Taiwan, China to hold fresh round of talks next week

Taiwan and China on Tuesday agreed to hold a fresh round of negotiations next week focusing on medical and health cooperation, officials said.

Last Updated: Dec 15, 2010, 00:45 AM IST

Taipei: Taiwan and China on Tuesday agreed to
hold a fresh round of negotiations next week focusing on
medical and health cooperation, officials said.

Top Taiwanese envoy Kao Koong-lian arranged the talks
with Chinese counterpart Zheng Lizhong in Shanghai, said
Taiwan`s Straits Exchange Foundation, which handles civil
exchanges with the mainland in the absence of official
contacts.

China`s chief negotiator Chen Yunlin is scheduled to
fly to Taipei on Monday and hold talks with his Taiwanese
counterpart Chiang Pin-kung the following day, it said.

At the centre of the talks -- the sixth round since
June 2008 -- will be epidemic control measures and research
and development of medicines, herbal medicines and emergency
cures.

Chen will also meet Lai Shin-yuan, the chairman of the
island`s major China policy decision-making body, the Mainland
Affairs Council.

But a much-anticipated deal to protect both sides`
cross-Strait investments will not be signed due to a lack of
consensus "as the agreement involves complicated problems, and
more discussions will be needed before it can be signed", the
Foundation said.

Taiwanese businesses are among the biggest overseas
players in mainland China, with at least 80 billion dollars
invested, and there has been some clamour for a deal to be
struck.

Taipei and Beijing forged a comprehensive trade pact
in June, known as the "Economic Cooperation Framework
Agreement" (ECFA), that marked the culmination of the
China-friendly policies of Taiwan`s President Ma Ying-jeou.

Ties have improved markedly since Ma took office in
2008, with the two sides resuming routine high-level direct
talks and adopting various measures to boost trade and
tourism.

PTI