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    » 11/07/2008, 00.00


    "Historic" visit of Beijing envoy to Taiwan concludes

    Trade agreements, a visit to President Ma, economic prospects. The voyage of Chen Yunlin had many positive aspects, although it was marked by many anti-Chinese demonstrations.

    Taipei (AsiaNews/Agencies) - With an embrace of his counterpart, Chiang Pin-kung, Chinese negotiator Chen Yunlin this morning said goodbye to Taiwan after the visit that many defined as "historic." The five-day visit of the highest representative from Beijing to visit the island so far kicked off a variety of trade agreements, although many protests marked each step of the negotiator.

    The more important agreements include an increase of direct flights and the opening of direct naval contact, which should increase commercial exchange between the two sides. Postal connections were also approved, and a commission for food safety.

    Before leaving the hotel to go to the airport, Chen admitted that "the road ahead is still very long," and that "we expect to find this and that difficulty, but we will overcome those to fulfil expectations of compatriots of both sides [of the strait]." Yesterday, as the representative of Beijing, he also met with the Taiwanese president, which had not happened for 60 years.

    Yesterday evening, 64 policemen were injured during a clash between security forces - defending the hotel where Chen was staying - and about a thousand demonstrators. Before his departure, Chen also thanked the Taiwanese police for protecting him during the anti-Chinese demonstrations.

    The next meeting between Chinese and Taiwanese demonstrators is expected to take place within six months. Analysts attribute the thaw in relations to Ma Ying-jeou, Taiwan's president, who was elected last May, and whose new approach toward China is less conflictual than that of his predecessor, Chen Shuibian. But the reasons also include the serious financial crisis, which is affecting China and Taiwan. The next meeting of negotiators will also address financial problems.

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    See also

    06/11/2008 TAIWAN - CHINA
    Historic handshake between Ma Ying-jeou and Beijing envoy
    It is the first time since 1949. The Taiwanese president also explained that in the name of the "welfare" of all, the security of Taiwan and its international status must also be addressed.

    20/02/2009 CHINA - INDIA
    India announces tariffs on Chinese aluminum: trade war fears on the rise
    In January, New Delhi banned Chinese toys for six months, for safety reasons. Annual trade between the two countries amounts to 51.8 billion dollars, but is increasing rapidly.

    10/02/2009 CHINA - AFRICA
    Hu Jintao begins first trip to Africa in the age of the global crisis
    For years, China has been extending its economic ties with African countries, buying raw materials. Beijing loves to present itself as a friendly country, but is often accused of colonial exploitation. Now, in a period of crisis, competition with Western countries is diminishing.

    23/04/2009 TAIWAN - CHINA
    Direct flights between China and Taiwan will be increased for the sake of more profit
    The idea is to double them to more than 200 per week. Behind the desire for closer relations is also pure economic calculation by the Chinese airlines, which are looking to tap in to a lucrative market.

    27/04/2009 TAIWAN - CHINA
    "New era" between China and Taiwan begins with agreements signed yesterday
    Deal covers cross-strait financial services, direct investment by Taiwanese companies in China, more direct flights, and co-operation on criminal investigations. The two sides stress their mutual desire for ever closer cooperation, especially economic.

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