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China; Taiwan: Agreements on Direct Transport, Mail, and Food Safety

(Nov. 10, 2008) On November 4, 2008, China (the People's Republic of China, or PRC) and Taiwan (also referred to as the Republic of China) signed several agreements designed to improve economic relations across the Taiwan Strait. Under these new accords, the number of direct flights between the two parties will triple to 108 each week, beginning in 40 days. Direct cargo and postal shipments will now be permitted and will involve 63 ports on the PRC side and 11 in Taiwan. In addition, the two sides agreed to cooperate on inspections of food products, starting in one week. There will be immediate notification in case of incidents affecting food safety, plus an exchange of information and, when necessary, the recall of affected food products. (Stephen McDonnell, China, Taiwan Sign Landmark Economic Deal, ABC PREMIUM NEWS, Nov. 5, 2008, LEXIS/NEXIS, ASIAPC Library, CURNWS File; James Pen & Yu-huai Sun, China, Taiwan Agree on Direct Flights, Shipping, Mail, BLOOMBERG.COM, Nov. 4, 2008, available at

The agreements were signed in the course of historic meetings between the highest ranking officials of the two sides to talk directly in 60 years. Chen Yunlin, President of China's Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits, and Chiang Pin-kung, head of Taiwan's Straits Exchange Foundation, signed the agreements in Taipei. (China, Taiwan Officials Begin Landmark Talks in Taipei, BBC, Nov. 4, 2008, LEXIS/NEXIS, ASIAPC Library, CURNWS File.)