanese businesses, as well as closely grasp the operating situation of Taiwanese businesses in the Mainland. In addition, currency management will enable the gradual establishment of a cross-strait currency settlement mechanism and strengthen cooperation in other fields.

Regarding air transport, an arrangement was reached on regular flights. The two sides agreed to establish two new direct cross-strait air routes: a direct flight route in the southern line across the Taiwan Strait (the Taipei and Guangzhou Flight Information Region) and a second direct flight route in the northern line across the Taiwan Strait (the Taipei and Shanghai Flight Information Region). The Mainland side added six new flight points—Hefei, Harbin, Nanchang, Guiyang, Ningbo, and Jinan, bringing the total to 27 flight points, all of which will be open for regular flights. The number of weekly flights was also greatly increased from 108 weekly charter flights originally to 270 flights. Unfortunately, weekly service to and from Shanghai will only be increased by eight flights, falling short of demand. The number of weekly regular cargo flights and charter flights will be increased to 28, double the current number of cargo charter flights. In addition, cargo can be transported in the holds of regular passenger flights. In the future, the two sides can mutually establish representative offices at flight points on the other side to handle, directly or through an authorized agent, the issuance of the document of transportation, marketing, business operations and other matters related to cross-strait air transport. The two sides will also further discuss mutual exemption from taxes and fees related to airline operations and transportation revenue earned from the other side. The implementation of regular flights will make cross-strait personnel travel and transportation of goods more convenient and further normalize air transport operations and arrangements.

The two sides also reached a consensus on jointly promoting Mainland investment in Taiwan based on the principles of "complementary strengths, mutual benefit and a win-win situation." The Taiwan side agreed to promptly promulgate related laws, regulations and accompanying measures; and the Mainland side agreed to encourage Mainland enterprises to pay inspection visits to Taiwan and create conditions. The two sides also agreed that their competent authorities would mutually cooperate on promoting the content of the agreement. In the future, the government will carefully assess the items of deregulation under the principle of "maximizing benefits and minimizing risks." Under the premise of not affecting domestic industries and establishing related management mechanisms, the government will promote Mainland investment in Taiwan in an orderly and gradual manner so as to normalize cross-strait economic and trade relations.

In addition, the two sides agreed on four issues for negotiations during the fourth Chiang-Chen Talks this year, including "cross-strait fishery labor cooperation," "cross-strait quarantine and inspection of agricultural products," "cross-strait cooperation on standard inspection, measurement and certification," and "avoidance of double taxation." An agreement was also reached to begin talks on the other future negotiation issues that were already discussed at the second Chiang-Chen Talks as soon as conditions are ripe and preparations are completed.

After the conclusion of the talks today, Chairman Chiang and members of the delegation, excluding those who will return first to Taiwan, went to Yangzhou, Suzhou, Kunshan, and Shanghai to meet with Taiwanese businesspeople and to engage in other visitation activities. The delegation led by Chairman Chiang is scheduled to take a charter flight back to Taipei from Shanghai on April 29.