Trade talks with Taiwan to continue
Updated: 2014-06-12 06:52
By An Baijie (China Daily)
A Taiwan booth is pictured at a trade exhibition held in Dandong, Liaoning province, Oct 11, 2013. [Photo / IC]
Mainland authorities have not halted trade negotiations with Taiwan after a service trade pact was blocked by the island's legislators, a mainland spokeswoman said on Wednesday.
Fan Liqing, spokeswoman for the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council, said administrative authorities and relevant industries across the Straits have maintained communications and exchanges over possible trade-in-goods agreements and a mechanism for dispute resolution.
She made the remarks at a regular news conference in response to a media report that the mainland had suspended dialogue with Taiwan on such issues.
"It is untrue," she said of the report. "We have not changed our attitude on enhancing cross-Straits economic cooperation and pushing forward on follow-up agreements to the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement."
The mainland would like to share the opportunities of economic development with Taiwan compatriots, which is a consistent policy, she said, adding that cross-Straits economic cooperation should not be hampered by the recent incident.
Her comments came after the suspension of a cross-Straits service trade pact, which was signed a year ago but was boycotted by the island's legislative authorities. The pact aims to open up 80 of the mainland's service sectors to Taiwan and 64 Taiwan sectors to the mainland.
Protests launched by hundreds of students that lasted for weeks forced the pact to be returned to the island's legislative authority for detailed review in April.
At the news conference, Fan also said that although the mainland and Taiwan have yet to be reunified, the fact that both belong to one China has never changed, and China's sovereignty and territory have always been indivisible.
"Issues concerning China's sovereignty and territorial integrity should be decided by all Chinese, including compatriots in Taiwan," she said while commenting on Tainan Mayor William Lai's remarks about "Taiwan independence".
During his recent visit to Shanghai, Lai said Taiwan's future should be decided by its 23 million people.
The mainland firmly opposes "Taiwan independence" and secessionist attempts, Fan said.
Cross-Straits communications have been enhanced in recent years, and 1.84 million mainland tourists had visited Taiwan by late April since the island lifted the ban on mainland individual travelers in June 2011, she said.
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