High-level cross-strait meeting set for December in Taipei


TAIPEI, Taiwan — Top negotiators of Taipei and Beijing will likely meet in Taipei in mid-December to sign two agreements to carry out a landmark economic pact sealed in June, sources familiar with cross-strait affairs said yesterday.

Leaders of Taiwan’s Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) and China’s Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS) are expected to meet for the sixth time since 2008 at Taipei’s historic Grand Hotel, the sources said.

It is known in Taiwan as the sixth Chiang-Chen meeting because SEF Chairman Chiang Ping kung and ARATS President Chen Yunlin will represent their respective organizations and negotiate on behalf of their governments.

The two are expected to sign an agreement on investment protection and another on health and medical cooperation. They had planned to sign these accords at the end of their last meeting in Chongqing, China in late June — when they signed the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA).

Chen will take the opportunity to visit the Taipei International Flora Expo and the Taipei Zoo, where two pandas from China are enjoying high popularity amongst zoo goers, the sources said.

Before the Chiang-Chen meeting, the format and structure of the across-strait Economic Cooperation Committee, which will operate under the SEF-ARATS framework, will probably be announced in early December after delegates from both sides finish their final round of talks in Taipei, according to the sources.

The committee, to be headed by a vice-ministerial official each from Taipei and Beijing, will mainly work to solve problems related to implementing the ECFA.