The Chinese mainland and
Wang Yi, director of the mainland's Taiwan Affairs Office, said both could exchange views on the deal in talks between the mainland's Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS) and
The comments were made during a two-day cross-Straits symposium in
ARATS-SEF talks are the only semi-official channel for both sides to negotiate over cross-Straits affairs and directly affect policy. They will hold their fourth round of talks since last year in
Wang said the mainland is also willing to "further interact with
San Gee, "vice-minister" of
The Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) proposed by
Experts are optimistic about the negotiations and said the agreement is very likely to be signed in the first half of next year.
"It should be in the first half of 2010 since later will be the elections for special municipalities heads, and the opposition Democratic Progressive Party will try to draw attention by setting obstacles and repeating its stance that the ECFA hurts Taiwan's 'sovereignty'," said Wu Nengyuan, director of the institute of Taiwan studies at the Fujian Academy of Social Sciences.
"Wang's speech has made the mainland's stand clear.
Li Fei, a professor at
The ECFA will create a win-win situation, with mainland investment and products gaining easier access to the island and both sides realizing complementation, he said.
"This will mark the beginning of cross-Straits economic integration, and will pave the way for political integration," Li added.
Cross-Straits ties have improved markedly since last May when Ma took office, with the establishing of direct mail, transport and trade links soon after. In July, mainland companies were approved to invest in