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CPC, PFP Plan Forum to Promote Straits Ties

A forum involving leading scholars and businesspeople will take place in Shanghai next month to promote relations across the Taiwan Straits.

The announcement on the Cross-Straits Non-governmental Forum of Elites was made by Chen Yunlin, director of the Taiwan Work Office of the Communist Party of China's (CPC) Central Committee yesterday in Beijing.

Chen met a delegation from Taiwan's People First Party (PFP) headed by Chin Chin-sheng at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing.

The forum the first of its kind will be held in Shanghai between September 14 and 16. The delegation will leave today to return to Taiwan.

Chin, PFP secretary-general, praised the mainland's effort in helping to ease the sale of Taiwan's agricultural products on the mainland, simplifying procedures for Taiwanese compatriots' traveling to and from the mainland, and equalizing tuition fees for Taiwanese students studying on the mainland.

"There are still some issues that need further efforts from both sides, and the forum in Shanghai will provide a good opportunity for discussion," Chin said.

During their meeting, both sides promised to take further measures to implement the consensus reached in May by Hu Jintao, general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, and James Soong, PFP chairman.

Among the issues were direct air links between the mainland and Taiwan and the protection of Taiwanese business people's rights and interests.

Chang Hsien-yao, director of the PFP's policy centre, said the forum in Shanghai will be a platform for cross-Straits exchanges and communications and will deal only with economic and trade issues.

Hu and Soong held a formal meeting on May 12 in Beijing, and a communique was issued in which the two parties agreed to help establish a non-governmental forum of top scholars and businesspeople to study various policy ideas and proposals to promote better relations.

(China Daily August 23, 2005)

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China Taiwan Information Center
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