Taichung (AsiaNews/Agencies) – China and Taiwan signed agreements on industrial, fishery and agricultural co-operation; however, they did not finalise their Economic Co-operation Framework Agreement.
The three deals were came during the fourth round of direct bilateral talks between the two parties, which were held behind layers of protective barbed wire, far from protesters.
A double taxation avoidance agreement was cancelled at the last minute
The comprehensive agreement “has been made an important agenda item for the fifth round of cross-strait talks in the second half of next year," said Zheng Lizhong, vice-chairman of Beijing's Association for Relations across the Taiwan Strait.
With yesterday’s agreements, the two sides now have signed 12 deals since June 2008, a month after the Kuomintang (KMT) came back to power under President Ma Ying-jeou.
Ma, a former mayor of Taipei, was responsible for the KMT’s return to power after eight years under the Democratic Progressive Party, and for pushing ahead with talks with the mainland.
However, his party suffered a defeat in recent municipal elections and his government has had to rethink its position in light of vociferous protests against the presence of a mainland delegation on the island
Many in Taiwan are in fact afraid that too much reliance on the mainland would inevitably lead to a loss of national sovereignty.
Indeed, protests continued throughout the four-day Sino-Taiwanese meeting, with thousands of people gathering across from the Windsor Hotel, the venue for the talks, to protest.
Pro-independence Taiwanese and members of the Falun Gong were particularly active.
The latter have especially slammed China for its brutal repression of the spiritual movement on the mainland.