A top Taiwan affairs official indicated on March 15 that the signing of a long-awaited cross-Strait investment protection agreement may occur within three months.
"As long as the two sides (Chinese mainland and Taiwan) walk toward each other and interact with goodwill, it is entirely possible that the signing of the investment protection agreement may occur in the first half of the year," said Wang Yi, director of the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council, at a seminar on cross-Strait relations held in Tengchong county of southwest China's Yunnan Province.
The agreement will benefit people from various walks of life on both sides of the Taiwan Strait, Wang said.
As an important part of follow-up negotiations after the signing of the cross-Strait Economic Framework Cooperation Agreement (ECFA), the agreement is aimed at protecting investors' interests, reducing investment restrictions and promoting investment facilitation.
Negotiations surrounding the agreement will be difficult, as they will require the adjustment of both sides' interests, Wang said, adding that the mainland is willing to give more consideration to mid- and small-sized enterprises in Taiwanand pay more attention to the appeals of local citizens.
Wang said the mainland will continue to safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of Taiwanese-funded enterprises operating on the mainland and make more efforts to aid them in the process of industrial upgrading.
Wang said he hopes to promote mutual cooperation in financial sectors, including the acceleration of negotiations regarding the establishment of a cross-Strait monetary settlement mechanism.
The mainland actively supports and encourages two-way investment and expects that Taiwanwill relax restrictions and create a fair environment for mainland-based enterprises that invest on the island, Wang said.
Wang said the mainland will continue to support economic zones located close to Taiwanas "pilot areas" for cross-Strait communication and cooperation.