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President Ma meets delegation from US-based Hudson Institute(excerpt: cross-strait relations)

Commenting on the development of cross-strait relations, President Ma said that he announced at the time of his first presidential inauguration that he would seek, under the framework of the ROC Constitution, to maintain the status quo of "no unification, no independence, and no use of force" in the Taiwan Strait, and would pursue peaceful cross-strait ties in line with the 1992 Consensus—whereby each side acknowledges the existence of "one China" but maintains its own interpretation of what that means. As a result, cross-strait relations are now the most stable and peaceful they have been at any point since the two sides came under separate rule 67 years ago. The cumulative number of tourist arrivals from mainland China since he took office, for example, has now topped 18 million, and two-way trade between Taiwan and mainland China (including Hong Kong) has surpassed US$1.2 trillion. Taiwan over the past eight years has achieved a cumulative trade surplus vis-a-vis the mainland of about US$600 billion, for an average annual surplus of just over US$70 billion. And in addition to close economic and trade ties, the two sides also engage in law enforcement cooperation on various fronts. For example, Taiwan and mainland authorities have joined forces to make more than 7,000 arrests in connection with fraud cases. Meanwhile, said the president, on November 7 of last year he met with mainland Chinese leader Xi Jinping (習近平) in Singapore, where the two sides exchanged views on the need to "consolidate peace in the Taiwan Strait and maintain the status quo in cross-strait relations." The meeting yielded substantive results. These facts clearly show, he said, that the Taiwan Strait has been transformed from a flashpoint of conflict into an avenue of peace.
In addition to the Taiwan Strait, stated the president, the government has also made efforts with respect to the East and South China Seas. In 2012, just as major anti-Japanese demonstrations were breaking out in 20 cities across mainland China, the ROC government proposed the East China Sea Peace Initiative. Based on the idea that "although sovereignty over national territory cannot be compromised, natural resources can be shared," the initiative urges all parties to stay calm and resolve disputes peacefully. After the initiative was announced, Taiwan and Japan signed a fisheries agreement that resolved a long-running fisheries dispute, and the government then built upon that successful experience by taking a similar approach in the South China Sea. In November of 2015, for example, Taiwan and the Philippines signed the Agreement Concerning the Facilitation of Cooperation on Law Enforcement in Fisheries Matters, which represents a concrete achievement based on the South China Sea Peace Initiative that the president had put forward in May of 2015. President Ma also pointed out that he made a special trip this past January 28 to Taiping Island (also known as Itu Aba), where he issued the South China Sea Peace Initiative Roadmap, urging neighboring states to reduce tensions, shelve disputes, and draw up a comprehensive plan for zonal development. The idea, he said, has been to address the situation in the Taiwan Strait first before replicating its success in the East China Sea and then the South China Sea, so as to achieve a "peace in the three seas" that will serve as an important basis for Taiwan's relations with mainland China and the international community.
【Source: Office of the President】