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China's Taiwan Policy Head Gives Positive Response to Taiwan's TPP & RCEP Membership During Historic Visit

Jul 01, 2014 | By CENS

Zhang Zhijun, director of the Taiwan Affairs Office of China's State Council, responded favorably to Taiwan's aim of joining the Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership Agreement (TPP) and Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) during a four-day (June 25-28) visit to Taiwan.

Zhang is the highest-ranking mainland Chinese official to visit the island since 1949, when the Kuomintang (KMT) government lost the civil war in China and withdrew to Taiwan. Zhang's trip followed a visit to China in February by his Taiwanese counterpart, Y. C. Wang, Minister of the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC).

Zhang held a formal meeting with Wang on the day of his arrival in Taiwan, when he noted that the overall status of cross-strait relations has been stable and that the direction of the development of peaceful cross-strait ties has not changed.

During the meeting, Wang emphasized that Taiwan has a strong intention of joining TPP and RCEP, as the two groupings will play an important role in the future of Taiwan's external trade and will have a significant influence on the island's economy. Zhang gave a positive response to Wang's statement, and expressed the hope that the two sides will work together to figure out practicable measures for promoting cross-trait economic development as well as regional economic cooperation.

The two sides agreed to bolster the communication channel between their agencies, deepen exchanges, and settle major problems in cross-strait ties. They agreed to continue negotiations on allowing the mainland's Association for Relations across the Taiwan Straits and Taiwan's Straits Exchange Foundation to set up offices in each other's territory, and to work out remaining issues as quickly as possible.

In addition, the two officials agreed to foster the cross-strait tourism market and promote cultural, educational, scientific, and media exchanges. Zhang expressed the hope that the two sides can enhance mutual political trust, step up communication and cooperation, and boost grassroots exchanges between people, especially the younger generation, from the two sides of the Taiwan Strait.

During his stay on the island, Zhang visited New Taipei City, Taichung City, Kaohsiung City, and Changhua County, meeting with the heads of governments, small- and medium-sized enterprises, and ordinary people there. (JL)


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