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Chinese negotiator meets Taiwan's mainland affairs chief

ROC Central News Agency

2014/02/27 22:45:00

Taipei, Feb. 27 (CNA) China's top negotiator with Taiwan, Chen Deming, met Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Council Minister Wang Yu-chi at a hotel in Taipei Thursday afternoon.

Chen, who is head of Beijing's Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits(ARATS), met Wang after finishing a round of talks in Taipei with his Taiwanese counterpart Lin Join-sane, chief of Taipei's Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF).

Although the venue for the meeting was deliberately chosen at a hotel to play down its official significance -- Taipei and Beijing do not officially recognize each other -- Chen addressed Wang by his official title of minister during the first meeting between them.

Recognizing the importance of the two agreements Taiwan and China signed earlier in the day on meteorological exchanges and earthquake monitoring, Wang said he looked forward to further exchanges across the strait.

Both sides should cooperate based upon the shared ideas of the 1992 Consensus, he said.

According to the ruling Kuomintang, the consensus is a tacit understanding between both sides that there is only one China, with each side interpreting the term 'one China' in its own way.

As official agencies in charge of cross-strait affairs have agreed recently to establish a regular communication mechanism, the SEF and ARATS will keep their roles to facilitate quick and efficient communication, he said.

The SEF and ARATS are the intermediary bodies on each side that handle cross-strait negotiations in the absence of official links.

On a lighter note, Wang said he expected that Chen will have a nice visit to the Taipei Zoo the following day to see the 8-month-old panda cub Yuanzai.

'Yuanzai should be in a relaxed mood,' Wang said, referring to the cub of Tuan Tuan and Yuan Yuan, a pair of giant pandas given to Taiwan four years ago by China to symbolize warmer ties between the two sides.

Wang jokingly explained that Yuanzai would be relaxed because the Lantern Festival has ended -- locals eat 'yuanzai,' or rice balls also known as tangyuan during the festival.

(By Maubo Chang and Lee Hsin-Yin)

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