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Taiwan leader Ma Ying-jeou meets ARATS chief
6/11/2008 17:56

Taiwan leader Ma Ying-jeou met with chief of mainland's Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait (ARATS) Chen Yunlin in Taipei at 11:00 am today.
Ma said during the meeting that the landmark talks between Chen and Taiwan's Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) chairman Chiang Pin-kung in Taiwan were significant and marked a big step in cross-strait relations.
Ma said he believed the development was the wish of the people of both sides and would contribute to cross-strait stability and prosperity.
Chen is in Taiwan for a historic five-day visit at the invitation of the SEF. His visit is the first ever meeting between the ARATS and SEF leaders in Taiwan.
On Tuesday, Chen and Chiang held talks and signed four agreements on direct shipping and flights, postal services and food safety. Professionals from the mainland and Taiwan also discussed financial and economic cooperation.
Ma said the talks between the ARATS and the SEF had been fruitful and would have a positive impact on facilitating cross-strait personnel exchanges, boosting economic and trade ties, strengthening food safety and coping with global financial turmoil.
Ma said differences and challenges still remained between the mainland and Taiwan. He expressed his hope that the two sides would handle the differences with a positive attitude and keep cooperating.
He hoped for more high-level visits between the mainland and Taiwan and for more beneficial talks between the ARATS and the SEF.
Ma and Chen exchanged gifts at the meeting, which took place in a hotel. Chen presented Ma with a painting of a galloping horse. Ma's surname means horse in Chinese language. Ma gave Chen a fine porcelain ornament.
Chiang and other members of the SEF were also at the meeting, which lasted only about five minutes.