The European Union (EU) on Tuesday welcomed the new agreements signed by the Chinese mainland and Taiwan, calling them "a significant positive step toward finding pragmatic solutions that benefit people on both sides of the Straits".
In a statement, the EU's High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy, Javier Solana, applauded "the determination of both sides to take up these opportunities that contribute to reinforcing stability and security in East Asia."
Earlier on Tuesday, Chen Yunlin, president of the Chinese mainland's Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS), and Chiang Pin-kung, chairman of the Taiwan-based Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF), signed in Taipei four agreements on direct shipping and flights, postal services and food safety.
The agreements are expected to end a situation that has prevailed since 1949, which required air and sea movements between the Chinese mainland and Taiwan to go through a third place.
"The European Union has always taken the firm view that the Taiwan question must be resolved peacefully through constructive dialogue. Today's agreement represents a significant positive step toward finding pragmatic solutions that benefit both sides of the Straits," said Solana.
He also reiterated that the EU will continue to adhere to the one-China policy, and will provide firm support to future initiatives that advance meaningful dialogue across the Taiwan Straits.
(Xinhua News Agency November 5, 2008)