Progress over hijackers

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 24 November, 1994, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 24 November, 1994, 12:00am

CHINA and Taiwan have made progress on the issue of repatriating airline hijackers and stowaways across the Taiwan Strait, but differences of opinion remain, according to reports from both sides.

Repatriation was the main subject under discussion at the six-day meeting between members of the mainland-based Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait (ARATS) and its Taiwan counterpart, the Straits Exchange Foundation.

'The topic has been under discussion for more than one year and the way remains open for further progress,' ARATS deputy secretary general Sun Yafu said after a 21/2-hour meeting with his Taiwanese counterpart Hsu Hui-you.

The talks, held in Nanjing, are primarily aimed at reaching consensus on the wording of documents relating to such issues as the repatriation of hijackers and stowaways, as well as fishery disputes.

If a consensus is forthcoming, the documents will be signed into binding agreements at a later date.

An agreement was reached in principle on the hijacking question during August talks in Taipei.

But according to the semi-official Hong Kong China News Agency yesterday, both sides have yet to iron out some of their differences over the wordings of the agreement.

These differences include whether punishments should be applied to all stowaways.

The negotiators were also debating the definition of the locations to be used in the repatriation of the stowaways but expressed optimism that such differences could be bridged at the end of the six-day talks.