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02-10-09, 19:00
China to sign Taiwan pact after Kadeer ban: report
AFP

China to sign Taiwan pact after Kadeer ban: report AFP/File China plans to sign a key financial pact with Taiwan later this month as a reward for the island barring
by Amber Wang Thu Oct 1, 8:25 am ET

TAIPEI (AFP) China plans to sign a key financial pact with Taiwan later this month as a reward for the island barring a visit by Uighur leader Rebiya Kadeer, a report here said on Thursday.

The two sides are likely to ink the memorandum of understanding on financial cooperation by the end of October, allowing closer ties in the banking, insurance and securities industries, the Commercial Times reported.

It cited remarks by China's Taiwan Affairs Office officials to Taiwanese businessmen in Beijing ahead of the mainland's October 1 National Day.

The arrangement was made after Taiwan decided last week to prevent exiled Kadeer, branded a "criminal" in Beijing, from making a trip to the island, the paper said.

In another sign of improving ties, the Bank of China, one of the mainland's big four state-owned commercial lenders, will set up a representative office in Taiwan after the October 1 holiday, the report said.

The two sides have also tentatively decided to hold a new round of negotiations in mid-December in Taiwan's Taichung city to discuss a major trade pact, it said.

The Mainland Affairs Council, Taiwan's top body in charge of China policy, said it could neither confirm nor deny the report.

"Our stance is to sign the memorandum of understanding as soon as possible," said an official with the council, who asked not to be named.

Meanwhile, a pro-independence group that invited Kadeer expressed indignation.

"The government bowed to China's pressure for partisan and economic benefits, and this shows that the government is weak and incompetent," said Gary Chiang, secretary-general of Guts United Taiwan.

US-based Kadeer said last week she would like to visit Taiwan, but within days Taipei vetoed the idea, likely heading off a major confrontation with China, which was already angered by a recent Dalai Lama visit to the island.

China accuses Kadeer of orchestrating ethnic violence in her home region of Xinjiang in the northwest in July, which left about 200 dead. She denies the charges.

However, despite barring Kadeer, Taiwan has not stopped the screening of a biopic about her, creating another strain on ties, which have otherwise improved markedly since pro-Beijing Ma Ying-jeou became president here in 2008.

The opposition Democratic Progressive Party will show Kadeer's film and a documentary on alleged Chinese repression in Tibet later Thursday to demonstrate Taiwan's support for freedom and democracy, it said.

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