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Backgrounder: Key talks between ARATS, SEF

Updated: 06 20 , 2013 08:48
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BEIJING -- Lin Join-sane, chairman of the Taiwan-based Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF), will hold talks with Chen Deming, president of the Chinese mainland-based Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS), on Friday in Shanghai.

The talks are the first of their kind since the two newly-elected leaders took office, and also the ninth between the two sides since the SEF and ARATS resumed talks in June 2008 after a nine-year suspension.

The meeting is expected to result in the signing of a cross-Strait service trade agreement.

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

The following is a summary of previous talks between the organizations:

From June 12 to 14, 2008, the ARATS and SEF leaders held their first talks since 1999 in Beijing. They signed agreements on weekend charter flights and tourism.

On Nov. 3, 2008, Chen Yunlin, then president of the ARATS, led a delegation to Taiwan for a historic five-day visit, and signed four agreements on direct shipping, air transport, postal services and food safety.

On April 26, 2009, Chen Yunlin and Chiang Pin-kung, then chairman of the SEF, signed three agreements on opening regular flights, cooperating in finance and cracking down on crime during talks in Nanjing, capital of east China's Jiangsu Province. The two sides also agreed to help boost investment by mainland companies in the island.

On Dec. 22, 2009, mainland and Taiwan negotiators agreed to cooperate in farm produce quarantine and cross-Strait employment of fishermen, as well as to deal with different product quality standards, at the fourth round of talks.

On June 30, 2010, Chen and Jiang signed the long-awaited Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement in southwest China's Chongqing, a move hailed by many as a milestone in cross-Strait relations, at the fifth round of talks. The two sides also signed an agreement on intellectual property rights protection.

On Dec. 21, 2010, talks were held in Taipei, where both sides signed a medical and health cooperation agreement and discussed an investment protection deal.

On Oct. 20, 2011, the seventh round of talks between Chen and Chiang was held in Tianjin, with both sides signing an agreement on cross-Strait cooperation concerning nuclear safety and a joint statement regarding the acceleration of negotiations for a future cross-Strait investment protection agreement.

On Aug. 9, 2012, the eighth round of talks between Chen and Chiang took place in Taipei, where the two sides signed two agreements on cross-Strait investment protection and customs cooperation.

Lin Join-sane was elected chairman of the SEF in September, 2012.

In April of this year, Chen Deming was elected ARATS president.