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President Ma meets Japan Interchange Association Chairman Mitsuo Ohashi(excerpt: cross-strait relations)

President Ma also mentioned that since he took office in 2008, he has devoted much effort to improving cross-strait relations, and that as of this October, officials in charge of cross-strait affairs have met a total of seven times. During their most recent meeting in Kinmen, an offshore island of Taiwan, the possibility of arranging for a meeting of higher-ranking officials was broached. At first we suggested that the leaders of the two sides meet at the APEC meeting in Manila. The mainland, however, rebuffed that suggestion, but indicated that they were receptive to having the leaders meet in a third place. In response, our side suggested, "Why not consider Singapore?" During the following few weeks the two sides exchanged views on the format of the meeting, the procedures to be followed, and the topics to be discussed. The historic meeting was subsequently held on November 7.
President Ma noted that the cross-strait leaders' meeting was significant in four ways. First, it marked the first meeting between the leaders of the two sides since Taiwan and mainland China came under separate rule 66 years ago, demonstrating to the world that the two sides have established a mechanism to resolve disputes in a peaceful manner. "This set an extremely positive precedent for the international community." Second, it was the first time since the 1992 Consensus was reached 23 years ago that leaders of the two sides endorsed it at the same time, affirming that the 1992 Consensus serves as a common and critical political foundation in cross-strait relations. During the meeting itself, the president reiterated the content of the 1992 Consensus to Mr. Xi Jinping (習近平) as follows: "Both sides of the Taiwan Strait insist on the 'one China' principle, and each side can express its interpretation verbally." This is the 1992 Consensus of "one China, respective interpretations." For our part, we stated that the interpretation does not involve "two Chinas," "one China and one Taiwan," or "Taiwan independence," as the Republic of China Constitution does not allow it. "This was also the first time that a political figure from Taiwan has given a mainland leader a complete description of the one-China principle and of the Constitution of the Republic of China."
Third, the president went on to say, the meeting helped build a bridge between the two sides, establishing a new model whereby the two leaders can meet as equals and with dignity. "This time, I just took the first step, and Taiwan's future leaders can follow," he stated. Fourth, the meeting also marked the first time our side could directly convey to the leader of mainland China our concerns about sensitive issues such as its military deployment against Taiwan, as well as Taiwan's international space. "We requested that mainland China take friendly steps to address issues that are of very deep concern to the people of Taiwan—issues such as security and dignity."
President Ma stressed that issues concerning the East China Sea and the South China Sea did not come up during the meeting. On the other hand, questions relating to student exchanges and the Cross-Strait Trade in Goods Agreement, which is still under discussion, were raised. The president also stated that prior to his departure for Singapore, on the morning of November 4, Taiwan had informed the government of Japan about the Ma-Xi meeting. The Japanese government then issued an announcement in support of the two sides resolving their differences peacefully. Many countries around the world also affirmed the significance of the Ma-Xi meeting. More than 1,100 articles and editorial pieces describing the event have already appeared in the international media. Taiwan and mainland China will also follow up on the topics addressed during the meeting. Taiwan will also keep Japan informed of any major breakthroughs. "We sincerely hope that relations between Taiwan and Japan will continue to grow and develop as they have in the past," said President Ma.
【Source: Office of the President】