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Mainland, Taiwan to negotiate signing agreement on economic co-op

THE Chinese mainland's Taiwan affairs chief Wang Yi said today the mainland was willing to negotiate with Taiwan on signing of an economic cooperation agreement before the end of this year.

Wang, director of the Taiwan Work Office of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, said the mainland and Taiwan could exchange views on the signing of the agreement in a new round of talks between the mainland's Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS) and Taiwan's Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF), "if both sides consider it necessary."

The ARATS and the SEF will hold the new round of talks in Taiwan's Taichung in mid or late December, the fourth round of meeting since last year.

"We are willing to negotiate with Taiwan and launch official discussions on cross-Strait economic cooperation agreement under the ARATS-SEF framework as early as possible before year end," Wang, also head of the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council, said.

Fan Liqing, spokeswoman of the State Council Taiwan Affairs Office, said earlier this month, "Respective studies by the mainland and Taiwan show that such an agreement would be in the interests of people on both sides and promote economic development across the Strait."

The ARATS and the SEF signed an agreement on cross-Strait financial cooperation in April at the third meeting of their leaders.

Wang said the mainland was willing to "further interact with Taiwan to solve problems concerning cross-Strait economic exchanges and push the economic relations between the two sides to a new level."

Wang is here attending a two-day cross-Strait symposium on industrial and economic cooperation that began today in Chengdu, provincial capital of southwestern Sichuan.

More than 160 people, half of them from Taiwan, participated in the symposium.


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