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Implementation of cross-strait agreements to be reviewed

ROC Central News Agency

2011/06/08 00:12:53

By Charles Kang and Lee Hsin-Yin

Taipei, June 7 (CNA) Taiwan and China will hold their first meeting Wednesday in Taipei to review the implementation of previous agreements signed in the six rounds of high-level talks between both sides.

The meeting, which will be jointly held by Taiwan's Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) and China's Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait (ARATS), will mainly focus on issues such as the launching of the free independent travelers (FIT) program for Chinese tourists, increasing the number of cross-Taiwan Strait flights, and cooperation on anti-crime, food safety and agricultural quarantine inspection measures.

The Taiwanese and Chinese delegations will be led by SEF Vice Chairman Kao Koong-lian and ARATS Deputy President Zheng Lizhong, respectively.

According to SEF sources, the delegates are expected to reiterate their support for the FIT program, which will start no later than July 1.

However, precise date and details of the new policy will not be released after the meeting, sources said.

Kao and Zheng will also review the cross-strait flight schedule that has been criticized for falling short of demand, especially for busy routes between Taiwan and mainland's main cities such as Beijing and Shanghai.

While Taiwan has expressed hopes to increase the number of cross-strait flights from the current 370 per week to 500 in previous rounds of aviation talks, SEF sources said it will also seek to attain more flight slots at China's busiest airports in Beijing and Shanghai.

As for cooperation in fighting cross-border crime, sources pointed out that both sides have settled the recent dispute over the return of 14 Taiwanese suspects who were deported to China by the Philippines. The suspects will likely be sent back to Taiwan soon.

The two sides will not necessarily touch on issue related to use of DEHP, a toxic industrial-use chemical added by some unscrupulous Taiwanese makers in food and drink products, "if China doesn't raise it in the agenda, "sources said. However, both sides will hammer out details for further cooperation on food safety.

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