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Taiwan lukewarm to signing economic cooperation pact with Hong Kong

2011/01/26 22:46:39

Taipei, Jan. 26 (CNA) Taiwan said Wednesday that it's not in ahurry to ink an economic cooperation agreement with Hong Kong.

"We are occupied with many other matters and have yet to begin towork on the Hong Kong deal, " Minister Shih Yen-shiang of EconomicAffairs said, in response to a remark made by a Chinese official thatBeijing supports an economic pact between Hong Kong and Taiwan.

Shih, however, said that Hong Kong had conveyed its wish to inksuch an agreement with Taiwan through a certain channel.

Shih pointed out that Taiwan has been promoting the signing of aneconomic partnership agreement with Singapore. Now the two sides arein a "friendly" atmosphere, he said, adding that his ministry willmake a public statement at the time when their talks on the proposedpact achieve progress.

Fan Liqing, spokeswoman for the Taiwan Affairs Office underChina's State Council, said at a press conference in Beijing earlierthat same day that China supports the Hong Kong government in itsmove to forge with Taiwan an economic cooperation agreement to boostmutual exchanges.

(By Lin Shu-yuan and Elizabeth Hsu)