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Mainland, Taiwan look to sign more agreements: spokesman

BEIJING, Jan. 15 (Xinhua) -- Negotiators from the Chinese mainland and Taiwan are expected to sign more agreements during upcoming talks, a Beijing spokesman said on Wednesday.

Agreements on the avoidance of double taxation, meteorological monitoring and earthquake monitoring cooperation are expected to be signed by negotiators from the two sides, said Ma Xiaoguang, spokesman for the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council.

"I hope the tenth round of talks between chiefs of the mainland-based Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS) and its Taiwanese counterpart, Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF), will be held as soon as possible after the Chinese Lunar New Year on Jan. 31," Ma said.

The SEF and ARATS resumed talks in June 2008 after a nine-year suspension.

The agreement on the avoidance of double taxation, which has long been awaited by Taiwanese investors, is under discussion by negotiators from the Chinese mainland and Taiwan, Ma said.

Noting a cross-Strait service trade agreement signed in June by the two sides, the spokesman said he hopes the agreement can come into effect soon and boost cross-Strait economic development.

In addition, Ma said that progress has been made on the establishment of offices on each other's side of the Strait.

Founded in 1991 and 1990 respectively, the ARATS and SEF are authorized by the mainland and Taiwan to handle cross-Strait affairs.