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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Taiwan, China sign nuclear safety cooperation pact

ROC Central News Agency

2011/10/20 20:39:50

By Chen Hung-chin, Kang Shih-jen, Tsai Su-jung and Jamie Wang

Tianjin, China, Oct. 20 (CNA) Top negotiators from Taiwan and China signed a nuclear safety cooperation agreement Thursday in the seventh high-level meeting between the two sides, while a highly anticipated investment protection pact is scheduled to be signed in the next round of talks.

The meeting between Taiwan's Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) Chairman Chiang Pin-kung and his Chinese counterpart Chen Yunlin, president of the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS) was held in the northern Chinese city of Tianjin.

According to Chen, the crisis at Japan's Fukushima nuclear power plant in March prompted the two sides to include nuclear issues on the agenda.

The agreement legitimates cross-strait cooperation on issues of nuclear power plants, such as the establishment of an exchange platform, management of nuclear emergency, radiation monitoring, analysis and assessment of nuclear safety, fuel safety, heat transfer and risk evaluation.

The meeting, commonly known as Chiang-Chen talks, also reached a preliminary consensus on a cross-strait investment protection pact, which has been up in the air in the past few months due mainly to disagreement over the nature of the arbitration mechanism.

According to Ma Shao-chang, deputy secretary general and spokesman of the SEF, the two sides also intended to advance industrial cooperation on LED lighting, thin film transistor liquid crystal display (TFT-LCD), wireless cities, low-temperature logistics services and electric cars.

The SEF and ARATS released a press statement after the meeting, saying that the investment protection pact is expected to be signed in the next round of Chiang-Chen talks. The accord will cover issues such as the gradual removal of investment barriers, compensation for property expropriation, personal safety protection and an arbitration mechanism.

The two organizations said they have "reached general consensus" on the investment pact, but more thorough discussions will be needed to come up with an efficient mechanism for dispute arbitration.

Chiang called on the two sides to continue to build a peaceful and stable relationship on the existing basis, under which 15 agreements have been inked, and to further economic and cultural exchanges through institutionalized discussions.

Chen said cross-strait relations should be developed on a mutual political basis. "If the mutual political basis is renounced, it will be difficult to hold further cross-strait discussions and the current cross-strait relations will be severely damaged as well," he said.

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