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President Ma meets senior officials of five government branches at reception(excerpt: cross-strait relations)

The president stated that upon taking office in 2008 he began actively seeking to strengthen cross-strait relations and expand room for the ROC in the international community, and many substantive achievements have been seen. For instance, he noted, in February of this year Minister Wang Yu-chi (王郁琦) of the Executive Yuan's Mainland Affairs Council met with his counterpart, Minister Zhang Zhijun (張志軍) of mainland China's Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council, and Minister Zhang on June 25 reciprocated by visiting Taiwan. The president said both officials referred to each other by their official titles, and preliminary consensus was reached on the establishment of representative offices, humanitarian visits, transit in Taiwan by mainland tourists on their way to onward destinations, and Taiwan's participation in Asia-Pacific economic integration. President Ma said he was deeply pleased that cross-strait relations are at their most stable since the two sides came under separate rule 65 years ago.

As for the draft of the Special Act for Free Economic Pilot Zones, the draft of the Cross-Strait Agreement Supervisory Act, and the Cross-Strait Trade in Services Agreement, all of which have an important bearing on the nation's future, the president expressed hope that the Legislative Yuan can speedily complete deliberations, and noted that public opinions polls have shown that support for the Trade in Services Agreement has steadily increased since March. The president commented that smooth passage of this agreement would be conducive to Taiwan's economic development. He emphasized that mainland China and Korea are presently negotiating a free trade agreement and expect to sign it before the end of this year. As 70% of Taiwan's economic growth is generated by external trade, and many of Korea's and Taiwan's exports compete head to head, the ROC cannot sit idly by. President Ma stated that the government will move as quickly as possible to sign economic and trade agreements with Taiwan's major trading partners, thereby reducing risks.

【Source: Office of the President】