CHINA> Taiwan, HK, Macao
SEF releases schedule of mainland delegation's trip to Taiwan
Updated: 2008-11-02 08:50

TAIPEI -- The Taiwan-based Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) on Saturday released the schedule of the mainland delegation's visit to the island.

Chen Yunlin, president of mainland-based Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS), will lead a delegation to Taiwan from November 3 to 7.

It will be the first meeting held in the island between the two organizations.

At a press conference held in Taipei, SEF chairman Chiang Pin-kung and other senior officials unveiled the schedule.

The mainland delegation will set off from Beijing in the morning on November 3 and arrive at Taoyuan Airport at noon, according to the schedule.

Chen Yunlin will pay a visit to the wife of Koo Chen-fu, former SEF chairman who passed away in 2005.

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The official talk between leaders of the SEF and ARATS will be held in the morning on November 4. The two organizations will sign agreements in the afternoon and hold press conferences.

After the talk, Chen will meet with major political leaders in the island, including the ruling party Kuomintang (KMT) chairman Wu Poh-hsiung, KMT honorary chairman Lien Chan, Mainland Affairs Council chair Lai Shin-yuan and the People First Party chairman James Soong, on November 4 and November 5.

Chen Yunlin and his delegation will visit a technology and industry zone in Hsinchu on November 5.

On the fourth day of their trip, they will attend a ceremony in which the mainland will present giant panda and rare plant to the Taiwan compatriots, while the Taiwan side will present rare animals to the mainland side.

The SEF's deputy chairman Kao Koong-lian said that the SEF and ARATS advance team had a smooth consultation on Saturday and the mainland did not pressure the SEF to withhold the schedule.

He said some arrangements of the delegation's visit would be revealed later at an appropriate time for security reason. He called on the Taiwan public to show their hospitality and politely treat the guests.

Major newspapers in the island published positive articles about the upcoming cross-strait talk.

The China Times said in its editorial on Thursday that all the topics the two organizations would discuss were desired by the Taiwan public.

China Review News said Chen Yunlin's visit represented the mainland's confidence and opportunity to help Taiwan together cope with the international financial crisis.

It said the upcoming cross-strait talk had been supported by most of the people living on both sides of the Taiwan Strait and there would be no tolerance of any sabotage to the peace and stability of the cross-strait relations. It's the mainstream public opinion, it said.

In a joint statement published in Taiwan's newspapers on Friday, the three major chambers of commerce in the United States, Europe and Japan welcomed the upcoming meeting, noting more interaction with the mainland could only bring benefits to the island.