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Institutionalized cross-Strait ties deepening: spokesperson

 

Fan Liqing, spokesperson of the State Council Taiwan Affairs Office (SCTAO), answers questions at a regular press conference on May.27,2015.

BEIJING, May 27 (Xinhua) -- A meeting between cross-Strait affairs chiefs over the weekend demonstrated the sound contact mechanism between the Chinese mainland and Taiwan, a spokesperson said on Wednesday.

"[The meeting] showed that institutionalized cross-Strait ties are deepening," Fan Liqing, spokesperson for the State Council Taiwan Affairs Office, said at a press conference.

During the meeting with Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Chief Andrew Hsia in Kinmen County, Taiwan, on Saturday, the mainland's Taiwan Affairs Chief Zhang Zhijun said they should avoid relations across the Taiwan Strait regressing to its previous state.

"Both sides should be determined to protect cross-Strait relations from U-turns and setbacks. These are also the shared aspirations of compatriots across the Strait," Zhang said.

The two sides agreed to facilitate a water supply contract between Fujian Province and Kinmen in order to start construction as early as possible.

They also agreed to push forward consultations, reach a consensus on the agreement of commodity trade, and hold the 11th talk between heads of the mainland's Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS) and Taiwan's Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) soon.

They said they would conclude consultations on allowing the ARATS and SEF to set up offices on each other's side "as early as possible".

In addition, the two sides agreed to promote negotiations on allowing mainland air travelers to transfer in Taiwan and strive to reach an agreement by midyear.

Relations between the two sides were deadlocked after 1949, when the Kuomintang (KMT) party was defeated by the Communist Party of China and fled to Taiwan in 1949. Cross-Strait ties improved after the KMT won an election in 2008.

Cross-Strait affairs chiefs were involved in mutual visits last year and set up a regular communication mechanism amid warming ties.

In a major breakthrough, Zhang made his long-awaited trip to Taiwan in June last year as the first Taiwan affairs chief from the mainland to do so in 65 years.