Taiwan, China set to sign two more pacts as ties improve

TAIPEI (AFP) - Taiwan and China plan to sign agreements on meteorology and earthquake monitoring as ties improve between the former rivals, officials said on Thursday.

The pacts are expected to be signed next Thursday in Taipei when China's top negotiator Chen Deming pays a three-day visit to the island.

Chen, a former commerce minister, is president of China's Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits, which handles exchanges with Taiwan in the absence of official contacts.

The two agreements would bring to 21 the number of pacts inked since 2008 when Ma Ying-jeou of Taiwan's China-friendly Kuomintang party came to power pledged to strengthen trade and tourism links. He was re-elected in 2012.

The pacts cover issues including transport, medicines and health, nuclear power safety, investment protection and customs cooperation.

Earlier this month the two sides held their first government-to-government talks since they split 65 years ago after a civil war.

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