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Chinese VP calls for smooth ECFA negotiations between mainland, Taiwan

BOAO, Hainan, April 10 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping said Saturday that the mainland is willing to see the ongoing negotiations of the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) with Taiwan "smoothly proceed without disturbance so as to achieve results and produce economic benefit soon."

Xi made the remarks when meeting with Fredrick Chien, chief advisor of Taiwan's Cross-Straits Common Market Foundation, on the sidelines of the annual meeting of the Boao Forum for Asia in southern province of Hainan.

The long-awaited cross-Strait economic pact, with aims to normalize mainland-Taiwan economic ties and bring the two economies closer, is hoped to be signed by the end of June.

Xi said how to further enhance economic cooperation remains a priority of the current cross-Strait relations.

Both the mainland and Taiwan has been on the way of economic recovery, he said, adding the cross-Strait economic exchanges are entering a new development stage.

He called on the two sides to constantly enrich the content of cooperation, expand cooperation areas, innovate ways of cooperation and improve the level of cooperation to further benefit people on both sides.

The past year saw a series of positive progress and breakthroughs in cross-Strait relations, and both sides should value the hard-won situation and continue to improve it, Xi said.

He said the mainland and Taiwan should actively promote cooperation of "new-type industries," expand two-way investment and strengthen exchanges of the financial services sector, among others, in order to enhance common economic development on both sides.

"We always believe that people in the mainland and Taiwan are both the Chinese and the economy of both sides belongs to the Chinese economy, though the two sides have gone through different development paths over the past six decades," he said.

The cross-Strait economic cooperation advocated by the mainland is conducive to common prosperity and can help safeguard and expand the Chinese nation's interests, he said.

Recognizing that the mainland and Taiwan belong to one China is a fundamental foundation for the peaceful development of cross-Strait relations, Xi said.

He added that striving to realize the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation should be the mainstream of cross-Strait relationship development.

"As long as the two sides consider themselves as one family, it will be easy to discuss anything and any problem could be eventually resolved," Xi said.

Chien said the two sides should strengthen cooperation, particularly in green industry and financial service sector, for common development.

The two sides should work hard to ensure the signing of the ECFA as early as possible, he said.

The mainland and Taiwan concluded the second round of expert-level talks on the ECFA on April 1.

Formal discussions on the ECFA will also be a highlight at a new round of talks between the mainland's Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS) and Taiwan-based Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF), which is scheduled in the first half of 2010.

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