Island's top negotiator hopeful that summit will not be delayed

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 26 September, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 26 September, 2009, 12:00am

The fourth cross-strait summit will hopefully be held by November as scheduled, Taiwan's top negotiator with the mainland said yesterday.

Chiang Pin-kung, chairman of the Straits Exchange Foundation, said he believed recent political rows over the Dalai Lama's Taiwan trip and the screening of a documentary about Uygur leader Rebiya Kadeer in Kaohsiung would not delay talks with mainland counterpart Chen Yunlin, president of the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait.

He said a major topic of the next summit would be mutual tariff exemption. 'The aim is to promote bilateral free trade through the reduction and waiving of tariffs, and the opening up of the market,' he said.

Chiang said a draft text of the cross-strait memorandum of understanding on financial services was ready, with only some details yet to be sorted out.

As for the proposed economic co-operation framework agreement, he said more time was needed to discuss technical issues and preparations would not be completed until the fifth cross-strait summit, to be held early next year.

Chiang arrived in the city yesterday to attend a symposium at the University of Hong Kong.