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Taiwan-China affairs laws need reform: president

2012/05/18 16:32:02

Taipei, May 18 (CNA) President Ma Ying-jeou said Friday that current laws on cross-Taiwan Strait affairs need an overhaul amid the changing relations between Taiwan and China.

This, he said, is necessary to address new demands that have emerged as a result of more frequent exchanges between the two sides over the past four years.

"The new regulations must stay ahead of the times," Ma said at the inauguration of the new Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) building in Taipei.

Ma said he has instructed the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) , which handles Taiwan's cross-strait policymaking, to examine cross-strait laws, adding that the functions of the SEF are also open to adjustment.

He also said the establishment of reciprocal offices between the SEF and its Chinese counterpart, the Association for Relations across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS) is necessary to facilitate cross-strait dialogue.

The establishment of such offices, according to SEF Chairman Chiang Pin-kung, would require the MAC to make a formal proposal on the matter to the Legislature.

Chiang, who also attended the inauguration ceremony for the new offices, said the next round of high-level talks between Taiwan and China will take place in the new facility.

Chiang said that agreements on investment protection and customs cooperation are likely to be sealed during the next round of talks, expected to take place by the end of June.

The SEF and ARATS are quasi-official bodies responsible for cross-strait activities in the absence of formal diplomatic ties.

(By Lee Hsin-Yin)