The Fifth Chiang-Chen Talks

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Consensus Reached at the Preparatory Consultation for the Fifth Chiang-Chen Talks on the Text of the Cross-Strait Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA), Two Lists, and the Cross-Strait Agreement on Intellectual Property Rights Protection and Cooperation (Source:SEF Press Release)

  • Date:2010-06-24

Straits Exchange Foundation Press Release
2010 Press Release No. 053
June 24, 2010

The preparatory consultation for the Fifth Chiang-Chen Talks was held today (June 24) in Taipei. Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) Vice Chairman Kao Koong-lian and Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS) Permanent Vice President Zheng Lizhong led the related personnel of their respective sides in the discussion. The two sides reached a consensus on the main texts and the related annex lists of the Cross-Strait Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) and the Cross-Strait Agreement on Intellectual Property Rights Protection and Cooperation. The itinerary arrangements for the Fifth Chiang-Chen Talks were also confirmed.

The SEF stated that during the SEF-ARATS preparatory consultation today, the two sides reached a consensus on the text and the main content of the annex of the ECFA. They also fully exchanged views and reached a basic consensus on the early harvest list items for the trade in goods and services. Regarding the early harvest list for goods, the Taiwan side actively sought and gained the Mainland side's agreement to include 539 Taiwan goods on the list, including petrochemical products (including petrochemical and plastic raw materials), textiles, transportation equipment (including automobile parts), machinery (including machine tools) and other products. Taiwan also won inclusion of 18 agricultural and fishery products on its early harvest list. In the future, these items can be exported tariff-free to the Mainland, benefiting farmers in central and southern Taiwan. The SEF stated that Taiwan agreed to include 267 goods on the Mainland's early harvest list. Most of the items are raw materials needed by Taiwan and downstream products that are produced less domestically. Also included were items in sectors that Taiwan is competitive and which the Mainland side has also reciprocally opened, such as petrochemicals, machinery, textiles and transportation equipment.

In addition, Taiwan determined that it would not further open up to Mainland agricultural imports, nor would it further reduce tariffs on the 1,415 Mainland agricultural imports that had been admitted to Taiwan long ago. Taiwan also will not lower tariffs on currently allowed Mainland imports in 17 sensitive and vulnerable industries, including towels, clothes, home appliances, bedding, shoemaking, and swimwear. At the same time, Taiwan absolutely will adhere firmly to the position of not allowing Mainland workers to come to Taiwan. Therefore, the ECFA successfully protects the interests of our farmers, workers, white-collar workers, vulnerable traditional industries and small and medium enterprises.

Regarding the few products that could not be successfully included in Taiwan's early harvest list for trade in goods, such as automobiles and some petrochemical raw materials, the Taiwan side will continue to devote its full efforts into seeking priority inclusion of these items in follow-up negotiations. The SEF stated that Taiwan's early harvest list is quite extensive in terms of the number of items, the amount, and the proportion of total trade value with the other side. It also is much larger than the comparable list for the Mainland side. Taiwan's early harvest list for goods includes 539 items—twice as many as the 267 items on the Mainland list. The total export value of the Taiwan items is about US$13.83 billion, 4.8 times the US$2.86 billion value of exports covered under the Mainland list. The US$13.83 billion figure accounts for 16.1% of the value of Taiwan's exports to the Mainland, while the US$2.86 billion figure accounts for 10.5% of mainland China's export to Taiwan.

In regard to the trade in services list, the Mainland side pledged to open eight non-financial service industries and three financial service industries including banking, insurance, and securities and futures services-a total of 11 industry sectors and about 20 specific opening commitments. Taiwan pledged to open nine industries, including eight non-financial service industries and the banking industry. The SEF stated that most of the Mainland's pledged treatments to Taiwan exceed its World Trade Organization commitments (WTO Plus), while the Taiwan side’s commitments to the Mainland are at most in line with Taiwan's WTO commitments.

During the preparatory consultation today on the Cross-Strait Agreement on Intellectual Property Rights Protection and Cooperation, the two sides also smoothly reached a consensus and are expected to confirm the text and sign the Agreement at the upcoming Fifth Chiang-Chen Talks. After coming into effect, the Agreement will extend protection to cover patents, trademarks, copyrights, plant variety rights, and other intellectual property rights. Mutual cross-strait acknowledgement of priority rights can protect rights formerly registered by inventors; and the mutual processing of applications on variety rights will help to protect the rights of the people of Taiwan in researching and developing plant varieties and techniques, improving their market competitiveness. The establishment of a cooperation mechanism for copyright recognition of audio and video works can promote the vigorous development of cross-strait copyright trade and actively advance cross-strait exchanges in cultural innovation industries. Furthermore, the Agreement will establish a highly important institutionalized coordination mechanism to strengthen joint combat of cross-border illegal IPR activites. Infringement cases including piracy, counterfeiting, illegal downloading, malicious use of famous trademarks, and agricultural products with place of origin mislabeling can be further clamped down on, prevented and investigated through cross-strait cooperation and coordinated handling, thereby providing timely and effective protection for the legitimate rights and interests of the people on both sides.

The SEF stated that during the meeting today, the Taiwan side proposed that the arrangements for future Chiang-Chen Talks between the SEF and the ARATS be handled under the principle of simplification, with the meeting and visit activities separated. It also was proposed that consideration be given to the preparation of negotiation issues and the schedule of the consultations, allowing more flexible arrangements of the talks. The two sides reached a consensus on this matter during the meeting. Regarding the arrangement of the itinerary for the Fifth Chiang-Chen Talks, the SEF and the ARATS jointly decided after an ample exchange of views that the Fifth Chiang-Chen Talks to be held in Chongqing, mainland China on June 29. The SEF delegation will be led by Chairman Chiang Pin-kung and leave Taipei for Chongqing on June 28. That afternoon, the SEF and the ARATS will hold a vice-chairman-level preparatory consultation. The formal talks will be held on the morning of June 29. On that afternoon, the two sides will hold an agreement signing ceremony and a press conference. The Taiwan side also will meet with Taiwan Affairs Office Director Wang Yi. The SEF delegation will leave the Mainland for Taiwan on the afternoon of June 30.

The SEF stated that the preparatory consultation today came to a successful conclusion through full communication and joint efforts of the two sides, laying a solid foundation for holding the Fifth Chiang-Chen Talks. The SEF emphasized that the ECFA and the Cross-Strait Agreement on Intellectual Property Rights Protection and Cooperation scheduled to be signed at the Fifth Chiang-Chen Talks will help upgrade Taiwan's overall competitiveness and protect the rights and interests of the people and the industries of Taiwan. It is hoped that the various sectors of our society can rationally consider this matter and give the negotiation team their approval and support so as to promote further transformation and upgrading of Taiwan's economy and work together to advance cross-strait peace and prosperity.

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