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Taiwan "leader" hails SEF's role in boosting cross-Straits ties
Updated: 2012-05-31

TAIPEI, May 18 (Xinhua) -- Taiwan province leader Ma Ying-jeou Friday hailed the achievements the Taiwan-based Cross-Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) has made in boosting ties between the Chinese mainland and Taiwan province since 2008.

Ma made the remark while addressing a ceremony marking the inauguration of the SEF's newly-constructed office building on Bei-an Road in Taipei.

Noting that the SEF and the Chinese mainland-based Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS) are in negotiations for setting up branches in each other's respective regions, Ma said the negotiations are "a right and necessary move."

Taiwan "authorities" have started reviewing the island's laws and regulations concerning relations with the Chinese mainland and are considering updating them to "keep up with the times," according to Ma.

Chiang Pin-kung said at the ceremony that the upcoming ARATS-SEF talks, scheduled for the first half of this year, will be held at the SEF's new office building.

The new round of talks will see the signing of two agreements on cross-Straits investment protection and customs cooperation, respectively, a Chinese mainland spokesman previously announced.

Founded in 1991 and 1990, respectively, the ARATS and SEF are authorized by the Chinese mainland and Taiwan province to handle cross-Straits affairs. Talks between the two groups resumed in 2008 after being suspended in 1999.