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China's chief negotiator arrives in Taiwan

ROC Central News Agency

2012/08/08 16:53:41

Taipei, Aug. 8 (CNA) China's chief negotiator with Taiwan, Chen Yunlin, arrived here Wednesday afternoon for the eighth round of high-level cross-Taiwan Strait talks held since 2008, during which a long-stalled investment protection pact will be signed.

With his flight having been delayed for 90 minutes due to Typhoon Haikui, Chen was excited about the good weather upon his arrival at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport.

Chen was later whisked directly to the Grand Hotel in Taipei, where a welcoming ceremony was hosted by his Taiwanese counterpart, Chiang Pin-kung, amid tight security.

A heavy police presence was deployed and traffic controls were imposed around the hotel -- the venue of the Chiang-Chen talks scheduled for Thursday -- in anticipation of protests by anti-China and pro-independence activists.

Among the protesters were politicians from the opposition Taiwan Solidarity Union and victims of investment scams in China.

Kao Wei-pang, chairman of the group Victims of Investment in China, urged Beijing to immediately release Chung Ting-pang, a Taiwanese businessman who was detained by Chinese authorities during a visit to the mainland in June, allegedly because of his connection to the banned Falun Gong sect.

"Otherwise, the investment protection pact will be nothing more than a joke," Kao said.

The pact is expected to includes provisions that are meant to protect the personal safety of Taiwanese businesspeople in China.

One provision discussed was that if a Taiwanese businessman is arrested in China, Chinese authorities will be required to notify the individual's family members of his or her whereabouts within 24 hours, which did not happen in the Chung case.

After the welcoming ceremony, Chen headed to the Taipei Zoo to visit a pair of pandas that were given by China to Taiwan in 2008 and take a ride on the scenic Maokong Gondola.

(By Chiu Chun-chin, Chen Hung-chin, Justin Su, Chiu Kuo-chiang and Y.F. Low)

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