Ties with Tai­wan en­hanced

Deals signed to bol­ster ef­forts in dis­as­ter re­lief and preven­tion

China Daily (Canada) - - CHINA - By AN BAIJIE

an­bai­jie@chi­nadaily.com.cn

The main­land and Tai­wan signed two agree­ments in Taipei on Thurs­day to ex­pand co­op­er­a­tion in me­te­o­ro­log­i­cal and earthquake mon­i­tor­ing, and dis­as­ter preven­tion and re­lief.

The agree­ments were signed by Chen Dem­ing, pres­i­dent of main­land-based As­so­ci­a­tion for Re­la­tions Across the Tai­wan Straits, and Lin Join-sane, chair­man of the Tai­wan-based Straits Ex­change Foun­da­tion.

Chen said on Thurs­day that people from the main­land and Tai­wan have shown great sym­pa­thy to each other when nat­u­ral dis­as­ters have oc­curred. A co­op­er­a­tion agree­ment on dis­as­ter re­lief, he added, will en­hance cross-Straits ties.

He said about one-third of the world’s earthquakes and 40 per­cent of the world’s hur­ri­canes strike the main­land and Tai­wan, so it’s ur­gent for both sides to en­hance co­op­er­a­tion in nat­u­ral dis­as­ters preven­tion and re­lief.

Chen ar­rived in Tai­wan on Wed­nes­day. On Fri­day be­fore head­ing back to the main­land, he will visit the Taipei Zoo to see panda cub Yuan Zai. The 7-month-old cub is the first gi­ant panda born on the is­land. The cub’s mother, Yuan Yuan, and her mate, Tuan Tuan, were good­will gifts from the main­land in 2008.

Dur­ing the two-day talks, the two sides are also sched­uled to dis­cuss taxation re­duc­tions, com­mod­ity trade agree­ments and the es­tab­lish­ment of a mech­a­nism for re­solv­ing trade dis­putes. Both sides will dis­cuss es­tab­lish­ing of­fices by both or­ga­ni­za­tions in each re­gion.

Chen said be­fore he kicked off his trip, he at­tended a meet­ing be­tween Party chief Xi Jin­ping and the del­e­ga­tion led by Kuom­intang Hon­orary Chair­man Lien Chan.

“Gen­eral Sec­re­tary Xi Jin­ping said the main­land and Tai­wan are one big fam­ily and we should strive for our Chi­nese dreams to­gether,” Chen said.

Lin said the two agree­ments are ex­pected to help each other at­tain more ac­cu­rate in­for­ma­tion on me­te­o­ro­log­i­cal dis­as­ters and earthquake mon­i­tor­ing.

ARATS and SEF have held 10 rounds of talks and signed 21 agree­ments since 2008.

“It is like build­ing 21 ex­press­ways for cross-Straits co­op­er­a­tion that will cre­ate a win-win sit­u­a­tion and en­able both sides to en­joy more of the ben­e­fits of peace,” Lin said.

Ma Xiaoguang, spokesman for the State Coun­cil Tai­wan Af­fairs Of­fice, said on Wed­nes­day that the agree­ments al­low au­thor­i­ties from the main­land and Tai­wan to work to­gether to bet­ter pro­tect people’s safety and prop­er­ties.

“It is a sign of ex­panded co­op­er­a­tion and the de­vel­op­ment of di­a­logue across the Straits,” Ma said at a news con­fer­ence in Bei­jing.

Shen Xuhui, a se­nior sci­en­tist at the China Earthquake Ad­min­is­tra­tion, spoke highly of the agree­ments.

“Tai­wan has many in­flu­en­tial earthquake ex­perts and schol­ars and the agree­ment can fur­ther ad­vance our knowl­edge of earthquakes,” Shen said.

Cross- Straits ex­changes have grown in re­cent years. The num­ber of main­land vis­i­tors to Tai­wan reached 2.19 mil­lion in 2013, up from 1.97 mil­lion in 2012, ac­cord­ing to sta­tis­tics re­leased on Thurs­day by the Cross-Straits Tourism Com­mu­ni­ca­tion As­so­ci­a­tion. Wang Qian con­trib­uted to this story.

WANG JUEWEI / FOR CHINA DAILY

Chen Dem­ing (front row, sec­ond from left), pres­i­dent of the main­land-based As­so­ci­a­tion for Re­la­tions Across the Tai­wan Straits, shakes hands with Lin Join-sane, chair­man of Tai­wan-based Straits Ex­change Foun­da­tion, af­ter the two sides signed two agree­ments in Taipei on Thurs­day.

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