Mainland negotiator Chen Yunlin arrives in Taiwan for cross-Strait talks

Chen Yunlin (L Front), president of the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS), leaves Beijing, capital of China, for Taipei in southeast China's Taiwan, on Aug. 8, 2012. Chen Yunlin flew to Taipei on Wednesday to attend the eighth summit between ARATS and the Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF), scheduled on Aug. 9.

Chen Yunlin, president of the Chinese mainland-based Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS), arrived in Taiwan Wednesday afternoon for a new round of talks with his Taiwanese counterpart Chiang Pin-kung, chairman of the Taiwan-based Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF).

Chen was received by Chiang at The Grand Hotel, where the two will hold talks on Thursday.

The talks, the eighth to take place between the two since 2008, are expected to result in the signing of two cross-Strait agreements on investment protection and customs cooperation.

Both agreements aim to promote and protect two-way investment, as well as facilitate customs clearance and the effective supervision of cargo.

Chen said in a statement issued upon his arrival that the agreements will be a major step in carrying ARATS-SEF negotiations forward following the signing of the cross-Strait Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) in 2010.

The main tasks for the ARATS and the SEF are to hasten the ECFA’s follow-up negotiations and expand benefits to more people on both sides, the statement said.

“This year and next year, we will spare no effort in forging ahead with negotiations for signing cross-Strait agreements on the trade of service and goods and the settlement of disputes regarding the ECFA,” Chen was cited as saying in the statement.

Chen will visit a pair of giant pandas, Tuan Tuan and Yuan Yuan, that were given by the mainland to Taiwan in 2008, while his deputy will conduct preparatory negotiations with the SEF’s deputy chief later Wednesday.

A reception dinner will be held by the SEF for the ARATS delegation led by Chen, according to the event schedule.

Founded in 1991 and 1990, respectively, the ARATS and SEF are authorized by the mainland and Taiwan to handle cross-Strait affairs.

Xinhua