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Taiwan industrial associations welcome ARATS chief's visit
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Seven industrial and commercial associations in Taiwan on Tuesday voiced support and welcome for the visit of mainland-based Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS) president Chen Yunlin.

The associations said in a joint statement that although different parties on the island hold different opinions about Chen's visit, the associations, concerned about Taiwan's economic development, want to express support to the authority's invitation of Chen to have dialogue.

The statement said only through dialogue could the two sides find a practical solution to the complicated cross-Strait relations, and the associations welcome Chen's visit so that the two sides could reach agreements on issues of mutual concern.

The practical measures taken by the new Taiwan authority since May 20, including weekend charter flights and allowing mainland tourists to visit Taiwan, have eased tensions in cross-Strait ties and promoted economic and trade development.

Facing an unfavorable global financial and economic situation, Taiwan should consider how to strengthen the cross-Strait trade and economic cooperation to alleviate its impact on the island.

They urged all sides to rationally view Chen's visit at such a moment, and have consultations with the mainland in the best interests of Taiwan.

The food safety issue on the mainland has created uneasiness on the island, and Taiwan should take advantage of Chen's visit to consult and make an agreement on food safety cooperation to safeguard Taiwan's interests, the statement said.

(Xinhua News Agency October 29, 2008)

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