Without specifics, China calls for closer Taiwan ties
Date Published: 03/05/2009
Keith Bradsher, New York Times, March 5, 2009
In his opening speech to the National People’s Congress, Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao called for closer political and economic relations with Taiwan, but did not offer any specifics or expand on a previous suggestion by President Hu Jintao to improve communication with Taiwan on military issues. Mr. Wen mentioned the gradual integration of banking and other financial services across the Taiwan Straits and the drafting of an agreement on economic cooperation that could eventually lead to a free-trade agreement between the two sides. In addition, he called for “fair and reasonable arrangements” on Taiwanese participation in international organizations, but without providing any details on how this could be achieved. Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council said in a statement that Taipei is satisfied with focusing on economic issues for now. – posted by Catherine Gao
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