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Taiwan, China see potential in joint environmental protection

2012/04/23 13:54:57

Taipei, April 23 (CNA) Taiwan and China will eventually include the issue of environmental protection in their institutionalized talks, the head of the Taipei-based Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) said Monday.

"Following their agreements on transportation and economic affairs, both sides could gradually move to an agenda of environmental protection," said SEF Chairman Chiang Pin-kung during the first Cross-Strait Environmental Summit.

Chiang said he hopes the SEF and its counterpart the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS) could sign an agreement on environmental protection in the next stage of their negotiations.

The SEF and the ARATS, semi-official bodies responsible for cross-strait negotiations in the absence of formal government contact,

have sealed 17 agreements in the last four years since they resumed high-level talks.

The two-day summit in Taipei has attracted some 150 environmental experts from Taiwan, China and the United States, who are discussing topics such as air pollution, waste management, and the potential for environmental cooperation across the Taiwan Strait.

Wang Yuqing, chairman of the Chinese Society for Environmental Sciences, said both sides could work together to develop alternative energy and reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

"We will see a thriving green industry in the next decade," Wang said, adding that China welcomes Taiwanese investment in its Twelfth Five-Year Guidelines 2011-2015.

China's green industry has a business potential of up to 3.1 trillion Chinese yuan (US$491 billion), according to the Taiwan Environmental Sustainable Development Foundation and the Chinese Society for Environmental Sciences, which hosted the summit.

(By Lee Hsin-Yin)