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(May 11, 2009) On April 26, 2009, in Nanjing, mainland China and Taiwan signed three agreements to improve relations across the Taiwan Strait. Chen Yunlin, President of the mainland-based Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS), and Chiang Pin-kung, Chairman of the Taiwan-based Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF), signed the agreements. The two sides also reached consensus on allowing mainland companies to invest in Taiwan. Highlights of the agreements are as follows:

1. The Supplementary Agreement on Cross-Strait Air Traffic Supply

Under the agreement, the two sides will launch regular passenger and cargo flights across the Taiwan Strait. Previously, direct cross-Strait flight services were only provided on weekends and during traditional festivals. The number of flights will increase to 270 each week from the current 108. In addition to the current 21 terminals, the mainland will open another six – in Hefei, Harbin, Nanchang, Guiyang, Ningbo, and Jinan – for direct passenger flights. Taiwan has eight terminals, two for regular flights and six for chartered flights. (Text in Chinese, XINHUANET, Apr. 26, 2009, available at http://news.xinhuanet.com/newscenter/2009-04/26/content_11261111.htm.)

2. The Agreement on Cross-Strait Financial Cooperation

According to the agreement, the two sides will continue to discuss issues concerning mutual market access for financial institutions. The two sides agree to facilitate commercial financial institutions' setting up branches in each other's territory. A currency clearing system will be established, gradually, between the Taiwan dollar and Chinese Renminbi. (Text in Chinese, XINHUANET, Apr. 26, 2009, available at http://news.xinhuanet.com/newscenter/2009-04/26/content_11260834.htm.)

3. The Agreement on Cross-Strait Mutual Judicial Assistance in Criminal Matters

The two sides agree to exchange crime-related information and help each other in investigation and evidence collection. Each side is also responsible for helping the other to identify witnesses and to seize and repatriate criminals and suspects. According to the agreement, the two sides will collaborate particularly in fighting major crimes, such as those involving kidnapping, weapons, drugs, and human trafficking, in addition to cross-Strait organized crimes. Also targeted are the economic crimes of embezzlement, fraud, money laundering, and forging or falsifying currencies and securities; graft and bribery; and terrorism. (Text in Chinese, XINHUANET, Apr. 26, 2009, available at http://news.xinhuanet.com/newscenter/2009-04/26/content_11260584.htm.)

The three agreements will enter into force no later than 60 days after signature. This was the third round of talks between the ARATS and the SEF since last June, during which the two sides have signed six agreements on weekend charter flights, tourism, direct shipping, air transport, postal services, and food safety. The fourth round of talks will be held in Taipei later this year. (ARATS, SEF Sign Agreements on Regular Flights, Financial, Judicial Co-op, XINHUANET, Apr. 26, 2009, available at http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2009-04/26/content_11259882.htm; for information on prior agreements, see China/Taiwan: Agreements on Direct Transport, Mail, and Food Safety, GLOBAL LEGAL MONITOR, available at http://www.loc.gov/lawweb/servlet/lloc_news?disp3_768_text.)

Author: Laney Zhang More by this author
Topic: International affairs More on this topic
Jurisdiction: China More about this jurisdiction
 Taiwan More about this jurisdiction

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Last updated: 05/11/2009