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Mainland Hopes to Resume Natural Sand Trade with Taiwan 'ASAP': Official
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The mainland is willing to resume trade with Taiwan in natural sand "as soon as conditions are ripe", a mainland spokesman said on Wednesday.

The mainland stopped the export of natural sand, a resource Taiwan's construction industry depends on the mainland to supply, on March 31.

The mainland has established an effective negotiation mechanism with Hong Kong and Macao and resumed the trade with the two regions, said Yang Yi, spokesman for the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council at a regular press conference.

But such a negotiation mechanism is yet to be set up with Taiwan, he said.

The mainland has previously complained that obstacles created by the Taiwan authorities have hindered talks across the Taiwan Strait on natural sand.

It also urged the Taiwan to consider the fundamental interests of the people on both sides of the Strait and remove barriers to negotiations, in order to create "ripe conditions".

In recent years, the mainland has boosted cross-Strait trade ties, including promoting the sales of Taiwan fruit, vegetables and aquatic products on the mainland.

Yang also rejected rumors that the mainland will ban the establishment of new schools for the children of Taiwan businessmen.

The mainland has never issued such a ban, he said. Taiwan businessmen have to decide themselves whether or not to set up new schools for their children in areas where they have invested heavily.

The mainland now has three schools for the children of Taiwan businessmen -- in Dongguan City in south China's Guangdong Province, Kunshan City in east China's Jiangsu Province and Shanghai.

(Xinhua News Agency April 26, 2007)

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