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Chinese negotiator returns home after 10-day visit

2012/09/19 19:28:34

Taipei, Sept. 19 (CNA) The president of the Beijing-based Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS) left Taiwan Wednesday after concluding a visit that began Sept. 10.

Chen Yunlin and members of a Chinese cultural and creative industry delegation that he headed sailed back to China aboard a ferry from the Taiwan-held outlying island of Kinmen.

They were seen off by Chiang Pin-kung, chairman of the Taipei-based Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF), Kinmen Magistrate Li Wo-shi and Kinmen County Council Speaker Wang Zai-sheng.

Before his departure, Chen expressed thanks for the SEF's arrangements of his itinerary, which he said had allowed the delegation to gain knowledge of the development of Taiwan's cultural and creative industry through various visits and talks with relevant Taiwanese businesses.

During his stay, Chen said he found consensus that the two sides should work together to promote the cultural and creative industry and boost cross-Taiwan Strait cultural exchanges.

The 10-day tour took China's top negotiator with Taiwan and his delegation to the greater Taipei area and Taoyuan County in northern Taiwan, Hualien County in the east, Taichung and Nantou County in central Taiwan, Kaohsiung and Kenting National Park in the south, and offshore Penghu County, as well as to Kinmen.

It could be Chen's last visit to Taiwan in his capacity as ARATS president, as he is likely to be reassigned when the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China convenes this autumn, according to some analysts familiar with cross-strait affairs.

The SEF and ARATS are semi-official intermediary bodies established to deal with cross-strait exchanges in the absence of official ties between the two sides.

(By Chen Shou-gow and Elizabeth Hsu)