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President Ma attends dinner held by overseas compatriots during transit stop in New York City(excerpt: cross-strait relations)

As for the improvement in cross-strait relations, President Ma further stated, interaction between the two sides continues to be promoted on the basis of the "1992 Consensus," whereby each side acknowledges the existence of "one China" but maintains its own interpretation of what that means. He mentioned that the two sides have signed 19 agreements and that their relationship is the most stable it has been since the two sides came under separate rule in 1949. Substantive results in this regard include an average of 86 scheduled cross-strait flights each day, while the number of mainland Chinese students studying in Taiwan and mainland Chinese tourists visiting Taiwan have increased from 800 and 200,000 in 2007 to 20,000 and 2.5 million today, respectively. This indicates that the killing fields of old have now been transformed into avenues of peace, and ways to cooperate are being found. The president specifically noted that the government will continue negotiating with mainland China on an agreement on trade in goods. It will also seek to further enhance interaction between the two sides, with the hope of ultimately establishing representative offices on each side. Taiwan, he added, also intends to stage a comprehensive review of the Act Governing Relations between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area.

President Ma stressed that the improvement in cross-strait relations has also helped to enhance the relationship between Taiwan and Japan. These improved relations have enabled Taiwan and Japan to sign the Taiwan-Japan Bilateral Investment Arrangement, an open skies agreement, and the Patent Prosecution Highway Memorandum of Understanding. The president further pointed out that this year the two sides signed a fisheries agreement, which marked a milestone in relations between the two sides. Under this accord, Taiwanese fisherman can operate in areas around the Diaoyutai Islets and nearby waters that are twice the size of Taiwan without interference by Japanese authorities, he said. This agreement achieved the objective of "not ceding an inch on sovereignty issues, but making great progress in terms of fishing rights," the president stated. President Ma also said that he recently received a letter of gratitude from the proprietor of a Japanese restaurant in the Xinyi District of Taipei City, who indicated that the fisheries agreement has enabled his establishment to obtain fish at cheaper prices and higher quality.

【Source: Office of the President】