Taiwan, China to sign four pacts on expanding ties

November 4th, 2008 - 1:09 pm ICT by IANS  

Taipei, Nov 4 (DPA) Negotiators met Tuesday to prepare for the signing of four pacts on expanding trade ties across the Taiwan Strait, in the first high-level talks with China held on Taiwan since 1949.China’s chief negotiator Chen Yunlin and his Taiwan counterpart Chiang Ping-kun, who met at the Grand Hotel in Taipei, are expected to sign the agreements Tuesday afternoon.

They cover direct sea links, the expansion of weekend charter flights between the China and Taiwan to daily charter flights, direct postal services and food safety.

Chiang called the Taipei talks a big leap forward in Taiwan-China ties.

“When Mr Chen and I were shaking hands at the start of the Beijing talks in June, it was very hard for our hands to meet (because the table was large). But today it was very easy for our hands to meet. This shows the gap is smaller,” he told the nearly 1,000 reporters covering the talks.

“Today we will sign four pacts. They will better guarantee our people’s lives and make cross-strait trade ties even closer,” he said.

Chen said that the global financial crisis has posed serious threats to China and Taiwan.

“Therefore, it is necessary for the two sides to joint discuss how to face the crisis and the aftermath of the crisis,” he said.

Chen is the highest-ranking Chinese official to visit Taiwan since 1949 when Taiwan and China split at the end of the Chinese Civil War.

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