10/15/2009, 00.00
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Business, agriculture and manufacturing at the fourth round of talks between China and Taiwan

The meeting is scheduled for mid-December in Taichung. Security measures are set to be tightened to prevent demonstrations. Beijing and Taipei are increasingly closer despite opposition by pro-independence groups. Chinese delegation will not travel to Kaohsiung in guided tour because it hosted the Dalai Lama and screened a documentary on a Uyghur activist.
Taipei (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Double taxation, agricultural products inspection, fisheries co-operation and industry standards certification will be the top priorities in cross-trait talks that will take place in the middle of December in Taichung City (west-central Taiwan). Relations between the two countries will be further strengthened by this round of talks, now that they have air and maritime links.  

To prevent incidents, “Taichung will beef up security arrangements,” said Jason Hu, the city’s Mayor. He did not reveal the exact venue where the two delegations will meet.

Unfazed by Hu’s promise of tight security during the upcoming talks, Chen Da-chun, director of the Democratic Progressive Party’s Taichung Office, said he would petition DPP headquarters to organise protests against the meeting because it jeopardises Taiwan’s sovereignty.

Chiang Pin-kung, chairman of Taiwan's quasi-official Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF), will meet the chairman of the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS), Chen Yunlin. The two will exchange views on a quasi-free-trade pact that the island hopes to sign with the mainland, but official talks on the formation of this Economic Co-operation Framework Agreement will be held separately.

Participants in the talks will avoid politically sensitive Kaohsiung—a stronghold for pro-independence supporters in southern Taiwan.

Tibet’s spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, recently travelled to the city to visit areas devastated by typhoon Morakot.

City authorities also allowed the screening of a controversial documentary on Uygur activist Rebiya Kadeer at the city's film festival  

Both decisions sparked protests in the mainland, which has accused the local government of fuelling pro-independence claims in Tibet and Xinjiang.

For this reason, Beijing decided its delegation would not visit the city in any guided tour, probably fearful that it would be met by huge protests.

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