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Mainland Affairs Council

I. Mainland Policy and Work

2016

January 1, 2016
President Ma Ying-jeou stated in a New Year's Day Message entitled "Eight Years of Reform Create a Better Taiwan" at the 2016 national founding memorial and New Year's Day ceremony that "cross-strait bridges and sustainable peace" are the second key achievement of his presidency. He also issued a reminder on "Taiwan solidarity and cross-strait peace," expressing hope that the cross-strait policies of the next administration will continue in the right direction, following the pragmatic and effective policies implemented for the past seven years.

January 5, 2016
The MAC issued a press release on the Mainland's announcement that Mainland residents from the three cities of Nanchang, Kunming, Chongqing would be allowed on a trial basis to transit at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport. The MAC welcomed the Mainland's goodwill response. The SEF and the ARATS will further liaise to complete related preparatory work in hope that, shortly after trial period operations are underway and operational experiences have been accumulated, comprehensive opening of Mainland resident transits in Taiwan may be implemented.

January 16, 2016
Regarding the recent occurrence of the Chou Tzu-yu incident, the MAC expressed deep regrets and stated that it is only natural for a country's nationals to hold their national flag in demonstration of support and identification with their country and reiterated that cross-strait exchanges should be conducted on a basis of mutual respect. The MAC solemnly expressed Taiwan's position to the Mainland's TAO, stating that the incident has hurt the feelings of the Taiwanese people and that it hopes for the Mainland to squarely face the matter. The MAC also requested the Mainland to restrain such behavior in the private sector so as to avoid further impact on cross-strait developments.

January 16, 2016
The MAC issued a statement on the results of the 14th presidential election and ninth legislative elections in Taiwan, stating that both domestic parties and the Mainland should respect norms of democracy and the people's choice within Taiwan. They should also continue to promote peaceful and stable development of cross-strait relations. The MAC also reiterated its commitment to maintaining cross-strait harmony and stability on the principle of "reciprocity and dignity," to continue promoting institutionalized cross-strait negotiations and official interactions, and deepen exchanges and cooperation in various fields so as to promote understanding, build mutual trust, and jointly safeguard peace and stability in the region and in the Strait.

January 23, 2016
President Ma Ying-jeou attended celebratory activities marking 2016 World Freedom Day, as well as the 59th annual General Conference of the World League for Freedom and Democracy and the Asian Pacific League for Freedom and Democracy. He stated that cross-strait reconciliation and cooperation are greatly beneficial to democracy and freedom in Taiwan. He also stated that he upheld the principle of reciprocity and dignity during the meeting with Mainland leader Xi Jinping in Singapore on November 7 last year. The two sides exchanged views on "consolidating cross-strait peace and maintaining the Taiwan Strait status quo." This not only reflects real issues of concern to the people of Taiwan, but also creates a stable framework for long-lasting cross-strait relations. The President stressed that the "Ma-Xi Meeting" has both symbolic and substantive significance. He expressed hope that the meeting mechanism can be continued and become an invisible cross-sea bridge of peace between the two sides and lay a solid foundation for the status quo of cross-strait peace and prosperity.

January 26, 2016
President Ma Ying-jeou stated in a letter to Pope Francis in response to the Papal Message for World Day of Peace 2016 that he met with Mainland Chinese leader Mr. Xi Jinping in Singapore on November 7 last year. This historic breakthrough has let the world know that the cross-strait leaders have established a communication mechanism to handle disputes through peaceful means, giving the Asia-Pacific region and other areas of the world facing similar difficulties a positive example. Relations between the two sides are now the most peaceful and stable they have been for 66 years. The President expressed his belief that this will gradually help move Mainland Chinese society toward greater freedom and openness.

January 28, 2016
President Ma Ying-jeou issued a statement and proposed a South China Sea Peace Initiative Roadmap during a visit to the Taiwan Taiping Island of the Nansha Islands. He stated that, whether from the perspective of history, geography, or international law, the Nansha (Spratly) Islands, Shisha (Paracel) Islands, Chungsha (Macclesfield Bank) Islands, and Tungsha (Pratas) Islands, as well as their surrounding waters, are an inherent part of ROC territory and waters, and the ROC enjoys all rights over these islands and their surrounding waters in accordance with international law. This is indisputable. He also noted that Taiping Island is categorically not a rock, but an island, and meets the criteria for an island as specified in Article 121 of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). Therefore, in addition to territorial waters, Taiwan is also entitled to claim an exclusive economic zone and continental shelf.

February 1, 2016
The MAC stated in a press release that the February 1 launch of operations for the trial opening of Mainland tourist transits in Taiwan was confirmed through the SEF-ARATS communication channel.

February 8, 2016
The MAC issued a press release thanking the Mainland for donations to assist relief work following the earthquake in southern Taiwan.

February 15, 2016
MAC Minister Andrew Hsia express hope in a speech at the 2016 Lunar New Year Gathering for Taiwanese Businessmen that the two sides could jointly maintain cross-strait harmony and security on the principle of "reciprocity and dignity" so as to continue the institutionalized development of cross-strait peace and stability and, on the basis of past interaction and results achieved, continue to promote institutionalized cross-strait negotiations and official interactions, deepen exchanges and cooperation in various fields, promote understanding, build mutual trust, and jointly safeguard peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait and region.

February 16, 2016
President Ma Ying-jeou stated during a meeting with President Mark Lagon of the U.S. non-governmental organization Freedom House that, since taking office in 2008, he has worked hard to improve the relationship between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait. For the past eight years, the two sides have transformed an erstwhile killing field into a peace boulevard, as well as signed 23 agreements. The leaders from both sides also met in Singapore on November 7 of last year.

March 5, 2016
The MAC issued a press release regarding a recent statement by the Mainland leader on cross-strait relations, stating that the "1992 Consensus of one China, with respective interpretations" is the key to institutionalized cross-strait negotiations, interaction and exchanges. At its core is an emphasis on the sovereignty of the ROC. The Mainland should face up to this cross-strait reality and truly respect and understand the feelings and views of the people in Taiwan. The MAC reiterated that promoting peaceful and stable relations across the Strait is the shared responsibility of both sides. The two sides should work together on the basis of past interactions and achieved results, show mutual respect, cooperate pragmatically, continue to maintain institutionalized cross-strait negotiations and official interactions, and deepen exchanges in various fields. This is the only way to genuinely promote the long-term well-being of the people on both sides and maintain lasting peace in the Taiwan Strait.

March 9, 2016
President Ma Ying-jeou attended a forum to mark the 25th anniversary of the SEF. He urged the incoming administration to heed the following four suggestions: Consolidate cross-strait peace and maintain the status quo in the Taiwan Strait; accept the 1992 Consensus, whereby each side acknowledges the existence of "one China" but maintains its own interpretation of what that means; allow the Cross-Strait Trade in Services Agreement to enter into force soon, complete negotiations on the Cross-Strait Trade in Goods Agreement as quickly as possible, and take an active part in regional economic integration mechanisms; and establish cross-strait representative offices as soon as possible.

March 16, 2016
The MAC issued a press release responding to a Mainland statement on cross-strait relations at a press conference after the National People's Congress session. It stated that the government insists on positioning cross-strait relations in accordance with the ROC Constitution, namely "one Republic of China with two areas." The Mainland should squarely face the fact that the two sides have been divided by the Strait and separately governed for 67 years, as well as respect and understand public opinion and feelings in Taiwan.

March 17, 2016
The MAC issued a statement on the Mainland's announcement on the resumption of diplomatic relations with Gambia. It stated that the Mainland's action runs counter to the efforts by the two sides over past eight years to achieve peaceful and stable development and treat each other with respect and friendship. It also damages cross-strait trust and will inevitably affect the future development of cross-strait relations. The MAC called on the Mainland to face up to the reality that the ROC is a sovereign country and to not unilaterally take negative actions. Otherwise, it must be prepared to take full responsibility for the possible consequences.

March 19, 2016
President Ma Ying-jeou stated at a banquet for expatriate Taiwanese in Los Angeles that the "Ma-Xi Meeting" last year served to build a bridge of peace between the two sides. As long as the two sides have a shared basis for political relations, it will always be possible to maintain the status quo of peace and prosperity no matter who is president. President Ma said that having the opportunity to spend eight years bringing about a more free and prosperous Taiwan, a peaceful and stable cross-strait relationship, and a friendlier international attitude toward Taiwan, has been the greatest honor of his life, so he hopes that what he's achieved will endure.

March 19, 2016
President Ma Ying-jeou issued a statement after concluding the "Forever Peaceful Project" and returning to Taiwan on the resumption of diplomatic relations between the Mainland and Gambia during his overseas visit. He said that this simply should not have happened, for it undermines the mutual trust that Taiwan and the Mainland had worked so hard to establish over the past eight years. The president stressed that the restoration of diplomatic allies by Mainland China and Gambia will not affect the ROC's international relations.

March 23, 2016
The ROC government invited domestic and foreign journalists on March 23 to visit Taiping Island to help the international community understand that Taiping Island in the Nansha Islands is indeed an island, not just a rock. President Ma Ying-jeou also held an international press conference after the press corps returned to Taipei, reaffirming ROC sovereignty over Taiping Island.

March 24, 2016
President Ma Ying-jeou stated in an interview by U.S.-based Cable News Network (CNN) that the ROC's policy is "one China, respective interpretations." It is more than just a "one China" policy. This is very important. For Taiwan, one China is of course the Republic of China. The president also noted that the "1992 Consensus" is a cross-strait consensus developed on the basis of the ROC Constitution. It is something the Taiwan side raised and the Mainland side accepted. Under the premise of "one China, respective interpretations," Taiwan has space in which to develop. The president expressed hope that his successor can carefully consider approaches that support the "1992 Consensus." This would allow the cross-strait relationship to be very smooth and orderly, and provide Taiwan with a better environment in terms of developing international relations and other aspects.

March 29, 2016
The MAC announced the results of its first routine public opinion survey of 2016. The survey showed that more than 80% of the public support continuation of the government's approach of maintaining the status quo of "no unification, no independence and no use of force" under the framework of the ROC Constitution (81.9%), and continuing to promote the normalization of official cross-strait interactions (85.3%) and institutionalized negotiations (87%). Over 70% of the public do not identify with the Mainland's statement that "both sides are part of one China" (72.7%) and support (70.8%) the government's approach of strongly condemning the Mainland's recently announced resumption of diplomatic ties with former ROC diplomatic ally Gambia, saying that this move undermines cross-strait mutual trust.

April 6, 2016
President Ma Ying-jeou stated during a meeting with a delegation led by former US Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage that, since he took office, Taiwan has sought 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, as well as to seek peaceful cross-strait relations in line with the 1992 Consensus—whereby each side acknowledges the existence of "one China" but maintains its own interpretation of what that means. Regarding his meeting on November 7 last year in Singapore with mainland Chinese leader Mr. Xi, President Ma stated that the two sides exchanged views on how to consolidate cross-strait peace and maintain the status quo in the Taiwan Strait. The president stated that the "Ma-Xi Meeting" not only has symbolic significance, essentially also achieved substantive results. More importantly, the US, Taiwan, and mainland China have established a virtuous cycle in which each of the three parties can interact well with either of the other parties without worrying about negative consequences. This is an extremely important breakthrough that we have achieved over the past eight years.

April 8, 2016
President Ma Ying-jeou attended a seminar at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the "South China Sea Issue and South China Sea Peace Initiative." He explained the sovereignty and status of Taiping Island and reiterated that Taiwan is working to transform the Taiping Islands into "an island for peace and rescue operations," as well as an ecologically friendly and low-carbon island.

April 9, 2016
President Ma Ying-jeou visit Pengjia Islet to unveil a monument to the East China Sea Peace Initiative. He delivered an important speech in which he explained the geographic and historical relationship between the Diaoyutai Islands and Taiwan's "three northern islets" (Pengjia Islet, Mianhua Islet, and Huaping Islet), and reiterated the government's firm resolve to pursue regional peace and create "Peace in the Three Seas."

April 11, 2016
The MAC issued a press release solemnly protesting the deportation and detention by the Mainland of ROC nationals involved in a telecommunications fraud case in Kenya. It noted that the Mainland action seriously infringes the basic rights and interests of the people of Taiwan and Taiwan's jurisdiction. It also entirely ignores the facts of the Agreement on Joint Cross-Strait Crime-Fighting and Mutual Judicial Assistance signed between the two sides on the basis of the past eight years of mutual non-denial of authority to govern. The MAC also emphasized that the government absolutely gives first priority to protecting the rights and interests of the people and is seeking their prompt return to Taiwan.

April 14, 2016
President Ma Ying-jeou presented a speech at the International Conference on South China Sea Disputes and International Law. In remarks, the president explained how important the South China Sea region is to our national security, as well as the historical and legal evidence on which the ROC's sovereignty over islands of the South China Sea is based. He then reiterated actions and efforts made by Taiwan to advocate negotiations based on the South China Sea Peace Initiative and Roadmap, safeguard the sovereignty and status of Taiping Island.

April 15, 2016
The MAC issued a press release stating that it has convened an ad hoc meeting on the deportation of Taiwanese nationals in Kenya to the Mainland and established a task force to study and negotiate the follow-up formation of a delegation to visit the Mainland, assistance to families, and the establishment of normal handling methods for future cross-Strait cooperation in combating transnational crime.

April 19, 2016
President Ma Ying-jeou stated in an interview by The Straits Times of Singapore that the Kenya case is a criminal case over which Taiwan and Mainland China have concurrent jurisdiction and is not a matter of sovereignty. A special task force in Taiwan will discuss the handling of this case with the Mainland side and establish principles for the cooperative division of labor between the two sides.

April 20, 2016
President Ma Ying-jeou attended a press conference at the Office of the President for the publication of "A Dictionary of Chinese Lexicons." He said that the Chinese dictionary, jointly compiled by the Mainland and Taiwan, represents cross-strait reconciliation in the political sphere and highlights the significance of the dictionary in promoting cross-Strait cultural exchanges.

April 29, 2016
President Ma Ying-jeou went to Kinmen to attend an event commemorating the 23rd anniversary of the Koo-Wang Talks and the unveiling of the Cross-Strait Peace Monument. He discussed the peace and development of cross-Strait relations over the past eight years and expressed hope that the two sides will continue to uphold the spirit of "shelving disputes and pursuing win-win solutions" so that the Taiwan Strait can become a sea of sustained peace and prosperity.

May 7, 2016
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a press release stating that the ROC government takes a positive view on the eighth invitation by the World Health Organization (WHO) for Taiwan to participate as an observer under the name of "Chinese Taipei" and the participation by a delegation led by the Minister of Health and Welfare at the 69th World Health Assembly (WHA). This year's invitation mentioned the "one China principle" in the UN General Assembly Resolution 2758, WHA Resolution 25.1, and the above-mentioned documents. This is a unilateral statement of the WHO's position.

May 20, 2016
President Tsai Ing-wen stated in her inaugural address that she respects the historical fact that, in 1992, the SEF and ARATS, through communication and negotiations, arrived at various joint acknowledgements and understandings in a spirit of mutual understanding and a political attitude of seeking common ground while setting aside differences. Since 1992, over 20 years of interactions and negotiations across the Strait have enabled and accumulated outcomes which both sides must collectively cherish and sustain; and it is based on such existing realities and political foundations that the stable and peaceful development of the cross-Strait relationship must be continuously promoted. The new government will conduct cross-Strait affairs in accordance with the ROC Constitution, the Act Governing Relations between the People of Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area, and other relevant legislation. The two governing parties across the Strait must set aside the baggage of history, and engage in positive dialogue for the benefit of the people on both sides. The president also said that, by existing political foundations, she refers to a number of key elements. The first element is the fact of the 1992 talks between the SEF and ARATS, when there was joint acknowledgement of setting aside differences to seek common ground. This is a historical fact. The second element is the existing Republic of China constitutional order. The third element pertains to the outcomes of over 20 years of negotiations and interactions across the Strait. And the fourth relates to the democratic principle and prevalent will of the people of Taiwan.

May 20, 2016
The MAC issued a press release stating the government's position on a statement by mainland China on cross-Strait relations. It said that the president has emphasized that she will firmly uphold the peaceful and stable status of cross-Strait relations on the existing facts and political foundation. She also called on the two sides to create benefits for the people on both sides through healthy cross-Strait communication and dialogue. The government will promote cross-Strait relations in line with democratic principles and public opinion and create and protect the well-being and interests of the people of Taiwan.

June 3, 2016
The MAC issued a press release on the 27th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square Incident stating that freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law are universal values and a cherished way of life for people around the world. The historical scar of the Tiananmen Square Incident should be confronted and healed.

June 7, 2016
President Tsai Ing-wen stated at the Europe Day Dinner held by the European Chamber of Commerce that Taiwan will work to maintain the status quo of peace and stability in cross-Strait relations and establish consistent, predictable, and sustainable cross-Strait ties.

June 8, 2016
The MAC released the results of the survey of the "Public's View on the President's Inaugural Address and Cross-Strait Issues." The poll showed that more than 90% of the public support the government's position of firmly maintaining the status quo of cross-Strait peace and stability (92.8%), over 70% of the public support the president's proposal to conduct cross-Strait affairs based on the ROC Constitution, the Act Governing Relations between the People of Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area, and other relevant legislation (74.4%), and over 70% of the public support the president's proposal to respect the historical fact of the joint acknowledgement and understanding reached between the Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) and the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS) in 1992 (74.6%). Additionally, more than 80% of the public think the two sides should jointly maintain the existing mechanisms and expand communication and dialogue (85.2%).

June 8, 2016
President Tsai Ing-wen stated at the "2016 Dragon Boat Festival Symposium and Get-Together for Taiwan Businesspeople" that, in her May 20 inaugural address, she expressed the fullest flexibility and goodwill. In the future, Taiwan will continue to communicate with the other side, work to maintain institutionalized communication and dialogue mechanisms between the two sides, continue to promote economic and trade exchanges and exchanges at all levels, promote mutual understanding between the two sides, and establish a better environment for interaction.

June 8, 2016
MAC Minister Katharine Chang stated during a Dragon Boat Festival forum for Taiwan businesspeople in the Mainland that the most important thing in the government's cross-Strait policy is to maintain the status quo and peaceful and stable development of cross-Strait relations. The government will promote cross-Strait affairs based on the ROC Constitution, the Act Governing Relations between the People of Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area, and relevant legislation. Minister Chang stressed that cross-Strait peace and stability is the responsibility of both sides. Taiwan cherishes the cumulative results and status quo achieved through past cross-Strait communication and exchange. Taiwan is also willing to advance cross-Strait relations based on the existing political foundation.

June 14, 2016
MAC Minister Katharine Chang stated on the issue of the number of years required for Mainland spouses to obtain an identity card that the MAC has always been committed to protecting the employment, health, community involvement rights of Mainland spouses in Taiwan. The MAC adheres to the principle of "accommodation in humanitarian assistance" and "strictness in residence ID approval." It will comprehensively consider the protection of the rights of new residents, the burden on society, national security, and other factors in its progressive review of related policies.

June 24, 2016
The MAC issued a press release stating that the Mainland has proposed deporting Taiwanese nationals involved in criminal cases to mainland China. The MAC promptly presented its position to the Mainland through the cross-Strait communication channel, explaining that the deportation of the suspects to mainland China is not conducive to positive cross-Strait interactions. The Taiwan side does not want such issues to repeatedly occur and called on both sides to properly solve related problems and effectively fight crime through ongoing positive communication and dialogue.

June 30, 2016
President Tsai Ing-wen stated at a reception for the traveling press corps during her visit to Paraguay that an important factor in maintaining peace and stability in cross-Strait relations is for both parties to reopen the communication mechanism between the SEF and the ARATS. Maintaining peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait is a collaborative effort that is the responsibility of all parties, and not one borne by Taiwan and mainland China alone. She further expressed hope that all regional stakeholders will join together and help foster peaceful cross-Strait relations. The president also emphasized that in her inaugural address on May 20, she has already shown the greatest sincerity and flexibility. She hopes that mainland China can see that, and at the same time display a more flexible attitude so that cross-Strait relations can progress, and stability can be maintained.

July 1, 2016
The MAC stated today regarding a misfired Hsiung Feng III missile from an ROC Navy Jin-Jiang class patrol craft that the Ministry of National Defense has explained to the public that the misfire resulted from an operational error by personnel and was entirely accidental. The MAC immediately received related information and the government promptly initiated national security mechanisms and duly responded. The MAC also said that this afternoon it authorized the SEF to ask the ARATS to notify the relevant departments, and simultaneously notified the Taiwan Affairs Office. The government has handled this case through existing cross-Strait communication and liaison mechanisms and taken the necessary and appropriate measures. The MAC reiterated that there has been no change in the government's determination to maintain peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait and region. The incident further highlights the importance of cross-Strait communication and liaison mechanisms in preventing unnecessary misunderstandings and misjudgments.

July 20, 2016
MAC issued a press release on the July 19 highway accident involving a tour group from Liaoning. It stated that the government immediately set up a response center and has convened daily meetings to handle related follow-up affairs. The MAC has coordinated with the National Immigration Agency under the Ministry of the Interior on an ad hoc basis to arrange priority approval and issuance of permits for officials of Mainland China's Cross-Strait Tourism Exchange Association, Liaoning Tourism Bureau, and Taiwan Affairs Office to visit Taiwan. It will also continue to help the families of the victims and relatives to come to Taiwan.

July 18, 2016
President Tsai Ing-wen stated during an interview with the US-based Washington Post that Taiwan is a democracy where the trend of public opinion is very important. It is unlikely the government of Taiwan will accept a deadline for conditions that are against the will of the people. The president stated that there are diverse channels of communication across the Taiwan Strait, covering not only official links, but person-to-person ties as well. The channels between the SEF and the ARATS and between the MAC and the Taiwan Affairs Office are currently suspended, but they are only part of diverse channels available. The president also stated that Taiwan is handling relations with mainland China with great caution at this time and avoiding provocative stances to prevent accidents. Is also hoped that through information exchange, the two sides can establish mutual trust.

July 25, 2016
MAC Minister Katharine Chang attended a joint public memorial for the victims of the July 19 bus accident involving a tour group from Liaoning. She said that the government will do its utmost to identify the causes of the incident. The relevant agencies will jointly review and strengthen cross-Strait tourism safety related actions, strengthen Taiwan's tourism tourist coach management and tourism environment, and rebuild the confidence of the Mainland public in Taiwan travel.

August 4, 2016
The MAC stated in a press release on Taiwan's participation in the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Assembly that the Civil Aeronautics Administration under the Ministry of Transportation and Communications has submitted a letter of intent to the ICAO Assembly President and applied in an appropriate name to participate in this year's ICAO Assembly. Taiwan believes that the two sides should jointly negotiate and that Taiwan could continue to participate in this year's ICAO Assembly based on mutual goodwill from both sides of the Taiwan Strait.

August 8, 2016
The MAC stated that it was informed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs that mainland China intends to detain and deport to the Mainland five Taiwanese nationals acquitted by the Kenyan court. The MAC immediately conveyed Taiwan's position to the Mainland side through cross-Strait communication channels. It also demanded that the Mainland actively coordinate the relevant departments to arrange the handover of the Taiwan personnel involved in this case to the Taiwan side to be returned to Taiwan and dealt with according to law and not be detained in mainland China. The government will continue to communicate with the Mainland to seek the return of deported Taiwanese nationals to Taiwan for investigation and trial.

August 9, 2016
The MAC announced the results of its second routine public opinion survey this year (2016). The survey showed that more than 80% of the public support the government's cross-Strait policy stance of commitment to maintaining peaceful and stable cross-Strait relations since May 20 (83.8%), over 70% of the public support handling cross-Strait relations by democratic mechanisms and in line with public opinion (77.5%), and nearly 90% of the public support the continued handling of cross-Strait affairs through communication, contact and negotiation mechanisms (89.1%). Moreover, 80% of the public believe that existing cross-Strait economic, trade, travel and culture and education exchanges should not be affected by changes in the cross-Strait situation (80.2%), as well as agree that ongoing contact and exchanges between the people on both sides is conducive to promoting positive interaction between the two sides (83.5%).

August 20, 2016
President Tsai Ing-wen stated during the 2016 Office of the President Press Corps reception at the Taipei Guest House that the government's goal is to establish a consistent, predictable, and sustainable cross-Strait relationship under the current constitutional system. She also emphasized the importance of "maintaining the status quo."

August 23, 2016
MAC Minister Katharine Chang stated in a speech presented at the 2016 Congressional Aide Cross-Strait Relations Study Camp that the most important policy at this stage of promoting cross-Strait relations is to maintain the peaceful and stable development of ties across the Taiwan Strait and to promote cross-Strait affairs in accordance with the Republic of China Constitution, the Act Governing Relations between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area, and other relevant legislation. More communication and dialogue is needed to enhance mutual understanding and interaction.

August 31, 2016
The MAC issued a press release regarding the appointment of Mr. Tien Hung-mao as chairman of the SEF. It stated that the SEF is the only organization authorized by the government to handle cross-Strait affairs. It will remain in charge of assisting in the handling of cross-Strait exchanges, services and negotiations. The MAC will work together with the SEF. After completion of the relevant personnel operation procedures, the SEF will formally inform the ARATS. It is hoped that the SEF and the ARATS can follow up with pragmatic communication and interactions on issues related to the well-being of people on both sides and issues of mutual concern.

September 4, 2016
The MAC issued a press release on the Taiwan Strait related comments made by the Mainland side during the G20 "Obama-Xi Meeting" since May 20. The government has emphasized that it will continue, based on respect for historical facts and the existing political foundations, to keep the door open for communication and negotiation and to work to maintain peaceful and stable cross-Strait relations. This policy position accords with the common interests and expectations of both sides of the Strait and parties in the region. It also enjoys the support and affirmation of mainstream public opinion in Taiwan. Maintaining peace in the Taiwan Strait is a mutual responsibility of the two sides. Mainland China should more pragmatically and profoundly appreciate the R.O.C. government's goodwill and flexible approaches. It should also rationally and objectively treat the different systems that have developed on the two sides, show mutual respect and understanding, and continue, through exchanges, cooperation, communication, and dialogue, to set aside differences and seek common ground. This would be conducive to the joint establishment of constructive and harmonious cross-Strait relations.

September 7, 2016
The MAC stated in a press release that it immediately expressed deep regret and solemnly protested to the Mainland over the Mainland's deportation of 78 Taiwanese nationals suspected of telecommunication fraud in Kenya. The government will continue to endeavor to communicate with the Mainland regarding Taiwanese nationals already deported to the Mainland and to seek the return of the involved nationals to Taiwan to undergo investigation and trial according to law.

September 10, 2016
President Tsai Ing-wen stated during a visit to Kinmen's Shuitou Pier to inspect the Mini Three Links and port area that the Mini Three Links mark an important milestone in cross-Strait relations. She hoped that, from the historical experience of the Mini Three Links, the two sides can develop a forward-looking future for cross-Strait relations, adhere to peaceful contact and benign interaction across the Strait, and make greater efforts and contribution to ongoing promotion of the peaceful and stable development of cross-Strait relations.

September 10, 2016
The MAC stated in a press release that the results of the investigation into the bus fire accident on July 19 this year (2016) involving a tour group from Liaoning, Mainland China were announced by the Taoyuan District Prosecutors Office. Taiwan has notified the Mainland side of the findings through existing mechanisms so that the families of the Mainland victims may be informed as soon as possible. The government expressed that it would continue to provide necessary assistance to the victims' families and hopes that the case will not affect cross-Strait tourism exchange.

September 10, 2016
The MAC issued a press release stating that it has called a meeting joined by the National Palace Museum (NPM), Ministry of the Interior, Ministry of Justice, and other relevant agencies regarding the controversial acceptance of a position in mainland China by former NPM director Feng Ming-chu. It was decided to ask the NPM to ascertain the facts on questions regarding the acceptance of positions in the Mainland and to notify the judicial authorities for handling any matters involving violations of Article 33 and Article 90 of the Act Governing Relations between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area. Additionally, the NPM will, according to law, revoke original dispositions contrary to provisions on due recusal in reducing the Mainland travel restriction time, and reassess the restriction period.

September 12, 2016
The MAC issued a press release on the demands of the tourism industry march, stating that the Executive Yuan has intensively held inter-ministerial ad hoc meetings recently to deliberate on response plans and measures responding to the impact of the reduced number of Mainland tourists on related industries and personnel. Relevant agencies will continue to dedicate efforts to helping related industries restructure, transform, and maintain niches for the sustainable development of Taiwan's tourism industry. The MAC stated that promoting Mainland tourist visits to Taiwan is an established policy of the government. Our position on welcoming Mainland tourists to Taiwan remains unchanged. The MAC also called for the two sides to promptly dialogue or communicate on issues related to cross-Strait tourism and promote ongoing people-to-people exchanges between the two sides.

September 14, 2016
President Tsai Ing-wen stated in a speech delivered at the "2016 Mid-Autumn Festival Gathering of Taiwanese Businessmen's Associations" that the government is promoting a new model of economic development around the core thinking of "innovation, employment, and distribution." It has also launched a New Southbound Policy to accelerate economic restructuring and promote industrial transformation and upgrading. As long as companies can continue to improve constitutionally, Taiwan's economy can grow stronger and cross-Strait economic and trade will naturally have more space and develop more healthily. The president also stressed that the government's determination to maintain peaceful and stable development across the Strait has not changed in the slightest. With the goal of maintaining overall national interests and the greatest well-being of the people, the government will do its best to promote positive cross-Strait interaction and to establish pragmatic, healthy, and sustainable cross-Strait relations.

September 14, 2016
MAC Minister Katharine Chang stated at the 2016 Mid-Autumn Festival Gathering of Taiwanese Businessmen's Associations that, since May 20, the government has emphasized that it will continue, based on respect for historical facts and the existing political foundations, to keep the door open for communication and negotiation and to work to maintain peaceful and stable cross-Strait relations. The government has fully demonstrated the greatest sincerity and determination to build consistent, predictable and sustainable cross-Strait relations. The MAC will proactively promote completion of legislation for the Cross-Strait Agreement Supervisory Act, and then promote follow-up work on the trade in services and goods according to related provisions of the act so that cross-Strait exchanges and development can continue on a legal basis. She also stated that the two sides both shoulder a heavy responsibility for regional peace and development and share common interests. Taiwan hopes, at an appropriate time in the future, to begin consultations and dialogue with mainland China on related issues and cooperation matters and encourage complementary results in the New Southbound Policy and cross-Strait relations.

September 15, 2016
MAC Deputy Minister Lin Cheng-yi was invited by the Brookings Institution to attend the international symposium on "Cross-Strait Relations under the Tsai Ing-wen Administration" and presented a keynote speech on the topic of "Maintaining Peace and Stability in the Taiwan Strait Is a Shared Goal of Both Sides." He emphasized that, based on respect for historical facts and the existing political foundation, the government has continued to promote the peaceful and stable development of cross-Strait relations. This firm pledge has demonstrated the attitude and determination of the government to pragmatically handle cross-Strait affairs and the core values of the cross-Strait policy implemented under the current administration. The MAC has also made appeals and taken actions related to the new cross-Strait situation, including Taiwan's commitment to keeping the door open to cross-Strait communication and dialogue. Deputy Minister Lin also called on both parties to endeavor to show goodwill and gradually establish mutual trust; to communicate informally and find common awareness and understanding; to put the people first and prioritize the public's well-being and interests; and to expand cross-Strait economic and trade exchanges and cooperation to the shared interests of both sides.

September 20, 2016
The MAC stated in a press release that, after confirming that 13 Taiwanese nationals involved in telecommunications fraud in Cambodia were taken into custody and deported to Mainland China, the MAC again voiced deep regrets to the Mainland and issued a solemn protest. The MAC called on the Mainland to set aside prejudices and, on the existing foundation of cooperation and through benign communication and dialogue between the two sides, jointly formulate a proper approach to more strongly protect the interests and well-being of the people on both sides.

September 23, 2016
President Tsai Ing-wen met with members of the Group of the European People's Party who sit on the European Parliament's Committee on International Trade. The president expressed regret that Taiwan did not receive an invitation from the International Civil Aviation Organization to attend its upcoming assembly. She also reiterated that air traffic safety is a fundamental human right that should neither be subject to preconditions nor be restricted or denied due to political factors.

September 23, 2016
The MAC issued a solemn statement on the lack to date of an invitation to participate in the International Civil Aviation Organization Assembly this year. Since May 20, mainland China has continuously declared that Taiwan will be unable to participate in international organizations and meetings without a common political foundation of "one China" between the two sides. Taiwan expressed strong dissatisfaction and regret over the use of such political framework as a pretext to suppress Taiwan's participation in international organizations. On August 4 this year, the MAC expressed a willingness to communicate on this matter with a pragmatic and positive attitude. However, this was rebuffed by Beijing. It also expressed the belief that the actions of the other side hurt the feelings of the people of Taiwan, are entirely unhelpful in improving cross-Strait relations and run counter to the Mainland's public stance of promoting the peaceful development of cross-Strait relations.

October 4, 2016
President Tsai Ing-wen stated during an exclusive interview with the US-based Wall Street Journal that, on cross-Strait relations, her "pledges will not change" and "goodwill also will not change." However, Taiwan "will not bow to pressure," nor "will we return to the old path of confrontation." In her May 20 inaugural address, the president conveyed the utmost flexibility and goodwill and this is considered the greatest common denominator in Taiwan. It is hoped that mainland China will respect the position and judgments produced by Taiwan's democratic mechanisms that both sides try to maintain rational and calm position as was the case during the period after May 20. The president also called for both sides to sit down and talk as soon as possible to find solutions acceptable to the two sides. She said Taiwan does not want meaningful talks between the two sides to be influenced by political frameworks.

October 6, 2016
President Tsai Ing-wen reiterated during an interview by Japan's Yomiuri Shimbun that her pledge made on May 20 will not change, namely: we will maintain the status quo, our goodwill will not change, and we hope to jointly resolve the problems faced by the two sides. At the same time, Taiwan and the Taiwanese people will not bow to pressure and we do not want to revert to the past confrontational relationship. We hope for a peaceful, mutually cooperative, and problem-solving relationship. The president also called on mainland China to set aside the baggage of history and resolve differences between the two sides through non-conditional and constructive communication and exchanges.

October 8, 2016
President Tsai Ing-wen stated at the opening ceremony of the 2016 International Symposium on The South China Sea Dispute and Asian Pacific Peace and Security that Taiwan is a democratic society. Maintaining the status quo is the choice of the people of Taiwan. She also stressed that Taiwan’s fundamental position is that our pledges will not change and our goodwill will not change, but we will not bow to pressure. At the same time, we have no wish, willingness, or intention to revert to the old path of confrontation. The two sides of the Taiwan Strait should sit down for talks as soon as possible and improve communication so that we can avoid needless misunderstandings and find mutually acceptable resolutions to the various problems we face.

October 9, 2016
MAC Minister Hsiao-yueh Chang stated in a speech delivered at a banquet to welcome Hong Kong and Macau residents to Taiwan for the 2016 National Day celebration that, since May 20, the government has repeatedly stressed, based on respect for historical facts and the existing political foundation, that it will continue to open a wide door for communication and consultation and is committed to maintaining the status quo of cross-Strait peace and stability. This is supported by mainstream public opinion in Taiwan. According to a MAC public opinion survey conducted in August this year, 88.9% of the public support maintaining the status quo. It is hoped that mainland China can pragmatically understand the ROC government's goodwill, objectively look at the systemic development differences between the two sides, steadily adjust relations between the two sides, continue communication and dialogue, build up mutual trust, and establish healthy and harmonious cross-Strait relations.

October 10, 2016
During the 2016 ROC National Day Celebration, President Tsai Ing-wen reiterated that the immovable position of the new government on cross-Strait relations is to establish a consistent, predictable and sustainable cross-Strait relationship, and to maintain both Taiwan's democracy and the status quo of peace across the Taiwan Strait. Our pledges will not change and our goodwill will not change. But we will not bow to pressure and we will of course not revert to the old path of confrontation. This is our fundamental attitude toward maintaining the status quo, and it is based on the collective hope for peace across the Taiwan Strait. The president stressed that maintaining the status quo has a more proactive meaning, with deepening democracy as foundation. We will adopt proactive and forward-looking measures to promote constructive exchanges and dialogue across the Taiwan Strait in order to build a peaceful and stable cross-Strait relationship that endures. The president called on the authorities of mainland China to face up to the reality that the ROC exists and that the people of Taiwan have an unshakable faith in the democratic system. The two sides should promptly sit down and talk. Anything can be discussed so long as it is conducive to the development of peace between the two sides and the welfare of the people on both sides of the Taiwan Strait.

October 10, 2016
The MAC issued a press release regarding President Tsai’s National Day Address stating that the two sides should jointly cherish the accumulated outcomes of past exchanges and consultations between the two sides and promptly resume communication and dialogue. Constructive, non-conditional, and benign communication and dialogue based on mutual understanding and respect is the key to resolving differences and all problems. It also offers an opportunity to create the well-being of the people and to find a way for joint development between the two sides. It is believed that mutually beneficial cross-Strait relations play an important role in building regional peace, security, harmony and prosperity. It is hoped that mainland China will again seriously consider that there is no need for unnecessary doubts and suspicions and not misjudge the situation.

October 14, 2016
MAC Minister Hsiao-yueh Chang stated in opening remarks at the fourth session of the "2016 Cross-Strait Relations Young Student Camp" that the core concepts of the cross-Strait policy promoted by the government are to work to maintain the peaceful and stable status of cross-Strait relations and to conduct cross-Strait affairs according to the ROC Constitution, the Act Governing Relations between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area, and other relevant legislation. On some issues, the two sides have different views and positions that need to be resolved through communication, dialogue, consultation, and negotiations.

October 20, 2016
The MAC issued a press release expressing regrets over the Mainland's demand that the Council of Indigenous Peoples not use its full agency title at the 2016 Hangzhou Cultural and Creative Industry Expo and the forced removal of the name. It also supports the withdrawal of the CIP delegation from the expo to show its determination to protest. The MAC stressed that the government has always adhered to principle of equality and dignity in promoting cross-Strait cultural exchanges. Related exchange activities should contribute mutual understanding and positive interaction between the people on both sides. It is also hoped that the Mainland can take a mutually respectful attitude and not bring political considerations into exchange activity to create difficulties for cross-Strait relations.

October 24, 2016
The MAC issued a press release on the conclusions of a policy coordination meeting joined by representatives of the Presidential Office, Executive Yuan, and Democratic Progressive Party caucus to discuss the issue of including mainland Chinese students in the National Health Insurance system. It stated that, based on humanitarian considerations and human rights values, mainland Chinese students should be included in the health insurance system comparable to the treatment of foreign and overseas Chinese students, it has been the government's consistent position to allow all Mainland students studying in Taiwan to enjoy the same health coverage. In the future, the MAC and relevant departments will continue communication with and explanation to all sectors of society and, in conjunction with promoting completion of the legislative process, implement the policy of including Mainland students in the health insurance system.

October 27, 2016
Responding to a comment by the Taiwan Affairs Office(TAO) spokesperson An Fengshan that Taiwan has never been a country, the MAC issued a press release stating that the ROC is a sovereign state with its own constitution and a national leader elected by the people. It has also established formal diplomatic relations with 22 countries. This is an objective fact. Mainland China's one-sided statement does not change the fact that the ROC is a sovereign state. The TAO spokesperson's improper comments hurt the feelings of Taiwan's 23 million people and are detrimental to the peaceful and stable development of cross-Strait relations.

October 28, 2016
MAC announced the results of a survey of the public's views on cross-Strait relations, showing that nearly 70% of the public believe that political preconditions should not be set for cross-Strait exchanges (67%); over 70% of the public think that cross-Strait interactions involving political issues and government authority should be handled by the government to maintain the overall interests of Taiwan (72.9%); and 80% of the public support the position that officials on the two sides should negotiate and implement agreements to safeguard the rights and interests of the people (80.7%). More than 80% of the public support the government's approach of developing benign interaction with mainland China based on respecting historical facts and the existing political foundation (81.2%), agree that "maintaining the status quo" means promoting constructive cross-Strait exchanges and dialogue and building peaceful and stable relations across the Taiwan Strait on the basis of deepening democratic mechanisms (78.4%), and believe that the two sides can talk about any issues conducive to the development of cross-Strait peace and the welfare of people on both sides (82.6%). Additionally, more than 80% of the public agree with the view that "Taiwan's international participation should not be subject to political interference and Taiwan should be allowed to participate in a dignified and meaningful way" (86.3%). The majority of the public think that the mainland Chinese authorities should face up to the reality that the ROC exists (85.2%) and respect public opinion in Taiwan on the development of cross-Strait relations.

November 1, 2016
The MAC issued a press release in regard to talks on cross-Strait relations at a meeting between the leaders of the Communist Party of China and Kuomintang. It proposed four views: mainland China should face up to the ROC and respect mainstream public opinion in Taiwan; genuine mutual understanding can only be advanced through equal, dignified, and diverse development between the two sides; cross-Strait issues must return to institutionalized mechanisms and follow the government's direction and pacing; and both sides should resolve their differences through constructive communication, respecting the historical fact of the 1992 talks.

November 11, 2016
The MAC stated in a press release regarding comments made by mainland China on cross-Strait relations that the Republic of China (ROC) is a sovereign state established 105 years ago. Mainland China should face the objective fact of the existence of the ROC. Seeking the people's well-being was the goal of Dr. Sun Yat-sen's life efforts. It is also the greatest common factor between the two sides. The two sides should respect each other's different institutional development and, through positive communication, dialogue, and interaction, advance mutual understanding, resolve differences, seek joint acknowledgements, and work together for the welfare of people on both sides, benign and harmonious relations across the Taiwan Strait, and regional peace.

November 16, 2016
MAC Minister Chang Hsiao-yueh attended an international conference on "Mainland China's Institutional Changes and Strategic Trends." In a keynote speech entitled "Communicating in Good Faith, Seeking Common Understanding for Peace in the Taiwan Strait," she emphasized that trust-building between the two sides must be a two-way process. Facing the new cross-Strait situation since May 20, Taiwan has embraced a new discussion and direction. The Mainland must break away from old ways of thinking and its standard behavior towards Taiwan. The two sides can unlock the greatest possible space for cooperation by opening the door at the same time and facing up to each other.

November 17, 2016
MAC Deputy Minister Chang Tien-chin presented a keynote speech entitled "Peace in the Taiwan Strait is an Important Cornerstone of Regional Security" at the University of London's School of Oriental and African Studies. He said that cross-Strait relations play a vital role in building regional peace and collective security. The ROC government has been dedicated to building consistent, predictable and sustainable cross-Strait relations and endeavored to the fullest to maintain regional peace and security. He also emphasized that both sides should set aside their historical baggage and mutually respect each other's different historical development experience, distinct political systems and social functioning, and calmly and rationally deal with current cross-Strait problems to create a win-win cross-Strait relationship.

November 26, 2016
At the invitation of The Economist magazine of the UK, President Tsai Ing-wen contributed an opinion piece, entitled "Turning Taiwan into a tiger again," to "The World in 2017." She stated that Taiwan will seek dialogue with all interested parties, including mainland China, to build a framework for peace and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region. The government's cross-Strait policy is to establish consistent, predictable and sustainable relations under the existing constitutional framework.

November 29, 2016
The MAC issued a press release voicing deep regrets over mainland China's intention to detain and deport to the Mainland 21 Taiwanese nationals suspected of involvement in telecommunications fraud in Malaysia. It also expressed the belief that such unilateral actions by the Mainland ignore Taiwan's repeated appeals demanding that both sides deport their respective nationals to undergo trial according to law; damage the tacit understanding and foundation for cooperative investigation by public security agencies on the two sides; and further seriously harm the feelings of the Taiwanese people. The Mainland should promptly make notification of restrictions to personal freedom, as stipulated under the Cross-Strait Agreement on Joint Crime-Fighting and Judicial Mutual Assistance, guarantee the relevant judicial rights of Taiwan people in the Mainland, follow due process, and assist in arranging matters related to family visits based on the position of humanitarian concerns.

November 30, 2016
The MAC issued a press release on including Mainland students in Taiwan's health insurance system. It stated that, in order to create a friendly living and learning environment for Mainland students studying in Taiwan, the government continues to review and amend related measures according to the principles of "phased implementation, review and amendment, and complete supporting measures," and premised on ensuring the rights and interests of Taiwanese students. The government will also proactively promote the inclusion of mainland Chinese students in the health insurance system.

December 6, 2016
President Tsai Ing-wen stated during a meeting with a delegation of journalists from the 2016 Asia Pacific Journalism Fellowship program organized by the East-West Center in Hawaii, USA, that robust Taiwan-U.S. relations definitely help to underpin peace and stability in the Asia Pacific and Taiwan Strait. The two sides of the Strait should sit down and talk as soon as possible to find solutions to the many problems they face. The president said that the positions stated in her inaugural address and National Day address remain unchanged.

December 10, 2016
The Ministry of National Defense issued a press release regarding a high sea drill conducted by mainland Chinese military aircraft on December 10. It stated that more than 10 planes of various types under the Mainland's Eastern Theater Air Force participated in the high sea drill. The planes crossed the Miyako Strait heading north to south. Four electronic reconnaissance aircraft flew south across the Bashi Channel. Fighters from the Southern Theater Air Force provided cover for the planes as they conducted drills outside Taiwan's southern air defense identification zone. The armed forces is closely reconnoitering and tracking the situation and is preparing countermeasures. The ministry advised the public to remain calm.

December 21, 2016
The Office of the President issued a statement on the decision by the Democratic Republic of Sao Tome and Principe to sever diplomatic relations with the Republic of China. It said that the government deeply regrets that mainland China took advantage of the financial difficulties faced by Sao Tome and Principe to press the "one China policy." This kind of approach not only hurts the feelings of the Taiwanese people, but also undermines stability across the Taiwan Strait. It is entirely unhelpful to the long-term development of cross-Strait ties.

December 21, 2016
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement on the decision by the Democratic Republic of Sao Tome and Principe to terminate diplomatic relations with the ROC. It said that the government of Sao Tome and Principe has ignored 20 years of friendly diplomatic ties, playing both sides of the Taiwan Strait while holding out for the highest bidder. The ROC regrets the abrupt and unfriendly decision by the government of Sao Tome and Principe and condemns this action.

December 21, 2016
The MAC issued a press release voicing strong dissatisfaction and regret over mainland China's cajoling of Taiwan's diplomatic ally, the Democratic Republic of Sao Tome and Principe, into breaking off diplomatic relations with Taiwan. It appealed that the Mainland must clearly recognize the facts across the Taiwan Strait and seriously face up to the possible consequences of their unilateral actions. The ROC government will staunchly defend the sovereignty and dignity of the nation and the interests and welfare of the people.

December 25, 2016
The Ministry of National Defense issued a press release on the crossing of the Mainland's Liaoning aircraft carrier through Japan's Miyakojima sea lane on December 25 en route to a long-range training drill in the Western Pacific. The ministry said that it is closely monitoring the situation and will take countermeasures to safeguard national security. It asked the public to remain calm.

December 26, 2016
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a solemn statement concerning the signing of a joint communique between Sao Tome and Principe and Mainland China on re-establishing diplomatic ties. It expressed strong disappointment and regret. It also stated that the fact that the Republic of China is an independent, sovereign state, cannot be unilaterally denied by the so-called "one China" principle mentioned in the joint communique.

December 31, 2016
President Tsai Ing-wen stated during a year-end press conference at the Presidential Office for the domestic and international press corps that, for the sake of safeguarding regional peace and prosperity, our commitments will not change, and our goodwill will not change. But we will not bow to pressure, and we will of course not revert to the old path of confrontation. Whether cross-Strait ties can take a turn for the better in the coming year will depend on our patience and resolve. It will also depend on how Beijing sees the future of cross-Strait relations, and whether it is willing to share responsibility and, with new thinking and approaches, jointly plan a new model for cross-Strait interaction to answer the collective hope for peace and development from the people on both sides of the Taiwan Strait, as well as the different parties in the region.