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Mainland, Taiwan negotiators start talks in Taichung

Negotiators of the Chinese mainland and Taiwan began a new round of talks today with three agreements expected to be signed.

The mainland's Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS) and Taiwan's Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF),which handle cross-Strait issues on behalf of their respective authorities, held talks in the central Taiwan city of Taichung.

The topics included labor cooperation in the fishing industry, cooperation in inspection and quarantine of farm produce, and cooperation in standard measuring, inspection and certification.

"All the topics we choose to discuss are closely related to the interests of people," said Chen Yunlin, ARATS president, at the opening of the talks. "The only way to measure our efforts is whether the agreements really benefit people across the Taiwan Strait."

In the previous three rounds of talks since June 2008, the two sides reached nine agreements concerning transport, trade, tourism, cooperation in finance and fighting crime among other issues.

"We have done many things in the past one and half years that should have been done long before. We will work with our Taiwan counterparts to make sure the agreements are implemented and to close loopholes in them."

The two sides also reached a basic consensus on avoiding double taxation and strengthening taxation cooperation in a preparatory meeting yesterday afternoon.


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