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Mainland Association Invites Taiwan Counterparts to Talk About Fruit Sale

A Chinese mainland trade association Wednesday formally invited three Taiwan trade groups to come to Beijing to discuss technical issues on applying zero tariffs on 15 kinds of Taiwan fruits entering the mainland.

Tang Wei, deputy head of the mainland Association for Cross-Straits Economic and Trade Exchanges, made the invitation at a regular press conference held here by the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council.

"There are some technical issues concerning the implementation of zero tariff measures that must be resolved through consultation between the two sides," said Tang, who is also deputy director of the Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macao affairs department of the Ministry of Commerce.

"We hope the consultation could be conducted as that which resulted in the successful operation of charter flights for Taiwanese businessmen on the mainland during the Spring Festival this year," he said.

Once a consensus is reached by direct exchanges between related on-governmental organizations across the Taiwan Straits, arrangements can be made for the implementation of the zero tariff measures, he added.

The mainland has opened market to 18 kinds of Taiwan fruits, which it says will help Taiwan farmers alleviate difficulties in fruit sale. The mainland plans to impose no import tariffs on 15 of them, including pineapple, pawpaw, mango and persimmon.

Tang said there were no strings attached to the sale of Taiwan fruits on the mainland and the zero tariff treatment.

At the press conference, mainland officials also said rapid entry, acceptance of online payment and other conveniences would be provided to Taiwan fruits.

The mainland side has taken a series of moves to beef up cross-Straits ties, including inviting leaders of two pro-unification parties in Taiwan to visit the mainland in April and May and issuing many policies beneficial to the people in Taiwan.

(Xinhua News Agency June 1, 2005)

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