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China Offers Taiwan Trade Concessions


China is offering Taiwan a series of trade concessions in an effort to boost public sentiment on the island in favor of reunification with the mainland.

The concessions, announced Saturday, will add four types of Taiwan-grown fruit to a list of 18 varieties that can enter China. They will also offer a tax-free import status to 11 kinds of vegetables and some Taiwan aquatic products.

The director of China's Taiwan Affairs Office made the announcement in Beijing at the end of a government forum on cross-straits business.

The former chairman of Taiwan's opposition party joined the forum, but representatives of Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian were absent.

Taipei and Beijing split amid civil war in 1949. China considers the island part of its territory and says it must accept reunification.