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ECFA heralds cross-strait government-to-government links: MAC

Focus Taiwan News Channel, Taiwan

ECFA heralds cross-strait government-to-government links: MAC

11 September 2010

By Tsao Yu-fan and Y.F. Low

Brussels, Sept. 10 (CNA) Taiwan and China will be able to develop government-to-government links under the economic cooperation framework agreement (ECFA) signed in June, which will help boost mutual understanding and goodwill, a Taiwanese official said in the Belgian capital Friday.

Such direct contact will facilitate the resolution of differences and other contentious problems existing between the two sides, Mainland Affairs Council Chairwoman Lai Shin-yuan said at the Asia-Pacific Security Forum, co-hosted by the European Institute for Asian Studies and the Taiwan-based Institute for National Policy Research.

The ECFA was scheduled to take effect Sunday, after Taiwan notified China that the agreement had been endorsed by the Legislative Yuan.

According to the agreement, the authorities on the two sides of the strait will each designate liaison officers who will consult with each other to facilitate the pact’s implementation.

Asked if Taiwan and China will be able to resolve their sensitive political problems, Lai expressed confidence that they will work together to overcome these problems with patience and negotiation skills.

She pointed out that the two sides have signed 14 agreements over the past two years despite the many difficulties involved, and that this herculean negotiation process has led to deeper understanding and trust.

On the issue of whether the signing of the ECFA will be helpful to Taiwan’s efforts to sign free trade agreements (FTAs) with other countries, Lai said several countries have indicated their intention to begin FTA negotiations with Taiwan following the conclusion of the ECFA and that the government is happy to see this progress.