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Mainland, Taiwan chief negotiators to meet in Tianjin
( Xinhua )

BEIJING - Negotiators from the mainland's Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS) and Taiwan's Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) will hold talks on October 19-21 in the northern city of Tianjin, a mainland spokesperson said Wednesday.

A preparatory meeting for deputy heads will be held on October 19, followed by the talks between ARATS President Chen Yunlin and SEF Chairman Chiang Pin-kung on October 20, Yang Yi, spokesperson for the State Council Taiwan Affairs Office, told a press conference about the seventh such meeting to date.

In response to a question from the media, Yang said negotiations between the mainland and Taiwan on a cross-Strait investment protection agreement have made remarkable progress, with a consensus nearly reached.

"But both sides believe that more time is still needed for an agreement to be fully reached," Yang said. He added that the agreement is not expected to be signed during the upcoming meeting because time is limited.

Yang said the mainland is surely willing to see the early signing of the cross-Strait investment protection agreement, so as to better safeguard the rights and interests of Taiwanese business people.

Both sides will continue the negotiation towards that goal, he added.

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