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Taiwan, China eye talks in October: report

world Updated: Sep 29, 2008 13:18 IST
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Taiwan and its rival China are expected to hold a second round of negotiations next month following historic talks in June, a newspaper reported on Monday.

The discussions will focus on direct cargo flights and shipping links as well as the shortening of the existing flight routes across the Strait, the United Daily News said, without identifying its sources.

The two sides held landmark talks in Beijing in June aimed at easing decades of tensions, and negotiators agreed to establish regular direct flights across the Strait, finally ending forced stopovers in Hong Kong.

However, air carriers currently only provide weekend charter flights and are still required to have their passenger aircraft fly over the skies of third locations, mostly Hong Kong, for Taiwan's security considerations.

But Taiwan's China-friendly president, Ma Ying-jeou, has pledged to remove the restrictions.

The newspaper said China's chief negotiator, Chen Yunlin, would meet Ma and Kuomintang Chairman Wu Poh-hsiung.

Tensions between Taipei and Beijing have eased since Ma took office on May 20.

Ma rose to power on a platform of building closer trade and political ties with China, in contrast to his predecessor Chen Shui-bian, who deeply angered Beijing with his efforts to steer the island towards independence.

Trade and travel links between China and Taiwan have been severely restricted since the two sides split at the end of a civil war in 1949.

Beijing considers the self-ruled island to be part of its territory awaiting reunification, by force if necessary.

The Beijing talks in June were the first direct dialogue between the two sides in a decade since China suspended the process amid acrimony over sovereignty.