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Taiwan and China to Hold Talks, Boost Economic Cooperation བོད་སྐད།

Taiwan's top negotiator on relations with China says that talks between the two sides this Sunday - in the eastern Chinese city of Nanjing - will open a new era in relations between Taipei and Beijing.

In a statement Friday, Chiang Pin-kung said that the two sides would discuss a partial free-trade agreement during the talks and sign agreements to increase economic cooperation.

Chiang is the head of Taiwan's Straits Exchange Foundation - a semi-official body responsible for holding talks with China.

Chiang says that in the coming days, Taiwan will release a statement regarding Chinese investment on the island. The two sides are also expected to sign agreements regarding the increase of direct flights and establishing a framework to allow banks from both sides to establish branch offices.

Last June, Taipei and Beijing held their first talks in a decade and agreed to begin daily charter flights, direct sea and postal service, and to increase the number of Chinese tourists visiting Taiwan

Negotiators have said that this round of talks will focus on increased collaboration to counter the global economic crisis.

In recent months, Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou has made a partial free trade agreement with Beijing a top goal, saying it is necessary to help the island maintain its competitive standing in the region.

The pact would permit the free flow of many goods, services and capital between the island and China.

In addition to the economic cooperation the two sides are also expected to sign an agreement on crime-fighting.

Beijing has long claimed that self-ruled Taiwan is part of its own territory and vowed to bring the island under its rule, by force, if necessary.