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New round of cross-Strait talks to be held on June 21

Updated: 06 24 , 2013 16:25
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TAIPEI -- The ninth round of talks between chief negotiators from the Chinese mainland and Taiwan will be held in Shanghai on June 21, as decided during a consultation held here on Friday.

The two sides are expected to sign a cross-Strait service trade agreement at the upcoming talks, negotiators at the consultation said.

The Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS) Executive Vice President Zheng Lizhong and Taiwan-based Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) Vice Chairman Kao Koong-lian co-chaired the consultation to fix the details for the new round of talks.

"As an important constituent part of follow-up negotiations on the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement, the service trade agreement is rich in content and has a great impact on society," Zheng said.

"It is pertinent to the vital interests of service providers and to the future development of the service industries on both sides of the Taiwan Strait. It has attracted great attention from the industries on both sides," he said.

Following two years of negotiations that wrapped up in late March, the agreement will be submitted to the leaders of the ARATS and the SEF at the ninth round of talks for confirmation and signing, according to Zheng.

"We believe that the signing of the agreement will deepen cross-Strait economic cooperation based on mutual benefit, embrace a new period of rapid development for the service industry and create a broader space for industry transformation and upgrading for both sides," he said.

Kao hailed the service trade agreement on Friday, describing it as "mutually beneficial and win-win."

"For Taiwan, it can help tap the mainland market, promote the development of the service industry and create more job opportunities. And for the mainland, it can also help accelerate the growth of the service industry and allow people on the mainland to enjoy quality services," Kao said.

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

The upcoming talks, the ninth round of talks for the two institutions since 2008, will mark the first talks between the new chief negotiators from the two sides.

Former Commerce Minister Chen Deming was elected ARATS president in April, and his counterpart in Taiwan, Lin Join-sane, was elected the SEF's new chief in September 2012.