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Taiwan talks - no conditions

THE Chinese mainland will set no preconditions for opening talks with Taiwan on a proposed "Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement," Commerce Minister Chen Deming said yesterday.

Taking into account Taiwan's current economic status and the sensitivity of the agriculture issue, the mainland would not ask Taiwan to lift its ban on the mainland's agricultural products, nor would it set any other preconditions for the talks on the CECA, Chen said at a press conference at the annual session of the National People's Congress.

"Taiwan suffered a serious blow in the financial crisis. Under such circumstances, it is of mutual benefits for both sides across the Taiwan Strait to accelerate talks on the CECA," he said.

The main goal is to establish normal and regular trade relations between the two sides of the strait that would benefit both, Chen said.

Signing the CECA as soon as possible would be conducive to both sides during the financial downturn, he said.

In his work report to the NPC last Thursday, Premier Wen Jiabao said the mainland will push for normalization of cross-strait economic relations, facilitate the signing of the CECA, and gradually establish economic cooperation mechanisms.


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