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Taiwan-based Straits Exchange Foundation reelects chairman
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The Taiwan-based Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) reelected Chiang Pin-kun as its chairman Tuesday.

Addressing the SEF board meeting after his election, Chiang, who just led the organization through recent talks with the mainland, said: "the two sides of the Straits still have a lot to discuss so the SEF and mainland-based Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS) have a lot of work to do," .

The SEF and ARATS agreed at their meeting in Taipei last month to talk about establishing regular cross-Straits exchanges regarding financial business, investment, industry and fishing in their next round of talks.

"We will follow the agenda of discussion and try to reach the agreements as soon as possible," Chiang Pin-kun said.

A date for that meeting has not been set, however, Chiang told the media in mid-November that it would be held within six months.

"It is a time of opportunity in cross-Straits relations. I believe, through joint efforts, the two sides will get over ideological differences and difficulties, expand exchanges and cooperation to reach a new stage of peace and mutual benefits."

There will be more visits between SEF and ARATS officials. The two organizations also organized a meeting between experts in various fields from both sides.

Chiang was appointed chairman in May this year after the SEF was restructured.

Kao Koong-lian remained SEF vice chairman and secretary general. Fu Don-cheng, deputy chief of Taiwan's mainland affairs department, and Hsu Sheng-hsiung, a local tycoon, were elected vice chairmen.

(Xinhua News Agency December 2, 2008)

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