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Mainland Affairs Council

I. Mainland Policy and Work

2012

January 4, 2012
During a Lunar New Year press conference, MAC Minister Lai Shin-yuan states that the government will maintain the status quo of "no unification, no independence, and no use of force" in the Taiwan Strait under the framework of the ROC Constitution . It will also promote institutionalized negotiations ,upholding the principle of "putting Taiwan first for the benefit of the people" and building on the foundation of the "1992 Consensus of one China with respective interpretations." Taiwan's position is that "one China" is the Republic of China, and the "1992 Consensus" means "shelving disputes and holding pragmatic negotiations" to concretely resolve problems encountered by the public in cross-strait exchanges. The governments of the two sides have developed from their past ideological struggles to joint negotiations, jointly resolving the problems of the people on both sides. Minister Lai also states that after more than three years of practice, peace has become the greatest common factor between the two sides. Both sides should continue to uphold the spirit of showing mutual respect, facing realities, shelving disputes and creating together a win-win solution, prioritize the well-being and interests of the people on both sides, continue the orderly operation of institutionalized negotiations to resolve various problems related to cross-strait exchanges and the rights and interests of the people, enhance mutual understanding, cultivate mutual trust, gradually establish an environment for cross-strait mutual benefit and co-prosperity, and thereby lay a solid foundation for lasting peace in the Taiwan Strait. Minister Lai also calls on the Mainland side to pragmatically face up to the existence of the Republic of China, and show mutual respect and friendly treatment in various fields, including the international community so as to gradually accumulate mutual trust and jointly achieve the sustainable development of cross-strait relations.

January 15, 2012
During a meeting with a delegation of experts and scholars, including US-Taiwan Business Council Chairman Paul Dundes Wolfowitz and Washington D.C.-based Carnegie Endowment for International Peace Vice President Douglas Paal, President Ma Ying-jeou reiterates Taiwan's determination to create the conditions necessary to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) within the next decade. Moreover, in the process of promoting the development of cross-strait relations in the coming four years, he will spare no effort to safeguard the sovereignty of the ROC , the security of Taiwan and the dignity of the people of Taiwan. He also states that during the campaign this time, many students from the Mainland witnessed democracy in action and experienced things they had never seen in mainland China. Ma hopes this kind of natural exchanges will enable mainland China to understand that democracy is possible in an ethnic Chinese society and that the degree of Taiwan’s democracy can be achieved. This understanding constitutes a new direction for cross-strait relations, and this experience also enables Mainlanders to further appreciate the value of Taiwan, helping Western nations understand the signficance of the existence of the ROC. Taiwan is not only a democratic and economically prosperous nation, it will also influence the future development of mainland China.   

January 18, 2012
In a speech presented at the "2012 Lunar New Year Party" at the Ministry of National Defense, President Ma Ying-jeou states that the improvement of cross-strait relations, including trade, investment, education and cultural exchanges, forms a kind of implicit defense and security guarantee. The government will also establish different lines of defense in the Taiwan Strait in other fields so that the other side will not consider using non-peaceful means to resolve cross-strait disputes. This is consistent with the highest state described in the Art of War: "the highest form of generalship is to balk the enemy's plans, the next best is to prevent the junction of the enemy's forces, the next in order is to attack the enemy's army in the field, and the worst policy of all is to besiege walled cities."

January 31, 2012
In a speech presented at the "2012 Lunar New Year Gathering and Banquet for Taiwanese Businesspeople's Associations," President Ma Ying-jeou states that over the past more than three years, cross-strait relations have undergone enormous changes. Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) follow-up negotiations are currently in progress and the follow-up agreements should be promptly signed to upgrade Taiwan's international competitiveness. He also states that the achievement of cross-strait peace has further improved Taiwan's relations with the United States and Japan, and the entire international community recognizes Taiwan as a peacemaker instead of a troublemaker. Taiwan has set out a route for peaceful coexistence with the world’s first three largest economies.   

February 1, 2012
At the opening ceremony of the 2012 Taipei International Book Exhibition, President Ma Ying-jeou states in a speech that further opening in cross-strait cultural exchanges is worth anticipating. The government will also prudently consider including publications as an item for future negotiations on cross-strait cultural exchanges so that Chinese people on both sides can carry out exchanges through a shared language.

February 1, 2012
During a meeting with American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) Chairman Raymond F. Burghardt, President Ma Ying-jeou states that Taiwan,s relations with the rest of the world complement the cross-strait relationship gradually forming a virtuous cycle. These developments accord with the government's consistently pursued approach.That is, maintaining the status quo of "no unification, no independence, and no use of force"in the Taiwan Strait under the ROC Constitution and via the framework of the "1992 Consensus of one China with respective interpretations." In the future, the government will continue to move forward based on this foundation.

February 3, 2012
In a speech at the "2012 Lunar New Year Gathering for Industrial and Commercial Groups," President Ma Ying-jeou states that only one-fifth of all product types are covered under the Cross-Strait Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) signed with mainland China. The government will accelerate the pace and hopes to strengthen economic cooperation. Regarding cross-strait trade, the government has decided to increase the number of both fields and items of Mainland investment permissible in Taiwan ,including in industrial products, the service industry and public construction. The government also plans to increase the number of Mainland cities from which independent Mainland tourists to Taiwan age permitted, begining in March.
President Ma states that the government will continue 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. Under the principle of the "1992 Consensus of one China with respective interpretations," it will also continue to promote the peaceful development between the two sides. He believes that such a foundation will be conducive to further attracting foreign investment.

February 6, 2012
MAC Minister Lai Shin-yuan presents a keynote speech on "The Republic of China's Democratic Achievement is the Core Force for Building Lasting Peace in Cross-Strait Relations" at the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies at Harvard University in the United States. In her speech, she emphasizes that the democratic constitutional system of the Republic of China (ROC) and the mainstream public opinion in Taiwan's society have formed the important foundation for determining the development course of cross-strait relations. It is the people of Taiwan's expectation and insistence to defend Taiwan's identity, promote the peaceful and stable development of cross-strait relations, and maintain the status quo of "no unification, no independence, and no use of force" in the Taiwan Strait under the framework of the ROC Constitution. Over the next four years, Taiwan has the responsibility to consolidate institutionalized negotiations and the achievements from cross-strait agreements and further institutionalize the status quo of "no use of force" in the Taiwan Strait.
Minister Lai also states that the current development state of cross-strait relations and the respective internal conditions on both sides are not sufficiently ripe for consultations on political and military issues. The political dispute between the two sides is a chronic problem which has no easy short-term solution, and mutual trust must be built up gradually. The ROC is a sovereign and independent state, and the Mainland must understand that the ROC is the root of living for the people of Taiwan, one on which they depend for their feelings and identity in the international community. Facing the needs for the long-term development of cross-strait relations and the promotion of further interactions, the Mainland side should pragmatically face up to and respect the reality of the ROC and cross-strait relations and interact in good spirit with Taiwan in the international arena.

February 8, 2012
In a speech at an achievement presentation of the Chinese Linguipedia, President Ma Ying-jeou states that mainland China advocates "writing simplified Chinese while learning to read traditional Chinese," while Taiwan believes in "learning to read traditional Chinese while writing simplified Chinese." Mutual understanding between the two sides on their respective usages should be built up through further exchanges on cultural matters. The two sides should treat writing from non-political, professional and cultural perspectives in order to gradually develop a set of vocabulary that both sides can accept and apply widely.

February 9, 2012
President Ma Ying-jeou sends a letter to Pope Benedict XVI of the Catholic Church in response to the Pope's Message for World Day of Peace 2012. In the letter, President Ma states that since taking office as the President of the Republic of China in 2008, he has endeavored to realize the principles of justice and peace. He has sought, based on the "1992 consensus" of "one China with respective interpretations" and with adherence to "shelving controversies and creating win-win solutions," as well as the principles of equality and reciprocity, to actively improve cross-strait relations. The Taiwan Strait has been transformed from a flashpoint in the region into a conduit for peace in East Asia.President Ma states that, under the framework of the ROC Constitution, he will make the nation a peacemaker by continuing to promote the policy of "no unification, no independence, and no use of force" and maintaining the status quo across the Taiwan Strait in the future.

February 9, 2012
MAC Deputy Minister Johnnason Liu states at a regular press conference that the process for signing each cross-strait agreement has been conducted through government to goverement and cross-strait official-to-official handling of issues. Each agreement has established a steady cross-strait platform in which each issue is like a building block: as these blocks accumulate, this platform stands more firmly and the foundation for cross-strait relations is strengthened. He says,"This is the idea of peace defined in a broader sense."

February 21, 2012
While receiving a US congressional delegation, President Ma Ying-jeou states that the government seeks to replace conflicts with reconciliation and to resolve problems through negotiations. This has effectively improved cross-strait relations, made Taiwan's existence an asset within the international community, and created a virtuous cycle for Taiwan in its international relations. In the future, Taiwan will continue to embrace this principle, which will enable the Republic of China to continue to play the role of a "peacemaker."

March 1, 2012
After hearing a report on "Cross-Strait Financial Exchanges: Achievements and Outlook" by the Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC), Premier Sean Chen said that the "Golden Decade" financial development strategy includes "developing financial services with cross-strait characteristics based on cross-strait economic and trade relations." Premier Chen asked the FSC to broadly consult the financial sector for input and to jointly deliberate with the Central Bank and the MAC on promotion of related measures to help the financial sector take advantage of cross-strait operational bases to effectively integrate the economic and trade operations of Taiwanese businesses in mainland China and further develop business niches in the cross-strait financial market.

March 1, 2012
After hearing a report on the "Implementation of the Cross-Strait Agreements: Achievements and Outlook" by the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Premier Sean Chen noted that the 2011 ECFA Early Harvest list has saved Taiwanese companies over US$122 million in tariff costs. Moreover, the 267 Mainland items enjoying tariff reductions from Taiwan have not had clear impacts on domestic industries. He also noted that Taiwan's ultimate goal is to sign free trade agreements (FTAs) with other countries and join the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

March 5, 2012
In response to comments on Taiwan in mainland China's 2012 Government Work Report, MAC Deputy Minister Johnnason Liu stated that:
(1) The government adheres to the status quo of "no unification, no independence, and no use of force" in the Taiwan Strait under the framework of the ROC Constitution and advocates "putting Taiwan first for the benefit of the people" in order to protect the interests and well-being of the nation and the people. This is the greatest common denominator in Taiwan's society.
(2) In the future, the government will uphold established policy objectives and pace of promotion. On the basis of the "1992 Consensus of one China with respective interpretations" and under the principle of addressing "easy issues before difficult ones, urgent matters before less pressing ones, and economic matters before political ones," the government will continue to promote institutionalized cross-strait negotiations, steadily and sequentially deepen cross-strait exchanges and interactions in various fields, and gradually enhance mutual trust between the two sides to maintain cross-strait peace.
(3) The Republic of China is a sovereign and independent country. The two sides need to jointly maintain cross-strait peace and stability, as well as cherish the results they have achieved over the past four years. They should "shelve controversies and face reality," pragmatically promote win-win cross-strait relations, and continue to work for respective developments and happiness of the people on both sides.

March 7, 2012
During a Legislative Yuan interpellation, MAC Minister Lai Shin-yuan stated that the conditions are not yet ripe for the two sides to begin political negotiations. The negotiation principle of addressing "economic matters before political ones" will not change. She also reiterated that conditions are not mature for signing a cross-strait peace agreement and that there is currently no timetable for such agreement.

March 15, 2012
During a regular press conference on issues related to the Pingtan Comprehensive Experimental Zone, MAC Deputy Minister Johnnason Liu stated that the Mainland has strongly emphasized the "five joints"(joint planning, joint exploitation, joint venture, joint management and joint benefits) during the process. The Mainland side has over-interpreted the concept of "joint planning," which is not the overall policy position of Taiwan. The government believes that the Pingtan Comprehensive Experimental Zone should purely be an economic zone and not embody the concept of cross-strait "jointness." In the future, the Zone will not be implemented on a "joint" concept either.

March 22, 2012
Presidential Office Spokesperson Fan Chiang Tai-chi stated that, in regard to the positioning of cross-strait relations, President Ma Ying-jeou's consistent position has been that the two sides of the Taiwan Strait represent a special relationship, which is based on mutual non-recognition of sovereignty and mutual non-denial of authority to govern. The Constitution of the Republic of China (ROC) and the Act Governing Relations Between People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area stipulate that the "Taiwan Area" refers to Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen, Matsu, and any other area under the effective control of the government, while the "Mainland Area" means the territory of the ROC outside the Taiwan Area, and that both are part of the ROC. President Ma's cross-strait policy is exceptionally clear: to maintain the status quo of "no unification, no independence, and no use of force" in the Taiwan Strait under the framework of the ROC Constitution, and to promote the development of peace between the two sides on the basis of the "1992 Consensus of one China with respective interpretations.""One China" means the ROC.

March 23, 2012
In response to media questions at the Legislative Yuan, MAC Minister Lai Shin-yuan stated that the Act Governing Relations Between People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area was formulated on the basis of the Constitution of the Republic of China and its additional articles. The language of the Act regarding cross-strait relations is the "Taiwan Area" and "Mainland Area." She also stressed that the Mainland policy of the Republic of China is to maintain the status quo of "no unification, no independence, and no use of force" in the Taiwan Strait under the framework of the ROC Constitution, and to promote institutionalized cross-strait negotiations on the basis of the "1992 Consensus of one China with respective interpretations." "One China" means the "Republic of China," and there is no other interpretation.

March 25, 2012
MAC Spokesperson and Deputy Minister Johnnason Liu stated that:
In the formulation "one Republic of China, two areas," "one Republic of China" is the consistent position of the government's Mainland policy, which aims to maintain the status quo of "no unification, no independence, and no use of force" in the Taiwan Strait under the framework of the ROC Constitution. "Two areas" refer to the "Taiwan Area" and the "Mainland Area" as mandated in the constitutionally empowered Act Governing Relations Between People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area. The "Taiwan Area" is defined as Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen, Matsu, and any other area under the effective control of the government, while the "Mainland Area" refers to the territory of the ROC outside the Taiwan Area.
The position of "one Republic of China, two areas" was already determined in constitutional reforms and related legislation over 20 years ago and has not undergone any changes throughout the administrations of President Lee Teng-hui, President Chen Shui-bian, and President Ma Ying-jeou.
"One Republic of China, two areas" fully accords with the descriptions of current cross-strait relations stipulated in the ROC Constitution and the Act Governing Relations Between People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area. The government's stance is that the ROC is a sovereign and independent country and that institutionalized cross-strait negotiations are promoted under the framework of the ROC Constitution. Over the past nearly four years, the two sides have substantively entered the current phase of "mutual non-recognition of sovereignty and mutual non-denial of authority to govern." Through equal cross-strait negotiations on an official-to-official basis and with the establishment of mechanism-to-mechanism contacts between agencies on the two sides, the order of cross-strait exchanges has been regulated, further consolidating the national sovereignty of the ROC and guaranteeing Taiwan's interests.

March 26, 2012
During an interpellation at the Internal Administration Committee of the Legislative Yuan, MAC Minister Lai Shin-yuan noted that "one Republic of China, two areas" is mainly based on the legal provisions under the Constitution of the Republic of China (ROC) and the Act Governing Relations Between People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area which describe the cross-strait status quo, namely: "one Republic of China, two areas, including the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area." The "Taiwan Area" is defined as Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen, Matsu, and any other area under the effective control of the government, while the "Mainland Area" refers to the territory of the ROC outside the Taiwan Area. This position has been unchanged throughout the administrations of President Lee Teng-hui, President Chen Shui-bian, and President Ma Ying-jeou. Cross-strait relations are progressing in an orderly manner and adhere to the principle of addressing "economic issues before political ones." The government has been very clear in its position that there must be "domestic consensus and cross-strait mutual trust" before cross-strait political negotiations can begin.

March 27, 2012
During a meeting with "Project 2049 Institute" delegation to Taiwan led by Richard Armitage, President Ma Ying-jeou stated that the government's Mainland policy advocates the “Three-No's” policy of "no unification, no independence, and no use of force" under the framework of the ROC Constitution. President Ma noted that the government has actively promoted the peaceful development of cross-strait relations. Now incipient signs of peace have emerged in the Taiwan Strait and tensions between the two sides have been significantly reduced. In addition to the improvements in cross-strait relations, Taiwan's position in the international community has strengthened considerably in recent years. In particular, thanks to the support of the United States and other friends around the world, Taiwan was able to participate in the World Health Assembly (WHA) three years ago, which has paved the way for increasingly closer relations between Taiwan and the World Health Organization (WHO). In the future, the ROC government will continue to pursue cross-strait peace and prosperity. It will also seek to improve the Taiwan-US relationship and avoid being marginalized in the course of regional economic integration. Furthermore, Taiwan expects to achieve the necessary conditions for joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) within 10 years as part of its initiative to participate in regional economic integration.

March 30, 2012
During a meeting with members of the Taiwan delegation to the Boao Forum for Asia, President Ma Ying-jeou emphasized that, facing the challenges brought by the global economy, the government will continue to plan ways to further promote cross-strait cooperation, accelerate ECFA follow-up negotiations, and strengthen interactions and cooperation with other trade partners, aiming to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) within 10 years.

April 1, 2012
The MAC issued an announcement on the second batch of pilot cities to be opened for Mainland tourists to travel independently to Taiwan. The opening will be conducted in two stages this year. Stage one, beginning on April 28, will include the six cities of Tianjin, Chongqing, Nanjing, Guangzhou, Hangzhou and Chengdu. The second stage will cover the other four cities of Jinan, Xi'an, Fuzhou, and Shenzhen, with implementation to begin as soon as possible this year.

April 5, 2012
During a meeting with a delegation of European Parliament members, President Ma stated that since Taiwan and mainland China signed the Cross-Strait Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) in 2010, the percentage of items covered by tariff-free treatment has increased from 14% to 94%. Taiwan has also come to play a more active role on the international economic stage; for instance, Taiwan and Japan signed an investment protection agreement, the first seen in 60 years. In addition, Taiwan is presently in talks with Singapore and New Zealand on economic cooperation agreements. The President pointed out that the government intends to actively make the best use of this opportunity to expand ties with its major trading partners throughout the world.

April 12, 2012
The MAC announced the results of its latest public opinion survey. The survey shows that 70 percent of the public support the government's position of maintaining the status quo in the Taiwan Strait under the framework of the ROC Constitution and the principle of "no unification, no independence, no use of force." Moreover, 71 percent of the public support the government's policy to continue addressing problems related to cross-strait exchanges through institutionalized negotiations. On the policy of allowing Mainland tourists to travel independently to Taiwan, as high as 72 percent of the public believe that such move is beneficial to Taiwan's economic development and nearly 70 percent (68.2 percent) of the public support the government's promotion of this policy. In addition, the great majority of the public (86.2 percent) continues to advocate "maintaining the status quo defined in a broader sense," a figure that has remained considerably stable.

April 14, 2012
During the seminar entitled "Cultural and Creative Industries in Taichung and Independent Travel by Mainland Tourists," MAC Minister Lai Shin-yuan stated that the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) can handle market access for the cultural and creative industries. The two sides are now working hard on the ECFA follow-up negotiations, which aim to secure the interests of local businesses. Furthermore, the Cross-Strait Agreement on Intellectual Property Rights Protection and Cooperation represents the first step in protecting the rights of Taiwan's cultural and creative industries in mainland China and online. Additionally, the aim of the government's policymaking is to profit Taiwan through its tourism assets.

April 17, 2012
MAC Minister Lai Shin-yuan stated that public opinion surveys by academic institutions over the years show that President Ma Ying-jeou's Mainland policy of maintaining the status quo has enjoyed the steady support of over 85 percent of the people of Taiwan on average over the past four years. Moreover, 70 percent of the public support institutionalized negotiations, showing that the government's Mainland policy truly corresponds with the pulse of public opinion and the general hopes of Taiwan's society. The results of the latest MAC-commissioned public opinion survey conducted by the Election Study Center of National Chengchi University further demonstrates that 86.2 percent of the public support President Ma's emphasis on maintaining the status quo of "no unification, no independence, no use of force" in the Taiwan Strait under the framework of the ROC Constitution. The power of this firm support is the most important backing for the government in facing the Mainland and promoting cross-strait relations. Such deep and profound public support is the most important asset for further consolidating the results of institutionalized cross-strait negotiations and deepening cross-strait exchanges, as well as a key link in deepening mutual trust between the two sides.

April 18, 2012
The MAC issued an announcement on the mutual establishment of offices by cross-strait economic and trade groups on the two sides. Both sides have separately announced regulations related to the acceptance and review of applications for office establishment by economic and trade organizations of the other side so that such work can be realized. The offices will play a highly positive role in providing investment and trade related services to enterprises of both sides as well as in enhancing positive interactions in cross-strait economic and trade relations.

April 20, 2012
At a press conference on the release of Taiwan's "National Report on Human Rights: 'Human Rights.the Future—the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights," President Ma Ying-jeou stated that protection of human rights is a key yardstick in bridging the gap between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait. The government has always been deeply concerned over human rights in the Mainland. During future consultations on relevant cross-strait agreements, the government will stand up for the protection of human rights and communicate such position to the other side.

April 28, 2012
President Ma Ying-jeou stated at the "Cross-Strait Youth Forum" that cross-strait development which pursues permanent peace needs to begin with the younger generation. Young people’s building friendships early in life will greatly benefit peaceful development across the Taiwan Strait. There are already many young Taiwanese students studying in the Mainland, as well as a considerable number of Mainland exchange students studying in Taiwan. The government completed amendments to related laws and regulations two years ago in preparation for allowing Mainland students to study full-time for a degree in Taiwan. Last year, Taiwan began to formally admit such students. This year, the Ministry of Education will comprehensively review its "three restrictions and six prohibitions" policy, in the hope that such policy can be further relaxed.

April 30, 2012
The MAC issued the following statement on the case of Mainland human rights lawyer Chen Guangcheng:
1. We call on the Mainland side to treat its domestic activists who protect the rights of the people, uphold legal justice and care for disadvantaged groups in a rational and peaceful way. The Mainland should also face up these cases of human rights protection because they represent an underlying appeal and demand by many people who have suffered encroachments of their rights in the law enforcement process.
2. Justice and the protection of human rights are global principles and core values. Only by carrying out political reform can the Mainland give its people a better living environment and greater justice and guarantees. The government will continue to pay attention to the development of this incident and its follow-up affairs.

May 3, 2012
In a speech to mainland Chinese businesspeople participating in the "Forum on Jointly Creating a Cross-strait Peace Dividend," President Ma Ying-jeou states that under the framework of the ROC Constitution, the government will maintain the status quo of "no unification, no independence and no use of force" and promote peaceful development across the Strait on the foundation of the "1992 Consensus" of "one China, respective interpretations." The achievement of peace and prosperity has expanded room for Taiwan to participate in international activities and created a virtuous cycle between cross-strait relations and international participation. President Ma also states that there are still many issues that require continued consultation between the two sides and that it would be positively beneficial to the improvement of cross-strait relations if the issues are confronted with a peaceful and rational attitude that seeks mutual benefits for both sides.

May 14, 2012
MAC press release states:
1. As empowered under the ROC Constitution, the Act Governing Relations between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area stipulates that the Republic of China is divided into the "Taiwan Area" and the "Mainland Area." The Taiwan Area is "Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen, Matsu, and any other area under the effective control of the Government," while the Mainland Area refers to the "territory of the Republic of China outside the Taiwan Area." This constitutional designation was determined by constitutional reforms and related legislation led by President Lee Teng-hui twenty years ago, and it has remained unchanged throughout the presidencies of Lee Teng-hui, Chen Shui-bian, and Ma Ying-jeou. The phrasing of "one Republic of China, two areas" is entirely based on the legal foundation set forth in the ROC Constitution and the Act Governing Relations between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area. It also fully demonstrates the status of the ROC as a sovereign and independent country.
2. The government adheres to the cross-strait status quo of "no unification, no independence, and no use of force" under the framework of the ROC Constitution. Moreover, it has sought to build long-term, stable, and institutionalized cross-strait relations based on the fact of "mutual non-recognition of sovereignty and mutual non-denial of authority to govern" while at the same time adhering to the principle of "parity, dignity, and reciprocity." Based on the solid foundation built over the past four years, the government will continue to promote the peaceful and stable development of cross-strait relations.

May 16, 2012
In response to statement made by Taiwan Affairs Office Spokespersons on cross-strait relations, the MAC states:
1. Building a more stable and solid foundation for benign cross-strait interactions and working towards mutually beneficial cross-strait relations should be the shared goal of the two sides. Both sides should maintain a good atmosphere for goodwill and mutual understanding and continue to work for the respective development and happiness of the people on both sides.
2. Freedom of the press is the cornerstone of democracy and rule of law. Local governments in the Mainland have carried out policy advocacy and infringed on freedom of the press in Taiwan through media product placement channels. Where regulations have been violated, the government will deal with such matters according to the law.
3. The government will continue to follow the principle of "easy issues before difficult ones, urgent matters before non-urgent ones, and economic matters before political ones," giving priority consideration to negotiation issues beneficial to promoting national development and upgrading the people's livelihood and well-being. The internal and external conditions for political consultations between the two sides are not yet ripe. Furthermore, Taiwan believes that exchanges on similar human rights issues are integral to diversifying interactions between the two sides. The two sides should jointly promote mutual exchanges on human rights issues.

May 17, 2012
Latest public opinion survey results announced by the MAC show that 70% of the public support the government's position of maintaining the status quo in the Taiwan Strait of "no unification, no independence, and no use of force” under the ROC Constitution framework for the next four years. Furthermore, 66% of the people believe that institutionalized negotiations are conducive to the peace and stability of cross-strait relations, while 62% of the public support the government's approach of prioritizing economic negotiations over other issues. In addition, over 70% of the people believe that, in the process of cross-strait exchanges, Taiwan's values of freedom and democracy have had a positive impact on the Mainland; and 67% of the people agree that participation of both sides in international organizations and activities, under the principle of parity and dignity, can foster benign cross-strait interactions. On the negotiation issues for the Eighth Chiang-Chen Talks, about 70% (69.1%) and 78% (78.8%) of the people approve of the government's negotiation and signing of the Cross-Strait Investment Protection Agreement and a customs cooperation agreement, respectively.

May 18, 2012
President Ma Ying-jeou states at the opening ceremony for the Straits Exchange Foundation Office that the government will dedicate energy in the future to the reviewing and amending of laws and regulations, establishing offices on both sides, and expanding areas of cross-strait exchanges. Moreover, the government will promote cross-strait relations according to the principle of "easy issues before difficult ones, urgent matters before non-urgent ones, and economic matters before political ones." President Ma emphasizes that the government's cross-strait policy is to maintain the status quo of "no unification, no independence, and no use of force" in the Taiwan Strait under the framework of the ROC Constitution and to promote peaceful cross-strait development on the basis of the "1992 Consensus," whereby each side acknowledges the existence of "one China," but maintains respective interpretations.

May 20, 2012
President Ma Ying-jeou states in his inaugural address that national security is crucial for the survival of the Republic of China. Taiwan's security rests on three pillars. The first is the use of cross-strait rapprochement to realize peace in the Taiwan Strait, the second is the use of viable diplomacy to expand international participation, and the third is the use of military strength to deter external threats. Each must be regarded as equally important and developed in a balanced manner.
The first pillar is cross-strait rapprochement to realize peace in the Taiwan Strait. Over the past four years, the government has resumed institutionalized cross-strait negotiations, signed 16 bilateral agreements and made cross-strait rapprochement a reality. In the process, it has staunchly maintained the precepts of "parity, dignity and reciprocity" and the principle of "putting Taiwan first for the benefit of the people." The Constitution of the Republic of China is the supreme guiding principle for how the government deals with cross-strait relations. Within that constitutional framework, cross-strait policy must maintain the status quo of "no unification, no independence and no use of force," and promote peaceful cross-strait development on the basis of the 1992 Consensus, whereby each side acknowledges the existence of "one China," but maintains respective interpretation, whereas our interpretation of "one China" automatically refers to the Republic of China. According to the ROC Constitution, the sovereign territory of the Republic of China includes Taiwan and the Mainland. At present, the ROC government has authority to govern only in Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu. In other words, over the past two decades, the two sides of the Taiwan Strait have been defined as "one Republic of China, two areas." This is an eminently rational and pragmatic definition, and constitutes the basis for assuring the ROC's long-term development and safeguarding its security. Both sides of the Taiwan Strait should squarely face up to this reality, seek common ground while respecting differences, and establish a consensus regarding "mutual non-recognition of sovereignty and mutual non-denial of authority to govern."
The second pillar of Taiwan's national security is the use of viable diplomacy to expand international participation and boost our contributions to the international society. Over the past four years, facts have proven that improvements in the cross-strait relationship can go hand in hand with an expansion for greater international participation. In the future, Taiwan will further expand its participation in international organizations, including United Nations affiliated organizations that focus on climate change and civil aviation. It is also hoped that the two sides of the Taiwan Strait can demonstrate mutual tolerance and assistance in the participation of international NGOs.
The third pillar of Taiwan's national security is to strengthen our national defense so as to deter external threats. This provides us with an appropriate defensive force that will give the government and public greater confidence and willingness to pursue stable cross-strait development. In the future, Taiwan will continue to procure defensive weapons that cannot be self-manufactured, while at the same time, enhance relations with neighboring countries, actively participate in international affairs, and promote establishment of institutionalized channels for strategic dialogue and cooperation so as to defend the sovereignty of the Republic of China, safeguard the security of Taiwan and make proactive contribution to regional peace.
Over the past four years, the government has promoted cross-strait ties in accordance with the principles of putting "urgent matters before less urgent ones, easily resolved issues before difficult ones, and economic matters before political ones." This approach has yielded unprecedented successes in the areas of economic and trade ties, transportation, public health, culture, education, judicial assistance, and financial services. In the next four years, the two sides of the Strait have to open up new areas of cooperation and continue working to consolidate peace, expand prosperity and deepen mutual trust. We also hope that civic groups on both sides of the Taiwan Strait will have more opportunities for exchanges and dialogue, focusing on areas such as democracy, human rights, rule of law and civil society, to create an environment more conducive to peaceful cross-strait development. The people of the two sides of the Strait share a common Chinese ethnic heritage, both revere the nation's founding father, Dr. Sun Yat-sen. One should not forget Dr. Sun's precept that "the world is a commonwealth shared by all," or the ideals of freedom, democracy and equitable distribution of wealth on which he founded this nation. The government fervently looks forward to the gradual opening up of greater public participation in politics on the Mainland, along with steady improvement in human rights and the rule of law, and the autonomous development of civil society. This will further reduce the feeling of "otherness" between people on the two sides of the Taiwan Strait.

May 20, 2012
President Ma Ying-jeou holds a press conference marking the inauguration of the 13th-term president and vice president of the ROC, during which he delivers remarks saying that cross-strait relations are being promoted under the principles of addressing "easy issues before difficult ones," "urgent matters before non-urgent ones," and "economic matters before political ones." With this in mind, the two sides to date have signed 16 agreements, which constitute an important portion of the institutionalization of cross-strait reconciliation. As a result, at present there is no pressing need to discuss a peace accord with mainland China. President Ma also reiterates that the government will maintain the status quo of "no unification, no independence, and no use of force" under the framework of the ROC Constitution, and promote peaceful cross-strait development in accordance with the "1992 Consensus," whereby each side acknowledges the existence of "one China" but maintains respective interpretations. Based on the experience of the past four years, this would appear to be a viable approach since the present cross-strait developments have already gained the support of the majority of the public. In the future, the government will continue to promote the policy of "putting Taiwan first for the benefit of the people" and dedicate itself to creating cross-strait peace dividend, through which process, he stresses, that the ROC sovereignty and security will definetly remain unharmed.

May 21, 2012
Minister Lai Shin-yuan of the Mainland Affairs Council meets with U.S. Congress Delegation led by U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee Chair Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, during which she indicates that the ROC is a sovereign and independent country where the government firmly upholds the cross-strait status quo of "no unification, no independence, and no use of force" under the framework of the ROC Constitution and will continue to promote "cross-strait rapprochement to achieve peace in the Taiwan Strait." Minister Lai emphasizes that, cross-strait negotiations are based on the "1992 Consensus" of "one China with respective interpretations," in which "one China" means the Republic of China. In the future, the government will uphold the principle of "putting Taiwan first for the benefit of the people" and further advance cross-strait consultations and negotiations to enhance prosperity and development on both sides, uphold the sovereignty and dignity of the ROC, and improve the well-being of the people on both sides.

May 22, 2012
MAC Minister Lai Shin-yuan states that outside parties should not simplify President Ma Ying-jeou's inaugural address statement saying that "the ROC Constitution defines the status of cross-strait relations as 'one Republic of China, two areas'" as "one country, two areas." The formulation "one Republic of China, two areas" accords entirely with the definition stipulated in the ROC Constitution and the Act Governing Relations between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area. It also fully demonstrates the status of the ROC as a sovereign and independent country. The position of "one ROC, two areas" has not changed. It has remained stable and continuous over the course of three ROC presidencies in the past 20 years. The Mainland must face up to the reality of the existence of the ROC and the status quo in the Taiwan Strait. Only when the two sides put aside their sovereignty disputes for the time being can cross-strait issues be resolved in a pragmatic manner and people’s well being be improved.

May 24, 2012
Remarks delivered by President Ma Ying-jeou at 2012 Thematic Congress of the International Academy of Comparative Law state that the government has promoted cross-strait relations based on the existing foundation of the "1992 Consensus," whereby each side acknowledges the existence of "one China," but maintains respective interpretations. President Ma says that the principle of mutual non-recognition of sovereignty and mutual non-denial of authority to govern was inspired by the German experience, pointing to the 1972 Basic Treaty that set the foundation for relations between East Germany and West Germany. Both Germanys agreed to use the word "hoheitsgewalt" in place of "souveranitaet" in order to draw a line between the concepts of "sovereignty" and "governing authority," the President says. After the amendment of the Constitution in 1991, the two sides of the Taiwan Strait were distinguished as the Free Area and the Mainland Area of the ROC. At the same time, the Act Governing Relations between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area was enacted to deal with cross-strait issues. Within this law, the Taiwan Area is defined as "Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen, Matsu, and any other areas in which the government has jurisdiction," while the Mainland Area is defined as "the territory of the Republic of China outside of the Taiwan Area." The government uses these definitions in its conduct of cross-strait ties, where exchanges between the two sides are considered neither international nor domestic.

May 30, 2012
To respond to remarks made by Taiwan Affairs Office Spokesperson regarding President Ma Ying-jeou's inaugural address, the MAC states: The Republic of China is a sovereign and independent country. The "one ROC, two areas" statement in the President's inaugural address accords entirely with the definition of the cross-strait status quo in the ROC Constitution and the Act Governing Relations between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area. Under the framework of the ROC Constitution, cross-strait relations are treated as a kind of special relationship between the Free Area and the Mainland Area. "Mutual non-recognition of sovereignty and mutual non-denial of authority to govern" is the best way to interpret the cross-strait status quo. It is also the best approach for both sides in addressing realities, shelving disputes, and promoting peace.

May 31, 2012
President Ma Ying-jeou meets with scholars attending The Rule of Law in Asia 2012 Conference, during which he reiterates that the government will continue to promote cross-strait interactions under the framework of the ROC Constitution which positions relations across the Strait as "one Republic of China, two areas," and also on the basis of "mutual non-recognition of sovereignty and mutual non-denial of authority to govern." This is complementary to the "1992 Consensus" of "one China, respective interpretations" reached between Taiwan and the Mainland 20 years ago. What has been realized over the past four years not only proves the viability of the above said approach, but also significantly increases space for the ROC to develop external relations.

June 1, 2012
President Ma Ying-jeou stated during an interview with Reuters, that the most significant development in cross-strait relations over the past four years is the signing of the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA). The two sides are now actively engaging in further consultations on trade in goods, trade in services, economic cooperation, and investment protection and dispute settlement. During the next year or two, these issues will become a major part of economic activity between the two sides. The principle for cross-strait development is to handle "easy issues before difficult ones, urgent matters before non-urgent ones, and economic matters before political ones." Advancing developments based on this sequence and rhythm will ensure greatest success.
President Ma stated that Taiwan has long been concerned about human rights issues in mainland China. Currently there are over one million Taiwanese people working, studying, or doing business in the Mainland, whose rights and interests should also be protected. For instance, the Cross-Strait Investment Protection Agreement recently negotiated between Taiwan and mainland China includes protections of personal security and freedom. If the gap between the two sides in terms of human rights could be narrowed, it would effectively reduce the feeling of "otherness" between people on the two sides of the Taiwan Strait. President Ma also said that although the two sides have achieved some results in developing cross-strait relations over the past four years, it is even more important for cross-strait relations to become normalized and sustained, which is most beneficial to people across the straits.

June 2, 2012
MAC Deputy Minister Johnnason Liu stated in a speech delivered at the Delegation of the World Taiwanese Chambers of Commerce in Europe that over the past four years, the SEF and the ARATS have held seven Chiang-Chen Talks, signed 16 agreements, and reached one consensus based on the principle of handling "easy issues before difficult ones, urgent matters before non-urgent ones, and economic matters before political ones." These achievements protect the interests and well being of the people of Taiwan, promote Taiwan's economic development, and lay a solid foundation for the institutionalization of cross-strait exchanges. In the future, the two sides will promptly begin ECFA follow-up negotiations on issues including trade in goods, trade in services, dispute settlement, and economic cooperation under the ECFA. Deputy Minister Liu also stated that the mainstream public opinion in Taiwan is an important foundation determining future cross-strait developments. The Mainland should be pragmatic and face the reality that the Republic of China exists, and interact with Taiwan on the issue of international space in good faith.

June 3, 2012
The MAC issued a statement on the 23rd anniversary of the Tiananmen Square Incident, in which stated that mainland China should be pragmatic and embed the core concept of "putting people first" into its governance policy. It should also show determination, wisdom and tolerance in sincerely confronting the historical facts of the Tiananmen Square Incident and its significance for democratic and human rights development. Also, the Mainland should further advance political reforms on the experience and foundation of the Reform and Opening Up policy, to increase the rights and well being of the people. The MAC also stated that the essence of democracy is to always "put people first"; the Mainland side should take into serious consideration measures of democracy and peace to resolve its problems within the system, while at the same time, further focus on the people’s pursuit for values and concepts concerning social equity, human rights, and freedom. Retrospection of the Tiananmen Square Incident would be a significant indicator of mainland China's determination to pursue political reform.
The MAC indicated that the sound and orderly development of cross-strait relations over the past four years, especially through exchanges in the economic, cultural and social spheres, and the contents of the agreements signed between the two sides, in fact fully reflect Taiwan's fulfillment of the principle of "respecting human rights and putting the people first." The government also trusts that Taiwan has the function and substantive benefit of providing an example from which the Mainland can learn. At this key juncture when mainland China is shifting powers and planning future major policies, Taiwan fervently hopes that the Mainland can promote political reform on the existing foundation, and respond concretely to the expectations of various parties regarding protection of human rights and the establishment of a true civil society, which would also be conducive to healthy cross-strait interactions.

June 4, 2012
President Ma Ying-jeou stated in his "Observations on the June 4th Incident" on the 23rd anniversary of the Tiananmen Square Incident, that carrying out democratic reform would be conducive to internal stability in the Mainland. If the Mainland authorities can act during a time of rapid economic growth to adopt a set of coordinated political reforms, it would be an effective response to rising calls for reform in the Mainland that have come about following the rise of a middle class and the emergence of a powerful private sector. If the Mainland authorities were to align themselves with the trend by expanding political participation, building up human rights safeguards, and giving dissidents appropriate treatment, it would deliver the democratic reforms that the people expect, and contribute to lasting political stability in the Mainland. President Ma also emphasized that there are still differences between Taiwan and the Mainland in terms of democracy and human rights that must be resolved as cross-strait relations deepen. Taiwan fervently hopes for progress in democracy and human rights on the Mainland side, and hopes two sides can one day engage via private civic groups in dialogue on democratic governance and the protection of human rights on the basis of Chinese culture. Taiwan will continue to pay well-intentioned interest in the development of democracy and human rights in the Mainland, which is believed to be the most effective way in reducing the feeling of "otherness" between people across the Strait.

June 19, 2012
President Ma Ying-jeou stated at a meeting with a delegation led by Academic Council on the United Nations System (ACUNS) President-elect Abiodun Williams, that unstable cross-strait relations was the biggest impediment for Taiwan when facing the international community, therefore, upon taking office, he has strived for peaceful developments and improvement in relations with the Mainland on the basis of the “1992 Concensus” of “one China with respective interpretations”, while at the same time maintaining the status quo of “no unification, no independence, and no use of force” as defined in the ROC Constitution. The President stated that tension across the Strait has been reduced significantly, adding that cross-strait ties and exchanges have tightened and increased.
President Ma stressed that cross-strait relations and Taiwan's international relations are complementary. When Taiwan's isolation in the world community has lessened, there will be greater willingness and confidence among the people of Taiwan to forge closer relations with mainland China. Looking to the future, it is hoped that peaceful cross-strait relations sustain, whereby creating greater stability and harmony for the region and the people of both sides.

June 25, 2012
President Ma Ying-jeou stated at the opening ceremony for the office of the Straits Exchange Foundation, that the government's cross-strait policy is to maintain the status quo of "no unification, no independence, and no use of force" in the Taiwan Strait under the framework of the ROC Constitution, and to promote peaceful cross-strait development on the basis of the "1992 Consensus," whereby each side acknowledges the existence of "one China" but maintains respective interpretation. There will be no changes in the negotiation principles of "parity, dignity, and reciprocity" and "putting Taiwan first for the benefit of the people"; the government insists on this stable framework of principles that brings about peace and prosperity. President Ma also stated that, in the future, the government will dedicate efforts to the review and amendment of laws and regulations, the mutual establishment of institutions, and expansion of cross-strait exchanges.

June 25, 2012
MAC Minister Lai Shin-yuan stated at the "2012 Dragon Boat Festival Symposium and Get-Together for Taiwanese Businesspeople" that cross-strait relations are currently better than they have been in over 60 years due to the government's continuous efforts. Over the past four years, the two sides have signed 16 agreements, reached one consensus, and established institutionalized negotiation channels for direct "mechanism-to-mechanism" and "official-to-official" dialogue so as to efficiently communicate and resolve numerous problems. Based on opinion polls, over 70 percent of the people continue to support the approach of institutionalized cross-strait negotiations. Currently both sides have reached a consensus to prioritize negotiations on ECFA follow-up issues, and are also planning to sign the Cross-Strait Investment Protection Agreement and the Cross-Strait Customs Cooperation Agreement at the Eighth Chiang-Chen Talks, in hope that these two agreements may create better conditions for promptly completing negotiations and the signing of other follow-up agreements.

June 26, 2012
President Ma Ying-jeou stated while presiding at a “Promotion and Rank Presentation Ceremony for Army, Navy and Air Force Officers” in the second half of 2012, that the government will maintain the cross-strait status quo of "no unification, no independence, and no use of force" under the framework of the ROC Constitution and promote peaceful cross-strait development on the basis of the "1992 Consensus," whereby each side acknowledges the existence of "one China, with respective interpretations". He also presented the national security iron triangle concept, in which "realization of peace across the Taiwan Strait through cross-strait rapprochement," "promotion of international space through flexible diplomacy," and "use of military strength to deter external threats" act as important pillars of national security. The President also said that the first side of this iron triangle is the institutionalization of cross-strait rapprochement, stressing that the government’s Mainland policy is to eliminate conflict through reconciliation, replace confrontation with negotiation, and adhere to the approach of "putting Taiwan first for the benefit of the people" in promoting cross-strait relations.

July 12, 2012
Deputy Minister Johnnason Liu of the Mainland Affairs Council stated at a regular press conference that the fundamental position of the government on the Daioyutai issue at this time is "to insist on sovereignty over the Diaoyutai Islands, and resolve the matter through peaceful and rational measures, and will not handle the issue jointly with mainland China." The government has clearly articulated that the ROC has sovereignty over the Diaoyutai Islands and that the Islands are a part of ROC territory. As for the South China Sea issue, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has also expressed the position of "safeguarding sovereignty, shelving disputes, pursuing peace and reciprocity, and promoting joint exploration."

July 17, 2012
President Ma Ying-jeou stated during a meeting with Central American Parliament (PARLACEN) delegation led by PARLACEN President Manolo Pichardo Arias, that the ROC government has sought to pursue peaceful development in cross-strait relations under the framework of the ROC Constitution and based on the principles of the "1992 Consensus" of "one China, with respective interpretations" in maintaining the status quo of "no unification, no independence, and no use of force". The President also said that Taiwan's external relations have changed due to the improvement in cross-strait relations, the two sides no longer engage in vicious diplomatic competition, thus stabilizing diplomatic ties with our ally countries.
The President explained that under the precondition that bilateral alliances are not impacted, the ROC does not oppose to its diplomatic allies developing non-official economic and trade relations with mainland China. He specifically stated that over the past four years, the government has proactively promoted the policy of "viable diplomacy," which on the one hand has improved cross-strait relations and reduced tensions in the Taiwan Strait, while on the other hand, has enabled smoother development of relations between the ROC and its diplomatic partners; thus creating a virtuous cycle in which positive developments in cross-strait relations are conducive to fostering Taiwan's international relationships.

July 17, 2012
President Ma Ying-jeou expressed his hopes during a meeting with former governor of Utah Jon Huntsman and his wife, for private groups on two sides of the Strait to engage in dialogue on democracy and human rights. He said that cross-strait interaction should not be limited to trade, investment and culture, but should also include areas of democracy and human rights. The President stressed that he has sought to pursue peaceful developments in cross-strait relations under the framework of the ROC Constitution and based on the principles of the "1992 Consensus" of "one China with respective interpretations" in maintaining the status quo of "no unification, no independence, and no use of force"; the efforts made in this regard over the past four years have reduced tension and promoted mutual understanding and trust across the Strait, which have resulted in improved relations between Taiwan and the United States, Japan, and the European Union.

July 26, 2012
President Ma Ying-jeou stated during a meeting with the delegation participating in the "Eighth Cross-Strait Economic, Trade and Cultural Forum", that the government is steadily seeing results from its promotion of cross-strait exchanges in keeping with the precepts of "parity, dignity and reciprocity" and the principle of "putting Taiwan first for the benefit of the people." The government has promoted cross-strait relations under the framework of the ROC Constitution and based on the principles of the "1992 Consensus" of "one China with respective interpretations", in maintaining the status quo of "no unification, no independence, and no use of force";" in which "one China" means the Republic of China. The president stated that, the meaning of "one China" is the foundation of the "1992 Consensus", he further explained that, on August 1 of 1992, a plenary session of the National Unification Council approved of the meaning of "one China," which embodies the sense of "one China with respective interpretations", meaning both sides adhere to the "one China" principle, but each attributes different significance to it. This pricinciple is now the important basis for feasible and effective promotion of cross-strait relations.

July 29, 2012
The MAC issued the following statement in response to the joint opinion on the Eighth Cross-Strait Economic, Trade and Cultural Forum:
1.The ROC is a sovereign and independent country. The government's Mainland policy in the current phase is to maintain the status quo of "no unification, no independence, and no use of force" in the Taiwan Strait under the framework of the ROC Constitution and to promote institutionalized cross-strait negotiations on the basis of the "1992 Consensus" of "one China, with respective interpretations". Moreover, the government has promoted the expansion of cross-strait exchanges in various directions under the principle of "putting Taiwan first for the benefit of the people" and with the aim to enhance the livelihood and well being of the people on both sides. Taiwan will continue to uphold the principle of dealing with "easy issues before difficult ones, urgent matters before non-urgent ones, and economic matters before political ones" in conducting cross-strait relations. The government believes that addressing realities, seeking common ground, and establishing a consensus on "mutual non-recognition of sovereignty and mutual non-denial of authority to govern" are the only ways for cross-strait relations to further advance steadily.
2.The government has been promoting the deepening of cross-strait exchanges and negotiations in line with the national vision of "Golden Decade, Peaceful Strait" to enable long-term development in cross-strait relations. It also has encouraged civic groups on both sides of the Strait to engage in exchanges and dialogue in the areas of democracy, human rights, rule of law, and civil society so as to enhance mutual understanding between the societies of the two sides and thereby strengthen the foundation of mutual trust between the people on both sides.
3.The people, the ruling party and the opposition parties in Taiwan are in consensus over Taiwan having dignified participation in the international community. In the future, Taiwan will continue to expand its participation in international organizations and activities and hope that the two sides of the Taiwan Strait can treat each other with respect and interact in good faith in the international community.
4.The Cross-Strait Economic, Trade and Cultural Forum is a civil exchange activity between political parties on the two sides of the Taiwan Strait and has been carried out for years. The government will take under advisement any opinions arising from these private exchanges that are beneficial to peaceful and stable cross-strait relations and are consistent with national development demands.

July 30, 2012
Minister Lai Shin-yuan of the MAC stated at the premiere of the "Cross-strait Investment Protection Agreement: Climbing" promotional video, that the Cross-strait Investment Protection Agreement is a part of the comprehensive Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA). Through negotiation of the government on both sides, concerns of investors on investment rights are taken into consideration, further instutionalized into concrete regulations and protections norms, and also established into diversified investment dispute settlement mechanisms.

July 30, 2012
Deputy Minister Johnnason Liu of the MAC issued a statement indicating that the two sides of the Taiwan Strait have promoted institutionalized negotiations on the basis of the "1992 Consensus" of "one China with respective interpretations", whereby he emphasized that "one China means the Republic of China, and it is the government's longstanding position." He also said that though mainland China has a specific policy direction, the ROC government has actively defended the due rights and interests of the country and people and has not ceded an inch in the past four years. The current peaceful and stable development of cross-strait relations is supported by the people of Taiwan and the international community. In the future, the government will continue to defend the sovereignty of the ROC on this foundation and continue to seek Taiwan's due rights in cross-strait exchanges, negotiations, and international participation.

August 9, 2012
According to press release issued by the MAC, Minister Lai Shin-yuan stated while meeting with ARATS Chairman Chen Yunlin and ARATS delegation, that the Cross-Strait Investment Protection and Promotion Agreement and the Cross-Strait Customs Cooperation Agreement are both important pillars of the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA), providing as an inspiration and model for other ECFA follow-up agreements currently under discussion. Further cooperation between the two sides to enhance steady progress through institutionalized negotiations is an effective way to advance cross-strait rapprochement. Minister Lai also affirmed the pragmatic attitude shown by the two sides over the past more than four years in dealing with concrete issues related to the livelihood of the people, stating that it has enabled the results of institutionalized negotiations to diffuse into the people's lives and further contributed to the accumulation of mutual trust across the Strait. Regarding concerns and hopes of the Taiwanese people for the Mainland to withdraw its military buildup towards Taiwan, Minister Lai reiterated the government's position on this matter and emphasized that the worries of the Taiwanese people on security and military threats have not been truly eliminated, which will act as a crutial factor in the further enhancement of cross-strait relations and expansion of exchanges. Minister Lai also stated her hopes for both sides to jointly confront and resolve problems from the vantage point of improving development over the long term.

August 10, 2012
MAC press release stated that Minister Lai Shin-yuan, accompanied by SEF Chairman Chiang Pin-kung and others, presented the texts of the Cross-Strait Investment Protection and Promotion Agreement and the Cross-Strait Customs Cooperation Agreement to Premier Sean Chen, during which Minister Lai stated that negotiation issues of the Eighth Chiang-Chen Talks are closely related to Taiwan's economic development, healthy economic and trade interaction across the Strait, and also the diffusion of benefits from the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA). She also stated that the two agreements do not require amendments to existing laws and will be submitted to the Legislative Yuan for future reference so as to comply with provisions of Article 5, Act Governing Relations between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area. After the agreements come into force, competent authorities on both sides will begin preparation work on liaison mechanisms according to provisions in the agreements and will promptly implement the two pacts.
After hearing the report of the negotiation team on the results of the Eighth Chiang-Chen Talks, Premier Chen stated that the signing of the Cross-Strait Investment Protection and Promotion Agreement and the Cross-Strait Customs Cooperation Agreement is only a first step, and the key still lies in whether or not the agreements are effectively implemented. He requested for related agencies to promptly complete procedures to bring the agreements into force and to activate liaison channels and other relevant work mechanisms stipulated in the agreements.

August 16, 2012
President Ma Ying-jeou stated during a meeting with delegation of East Asian security scholars and experts from the US Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) that the government has proactively promoted peaceful cross-strait developments and stabilized the situation in the Taiwan Strait. Currently, over four million Mainland tourists have visited Taiwan, over 10,000 Mainland exchange and full-time students are studying in Taiwan, and about six million cross-strait trips are made annually from Taiwan, indicating an unprecedented state of close interactions among the people of the two sides. President Ma also stressed that, under the framework of the ROC Constitution, the ROC government has consistently sought to maintain the status quo of "no unification, no independence, and no use of force" in the Taiwan Strait, and to promote peaceful cross-strait developments under the "1992 Consensus," whereby each side acknowledges the existence of "one China" but maintains respective interpretation.

August 19, 2012
MAC Deputy Minister Johnnason Liu indicated at the 35th Annual Meeting of the Taiwan Benevolent Association of America that over the past more than four years, the government has pragmatically promoted institutionalized cross-strait negotiations and exchanges under the ROC Constitution framework while maintaining the peaceful status quo of "no unification, no independence, and no use of force" in the Taiwan Strait and adhering to the principles of "parity, dignity, and reciprocity" and "putting Taiwan first for the benefit of the people." Over the past more than four years, the two sides have concluded 18 agreements, strengthened cross-strait mechanisms for negotiation and dialogue to jointly resolve problems, and have established "mechanism-to-mechanism" and "official-to-official" negotiation modes.
Deputy Minister Liu emphasized that public opinion is the most important impetus for the future development of cross-strait relations, and that only with full understanding of public opinion trends may cross-strait relations steadily carry forth. In the future, the government will continue to adhere to mainstream public opinions, promote cross-strait exchanges and negotiations, and deepen mutual trust and cooperation on the foundation of cross-strait agreements.

August 19, 2012
MAC Deputy Minister Johnnason Liu stated at a workshop held by the Taiwanese American Chamber of Commerce Northern California that the government has been steadily carrying out its Mainland policy under the framework of the ROC Constitution. Cross-strait negotiations are the concrete realization of the "putting Taiwan first for the benefit of the people" policy, and have steered cross-strait relations toward beneign developments. Over the past four years, the government has adhered to the "1992 Consensus of one China with respective interpretations" as an important foundation for institutionalized negotiations across the Strait, laying a solid cornerstone to guarantee the interests and well-being of the Taiwanese people, promote Taiwan's economic development, and institutionalize cross-strait exchanges. Deputy Minister Liu also stated that "peace" and "development" have become the core consensus and values in cross-strait interactions, however, the deepening of cross-strait cooperation and mutual trust still relies on further exchanges and negotiations. In this process, Taiwan's mainstream public opinion is an important basis that determines the future course of cross-strait developments. Deputy Minister Liu stated, the Mainland should pragmatically face the reality of the ROC's existence and interact in goodwill with Taiwan on issues of international participation.

August 20, 2012
President Ma Ying-jeou stated during an exclusive interview with NHK that Taiwan's position has always been consistent in that the Diaoyutai Islands are part of ROC territory and thus are affiliated islets of Taiwan. The governement's position is to "safeguard sovereignty, shelve disputes, pursue peace and reciprocity, and promote joint exploration and development." To this end, the government has proposed the East China Sea Peace Initiative mainly in the hope that related parties can show self-restraint, reduce tensions, shelve differences, and resolve disputes through peaceful means. The President also further stated that Taiwan will not cooperate with mainland China in dealing with the Diaoyutai issue.

August 29, 2012
President Ma Ying-jeou stated while receiving the Harvard Project for Asian and International Relations 2012 Asia Conference Delegation hosted by National Chengchi University, that under the ROC Constitution framework, the government will maintain the status quo in the Taiwan Strait of "no unification, no independence, and no use of force" and will seek peaceful cross-strait relations on the foundation of the "1992 Consensus of one China, with respective interpretations". Within that context, he said, Taiwan will address "easy issues before difficult ones," "urgent matters before non-urgent ones," and "economic matters before political ones." The President stated that Taiwan and mainland China have signed 18 agreements, including the Cross-Straits Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement and, more recently, the Cross-Strait Investment Protection and Promotion Agreement and the Cross-Strait Customs Cooperation Agreement. Due to the improvement in corss-strait relations, Taiwan's relations with the United States, Japan, the European Union, and other countries have also advanced. President Ma also expressed hope for continued engagement in dialogue across the Strait in order to create a win-win-win situation for both sides and the international community.

August 31, 2012
The MAC announced the results of its latest routine public opinion survey, which indicated that 72.5% of the public support the government to continue dealing with cross-strait exchange issues through institutionalized negotiations. Moreover, a majority of the public (58.4%) believe that the eight Chiang-Chen Talks held and 18 cross-strait agreements signed over the past four years are conducive to Taiwan's overall development. Additionally, 67.7% of the public believe that the Cross-Strait Customs Cooperation Agreement signed during the latest round of talks is conducive to cross-strait trade cooperation. The survey results also showed that 71.3% of the public approve of the reciprocal establishment of offices by the SEF and ARATS to serve and assist the people on both sides.

September 3, 2012
President Ma Ying-jeou stated at the Institute of Diplomacy and International Affairs Inauguration Ceremony and 45th Term Diplomatic and Consular Personnel Graduation, that the "viable diplomacy" policy, in line with the “dignity, autonomy, pragmatism and flexibility” principle and promoted by the government over the past four years,has paved a diplomatic way forward for Taiwan. It not only improved the nation's status and dignity, but has also reaped substantial diplomatic achievements. Taiwan no longer engages with mainland China in vicious competition for diplomatic allies or international organization participation ,and its international space has expanded as well. The government is also actively promoting reconciliation in cross-strait relations, whereby under the premise of "shelving disputes and jointly creating a win-win outcome," the two sides have signed 18 agreements over the past four years.

September 5, 2012
MAC Minister Lai Shin-yuan presented a speech entitled "Steady Pace and Expansive Vision: Keys to the Success of the ROC's Mainland Policy" to the European Parliament. She stated that President Ma's Mainland policy and its achievements have actively brought about a new mode of interaction between Taiwan and mainland China, and have created an overall environment of peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait. There is already a majority consensus in Taiwan to support the promotion of peaceful and stable developments in cross-strait relations while defending Taiwan's identity and adhering to democratic values. In facing mainland China, Taiwan insists on the principles of dealing with urgent matters before non-urgent ones, easy matters before difficult ones, and economic matters before political ones" and "shelving disputes and holding pragmatic negotiations", whereby government officials on both sides negotiate pragmatically and, through the agreements signed, have established a "mechanism-to-mechanism" platform between the two governments.

September 6, 2012
Press release issued by the MAC stated, Minister Lai Shin-yuan emphasized at a seminar held by the EU-Asia Center and the Fundacion para las Relaciones Internacionales y el Dialogo Exterior (FRIDE) that President Ma's Mainland policy and its achievements have actively brought about a new mode of interaction between Taiwan and mainland China, created an peaceful and stable cross-strait environment, and laid an irreversible and solid foundation for peace in the Taiwan Strait. The resumption of institutionalized cross-strait negotiations has created a stable economic and trade environment in the Strait, which is conducive to economic and trade activities between the European Union (EU) and Asia regions. The ROC government's Mainland policy has successfully created a stable environment for cross-strait economic and trade exchanges which, in conjunction with close Taiwan-EU economic cooperation ties, will expand the scope of economic activities of European countries in Asia. In the future, the ROC government will firmly adhere to its position in the continual promotion of institutionalized cross-strait negotiations so as to contribute more to peaceful development in the Asia-Pacific region, while at the same time pave the way to an even brighter future for the development of EU-Asia relations.

September 7, 2012
President Ma Ying-jeou stated during an inspection visit to Pengjia Islet, that the Diaoyutai Islands have been appurtenant to Taiwan since the Ming Dynasty, Taiwan defends its sovereignty over the Diaoyuta Islands to protect the rights that Taiwanese fishermen have held in these fishing grounds for hundreds of years, and that it is more important to seek a pragmatic and concrete resolution for the dispute. President Ma therefore proposed the East China Sea Peace Initiative to serve as the means by which Taiwan can act upon its principles for handling the Diaoyutai dispute, i.e. "safeguarding sovereignty, shelving disputes, pursuing peace and reciprocity, and promoting joint exploration and development." Implementation process of the Initiative will be in two stages, starting first with “peaceful dialogue and mutually beneficial talks”, leading eventually to the second stage of “cooperative exploration and development of resources”. As for how these two stages are to be implemented, the President proposed that the involved parties start by holding three separate bilateral dialogues before progressing toward a single trilateral negotiation process. The basic concept is that while national sovereignty cannot be divided, natural resources can nevertheless be shared. If all parties concerned could agree to set aside the sovereignty issue and explore the feasibility of joint exploration in the spirit of peaceful cooperation, then the goal of sharing resources could be gradually attained.
The President stated that the parties concerned could start by holding three separate bilateral dialogues—between Taiwan and Japan, between Taiwan and mainland China, and between Japan and the Mainland. Once these parties have reached consensus, they could gradually progress toward a single trilateral negotiation process. Japan and mainland China have bilateral agreements on fishery and petroleum. The President further declared that Taiwan is negotiating a fishery agreement with Japan, and has long engaged in cooperation with the Mainland on oil and gas exploration in the Taiwan Strait as well as maritime rescue. While the existing mechanisms for mutual interactions do not always run smoothly—and at times are reduced to mere formalities—they can be a first step toward creation of a foundation for greater cooperation.

September 7, 2012
MAC Minister Lai Shin-yuan presented a speech entitled "Promoting peace in the Taiwan Strait by institutionalized negotiations, and steering cross-strait relations by Taiwan's core values" at the University of London's School of Oriental and African Studies, that the Taiwanese people’s right to continuously monitor the government is guaranteed by Taiwan's democratic system. Through the promotion of the Mainland policy, Taiwan is using her way of life and democratic system to interact with the transforming Mainland. Taiwan's experience and values of democratization provide an important reference template for political, social and economic transformation in the Mainland, and its democratic experience is gradually becoming a key force in guiding the benign of cross-strait development. Minister Lai also stated that national security is a very important cornerstone in the development of cross-strait relations. The ROC government has always taken seriously the military threat posed by the other side; on the one hand, it is seeking, through cross-strait negotiations, dialogue and exchanges, to actively improve cross-strait relations and maintain the status quo of peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait, whereas on the other hand, it is determined and prepared to defend Taiwan and actively seeks to procure self-defensive armaments from the United States. The Minister stressed, only with "solid bedrock" self-defense capabilities that deter threat and prevent war can Taiwan preserve peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait and ensure the nation's survival and development.

September 7, 2012
MAC press release stated, the government's current Mainland policy is to maintain the cross-strait status quo of "no unification, no independence, and no use of force” under the framework of the ROC Constitution, and to promote institutionalized cross-strait negotiations on the foundation of the “1992 Consensus of“one China with respective interpretations”. Over the past more than four years, institutionalized cross-strait negotiations have functioned in a sound and orderly manner through which eight rounds of high-level talks have been convened and 18 agreements signed between the SEF and the ARATS. The achievements have enhanced mutual understanding between the two sides, gradually established a foundation of mutual trust, and created a framework for the peaceful and stable development of cross-strait relations.
The MAC stressed that the goal of the government's Mainland policy is to maintain stability in the Taiwan Strait and promote regional peace. In the future, the government will continue to promote the peaceful and stable development of cross-strait relations in keeping with the principle of handling easy issues before difficult ones, urgent matters before non-urgent ones, and economic matters before political ones". It will also prioritize issues related to economic and trade, livelihood and well being of the people on both sides, and the order of exchanges. If the two sides can face up to the reality that only under the principle of "mutual non-recognition of sovereignty and mutual non-denial of authority to govern", and on the foundation of deeper mutual trust, understanding and respect for public opinion, can stability across the Strait persevere.

September 14, 2012
President Ma Ying-jeou emphasized during a meeting with Director Richard Bush of the Center for Northeast Asian Policy Studies at the U.S. Brookings Institution, that Taiwan does not recognize the Japanese government's move to nationalize the Diaoyutai Islands. Even though the Japanese government has indicated that its action would not impact the fishing rights of Taiwan's fishermen, the President said that the ROC cannot be sure of Japan’s sincerety until Taiwanese fishermen,s operations in the area are ensured. The ROC has proposed the "East China Sea Peace Initiative" to urge all parties to shelve sovereignty disputes and to jointly develop and share resources of the region, for although national sovereignty cannot be compromised, natural resources can nevertheless be shared. Turning to peaceful and cooperative means to resolve international disputes is the ROC’s established policy, and the government will work to achieve this objective.

September 24, 2012
President Ma Ying-jeou stated during a meeting with British House of Lords Deputy Speaker and Co-Chair of the British-Taiwanese All-Party Parliamentary Group Lord Faulkner, that Taiwan has always seeked to resolve international disputes in a peaceful manner and insited on the position that "although national sovereignty cannot be compromised, natural resources can be shared." The President proposed on August 5 the East China Sea Peace Initiative, which suggests that all parties could shelve the sovereignty dispute and jointly develop resources in the East China Sea. The use of military force should be avoided in any sort of international dispute so as to prevent tensions from rising, stated the President. He therefore pointed out the concept of bilateral dialogue among the three parties involved, with the hope of addressing fishing, drilling, and other related issues. The bilateral talks, he said, could be first held between Taiwan and mainland China, Taiwan and Japan, and mainland China and Japan respectively, and once they have been concluded, the three parties could begin a trilateral negotiation session.

October 3, 2012
MAC Minister Wang Yu-chi stated during task report and interpellation session at the Legislative Yuan that priority will be placed on promoting the major policies of Mainland students' inclusion in the National Health Insurance (NHI) plan, amendment of the Act Governing Relations between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area, and expansion of cross-strait economic, trade, cultural, and educational exchanges to further strengthen the development of cross-strait relations.
Chairman Wang further expressed hope that consideration may be given to the inclusion of Mainland students into the NHI plan due to equality and humanitarian concerns, and also upon the fact that the great majority of Mainland students are youngsters with relatively low medical expenditure, the inclusion is in fact beneficial to the NHI finances. On the other hand, the policy of encouraging Mainland students to study in Taiwan will increase mutual understanding between young people on both sides, and Mainland students who have completed their studies in Taiwan will also bring Taiwan's liberal democratic and civil society values to the Mainland, thus further benefit cross-strait relations. Moreover, the MAC's future policy direction will include strengthening cross-strait policy planning, promoting continuously institutionalized cross-strait negotiations, reviewing comprehensively reviewing the Act Governing Relations between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area and regulations governing exchanges, expanding cross-strait cultural and educational exchanges, and enhancing exchanges and cooperation with Hong Kong and Macao.

October 8, 2012
President Ma Ying-jeou stated at the 2012 World Peace Conference held by the World Hakka General Association that the two sides of the Taiwan Strait have signed 18 agreements, reached two consensuses, and signed three Memorandum of Understanding on the foundation of dignity, parity, and mutual benefit. The institutionalization and normalization of cross-strait relations has expanded from a "point" and "line", into a "planar" peace network that meets the demands arising from the more than seven million people-to-people exchange volume across the Strait per year, and protects the rights and interests of the people on both sides.

October 10, 2012
President Ma Ying-jeou presented an address entitled "Forging Ahead Together with Composure in the Face of Adversity" at the 2012 ROC National Day celebration. He stated that no incursion into our national territory can be countenanced, nor can we waver in defense of our sovereignty. Whether looked at from the perspective of history, geography, or international law, the Diaoyutai Islets have always been part of the territory of the Republic of China, and are among the islands that belong to Taiwan. In response to the dispute over the Diaoyutai Islets, Taiwan has proposed the East China Sea Peace Initiative to advocate that each party set aside disputes and engage in dialogue. "Defending sovereignty and fishing rights, resolving the dispute through peaceful means, and promoting joint exploration and development" are the objectives for which we strive. The same principles also apply to the South China Sea.
The President also stated that in the past four-plus years, the ROC government has signed 18 agreements and reached two consensuses with the Mainland. These developments have brought substantive benefits to the people of Taiwan. In the future, the government will continue efforts to expand interactions across the Taiwan Strait on the basis of the "1992 Consensus of one China with respective interpretations". It will thoroughly review and amend the Act Governing Relations between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area, and will also push the establishment of reciprocal offices on both sides to serve the needs of businesses, students, and the general public.

October 11, 2012
President Ma Ying-jeou stated during a meeting with participants and family members of the "2012 High-Level Generals Class" organized by National Defense University, that the government has been actively improving relations with mainland China. He also pointed out that, the government has upheld the "no unification, no independence, and no use of force" principle under the ROC Constitution framework, and has also achieved substantive results in efforts to promote peaceful cross-strait relations on the basis of the "1992 Consensus" and "one China with respective interpretations" principle. The two sides have signed 18 agreements and reached two consensuses, turning the Taiwan Strait into an area of peace and jointly creating the prospect for peace and prosperity, which is of major significance for stability in the region. The President further pointed out that "cross-strait rapprochement" and "institutionalization of reconciliation" form the first line of defense in national security and is the most important foundation for regional peace. It has encouraged willingness between the two sides to resolve differences peacefully, and high prices would have to be paid if either side were to change the status quo unilaterally.

October 11, 2012
The Executive Yuan approved draft revisions to the Act Governing Relations between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area to include Mainland students into the National Health Insurance (NHI) program, comparable to the treatment currently granted to overseas Chinese and foreign students studying in Taiwan, and has now been submitted to the Legislative Yuan for review. In the future, Mainland students who have resided in Taiwan for over six months will be able to enroll in the insurance system. The monthly premium for Mainland students will be NT$749 after deducting government subsidies, and the inclusion will benefit about 1,800 Mainland students in Taiwan.

October 16, 2012
Press release issued by the MAC stated that foreign students and overseas Chinese students are currently included in the National Health Insurance (NHI) program, therefore, due to equality and humanitarian concerns, the government plans to include Mainland students studying in Taiwan into the NHI plan, granting them treatment comparable to that currently extended to foreign students.
The MAC stated that the government has opened up for the recruitment of Mainland students in hope for a more competitive, diversified, and internationalized higher educational system, and also for the continuation of peaceful developments across the Strait. The MAC stressed that the internationalization of higher education is a global trend in which the global higher education market expands and competition for human resources intensifies, foreign students not only bring about economic benefits for the receiving country but also major academic, social, cultural, and political benefits. Therefore, the policy of recruiting Mainland students to study in Taiwan should be considered in context of diversification and internationalization. The recruitment is not simply to supplement student sources passively, but is an act of competition with other countries for gifted Mainland students while at the same time enabling students on both sides of the Strait to study, compete, and cooperate in an environment of freedom and democracy.

November 8, 2012
President Ma Ying-jeou stated during an exclusive interview with Yazhou Zhoukan that cross-strait policies to be promoted in the future include three tasks: the expansion and deepening of cross-strait exchanges; the reciprocal establishment of institutions by the SEF and the ARATS; and comprehensive review and amendment of the Act Governing Relations between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area. The MAC is currently in the planning process of the reciprocal establishment of institutions by the SEF and the ARATS, and the two sides will begin discussions on this issue as soon as possible. A comprehensive overhaul of the Act Governing Relations between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area is also in process and is nearing completion and shall be submitted to the Legislative Yuan once completed. Furhtermore, concerning cross-strait education exchanges under the "expansion and deepening of cross-strait exchanges" task, the MAC hopes that the number of full-time students and exchange students can be increased.
The President said that peace accords could only be signed after war. Yet the phases of cease-fire to truce to the signing of a peace accord is already in the long past for cross-strait relations. The two sides have already signed 18 agreements and each is signed on the basis of peace, therefore, the negotiation and signing of a peace accord is not considered top priority. The President also expressed belief that the goal of peace is unchanged as is the goal of co-prosperity across the Strait, yet whether or not there is need for the signing of such an agreement remains to be discussed.

November 8, 2012
The Executive Yuan passed a draft amendment to the Act Governing Relations between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area, enabling Mainland spouses to obtain identity cards in as soon as four years. Premier Sean Chen said that the amendment demonstrates the government's determination to protect the human rights of immigrants and uphold equal rights under the Constitution. The draft will be submitted to the Legislative Yuan for deliberation and the MAC and Ministry of the Interior have been requested to explain and lobby for the bill at the Legislative Yuan.

November 8, 2012
The MAC stated in a press release on the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China that maintaining peaceful and stable development of cross-strait relations corresponds to the mutual interests of the two sides, and peace in the Taiwan Strait must be maintained by both sides. It is hoped that, in the future, the two sides can continue to uphold the principle of "shelving disputes and jointly creating a win-win outcome" and pragmatically promote peaceful, mutually beneficial, and co-prosperous cross-strait relations; continue to deepen mutual trust and mutually show goodwill; and persist with joint efforts for peaceful and stable development in the Strait and happiness of the people on both sides. In the future, the government will continue under the framework of the ROC Constitution to adhere to the cross-strait status quo of "no unification, no independence and no use of force", uphold the principle "putting Taiwan first for the benefit of the people", persist in its defense of Taiwan's identity and public interests, and sequentially promote cross-strait exchanges, dialogue and negotiations under the premise of effective risk control. Cross-strait negotiations will prioritize issues conducive to national development and beneficial to the livelihood and well-being of the people with the principle of handling "easy issues before difficult ones, urgent matters before non-urgent ones, and economic matters before political ones" in mind. Under the framework of the ROC Constitution and with the 23 million Taiwanese people's voices at heart, the government will continue to promote institutionalized negotiations in order to seek peaceful, stable, mutually beneficial, and win-win cross-strait relations.

November 9, 2012
President Ma Ying-jeou emphasized at a symposium on the 20th anniversary of the "1992 Consensus" held by the SEF that the "1992 Consensus" should not simply act as a political symbol, but is a historical fact. The "1992 Consensus" embodies the spirit and pragmatic problem-solving attitude of Taiwan in "addressing realities and shelving disputes" under the ROC Constitution. It not only is consistent with the constitutional position of the two sides and the "meaning of one China" approved by the National Unification Council in 1992, but also fully takes into account the priniciples of reciprocity and dignity for interation between the two sides. It is hoped that all parties can understand that the "1992 Consensus" is the foundation of cross-strait relations, as well as the key to ensuring peaceful development across the Strait. In the future, the government will also work towards the three goals of expanding and deepening cross-strait exchanges, establishing reciprocal institutions by the SEF and the ARATS, and comprehensively reviewing and amending the Act Governing Relations between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area.

November 9, 2012
MAC Minister Wang Yu-chi stated in a speech at a symposium on the 20th anniversary of the "1992 Consensus" that the significant implication of the "1992 Consensus", for the ROC government, is certainty in that the Republic of China is a sovereign and independent country, and that under the framework of the ROC Constitution, "one China" by definition means the Republic of China. The spirit of the "1992 Consensus" in shelving disputes and pursuing a win-win solution has been thoroughly realized by the two sides through institutionalized negotiations as well as in subsequent contacts and implementation of agreements signed. The two sides have also acted in the spirit of "mutual non-recognition of sovereignty and mutual non-denial of authority to govern." 1992 Consensus of one China with respective interpretations" has enabled us to highlight the fact that the sovereignty of ROC exists, and that the government's promotion of the Mainland policy accords with the ROC Constitution framework and is also the most effective and pragmatic measures for establishing institutionalized interactions and deepening mutual trust between the two sides. In the future, the two sides should continue to uphold the spirit of the "1992 Consensus" to shelve disputes and show mutual respect in order to pragmatically promote mutually beneficial cross-strait relations, deepen mutual trust, and continue dedications for peaceful and stable development across the Taiwan Strait and for the happiness of the people.

November 14, 2012
MAC Minister Wang Yu-chi stated in a speech at the 16th Cross-Strait Relations and the Mainland News Reporting Awards ceremony and seminar that President Ma Ying-jeou's "Golden Decade, Cross-Strait Peace" National Vision includes the guiding policies of promoting reciprocal dissemination of information across the Taiwan Strait, expanding exports of Taiwanese audio-visual products and publications to the Mainland, and media reforms and information opening, in hope that Taiwan can promote the development of a civil society in the Mainland through the diversity of its press and private media. Cross-strait media exchanges should not be limited to the mutual establishment of media offices; the government further hopes that the Mainland can also promote substantial freedom of the press. Neither should Cross-strait media exchanges be limited to the number and period of stay of stationed reporters, but should also work towards the reciprocal circulation of information. It is hoped that the two sides can jointly improve the overall environment for cross-strait media exchanges so the people can feel the benefits of reciprocal information exchange.

November 23, 2012.
The MAC issued the following solemn statement on the inclusion of pictures of Taiwan's Sun Moon Lake and Green Island among the maps and pictures in the new Mainland passport:
1.Sun Moon Lake and Green Island in Taiwan are parts of the Republic of China (ROC)'s territory, and are not under mainland China's authority to govern.
2.Mainland China's inclusion of photographs of Taiwan's territory and landscape entirely ignores existing facts and provokes controversy, while at the same time not only harms the foundation of mutual trust established through efforts by the two sides over the recent years, but also hurts the feelings of Taiwan's 23 million people. The Mainland's action is absolutely unacceptable to the ROC government.
3.The ROC is a sovereign and independent country. Under the ROC Constitution, the ROC's territory has its existing national boundaries. The mainland Chinese authorities should squarely face the fact that the two sides are divided by the sea and governed separately, thus pragmatically and objectively face up to the ROC. It is believed that the Mainland side must "shelve disputes and face realities" on the existing foundation, and resolve disputes with wisdoms of self-restraint. Therefore, the MAC sternly reiterates that mainland China should avoid giving the outside world the impression of making a unilateral change to the status quo, which undermines the hard-earned achievements of cross-strait relations, and thereby hinders and sets back developments of cross-strait interactions.

November 28, 2012
The MAC stressed in a press release responding to certain media misinterpretations of the government's emphasis that the two sides should "shelve disputes and address realities" that, based on that constitutional position of the ROC, the ROC government has faced up to the fact that its governing authority does not extend to the Mainland, and it is also a fact that the Mainland's governing authority does not extend to Taiwan either. With the common acknowledgement of "mutual non-recognition of sovereignty and mutual non-denial of authority to govern" on both sides, there is no such issue as the Mainland having de jure sovereignty over Taiwan. It is believed that, the two sides should uphold mutual non-denial for and respect the fact of both sides' authority to govern. In terms of "governing authority", the Mainland authorities must continue to "face up to the reality that the two sides are governed separately". Moreover, passports are official documents with sovereign implications, not simple ordinary tourism guides to introduce visitor attractions. The 18 agreements signed between the two sides since President Ma Ying-jeou took office in 2008 are achievements built on the foundation of "mutual non-recognition of sovereignty and mutual non-denial of authority to govern" which should be cherished by both sides.

December 10, 2012
The MAC issued a statement on the 64th anniversary of International Human Rights Day, emphasizing that due to close historical, geographical, cultural, and social ties with the Mainland, Taiwan has been especially concerned about internal changes in the Mainland over the past few years, particularly in areas of political reform, income disparity and civil society development, which have all faced severe economic and social challenges. The MAC hopes that the mainland Chinese authority, at this critical juncture of power transition and with a new leadership appointed at the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China planning major internal government reforms, will more pragmatically face up to actual demands of the people, respond concretely to heartfelt expectations on all sides for protection of human rights and establishment of a true civil society, while at the same time treat rights activists and dissidents with a peaceful and rational attitude, thus demonstrate the wisdom and disposition of one in authority, so as to further enhance trust and harmony between the Mainland government and people. Th MAC also looks forward to the gradual opening up for public political participation, steady improvement in human rights and the rule of law, and autonomous development of civil society in the Mainland, which can help further shorten the psychological distance between the Strait.

December 12, 2012
President Ma Ying-jeou stated in an exclusive interview with CNBC Asia-Pacific that the government's policy is to maintain the status quo of "no unification, no independence and no use of force" under the framework of the ROC Constitution and to promote peaceful cross-strait development on the foundation of the "1992 Consensus of one China, with respective interpretations." This policy framework is an important enabling factor in the peaceful development across the Taiwan Strait. There are, of course, many differences of view between the two sides. "Shelving disputes and jointly creating a win-win outcome" is the foundation for continued promotion and the only way to build on the peace dividend. Cross-strait financial industry cooperation, such as the People's Bank of China's designation of the Bank of China's Taiwan branch as a currency clearance institution, is also an extremely important step.

December 13, 2012
President Ma Ying-jeou stated during a meeting with a delegation of permanent representatives to the United Nations from four ROC allies that over the past four-plus years the government has sought to win more opportunities for the ROC to participate in international organizations and activities, and to improve the cross-strait relationship to form a virtuous cycle. These developments do not mean that Taiwan and mainland China have resolved all of their differences. Rather, the two sides have shelved their differences and instead pursue the resolution of more pressing issues. When Taiwan's international participation gives the people of Taiwan more confidence in the global community, it increases the willingness to further enhance cross-strait relations. In the future, Taiwan will continue to strengthen and expand its ties with mainland China. Consequently, Taiwan is not opposed to its allies engaging in unofficial trade and economic relations with mainland China. However, the alliances and cooperative relationships between the ROC and its allies should continue to be strengthened on the existing foundation.

December 14, 2012
The MAC announced the results of its latest routine public opinion survey. About 70% (70.9%) of the public support the government's continued handling of cross-strait exchange issues through institutionalized negotiations. Moreover, nearly 60% (57.2%) of the public support the government's approach in promoting cross-strait negotiations of focusing first on economic issues and discussing political issues later. Furthermore, over half (55.5%) of the people polled identify with the government's policy position of "1992 Consensus of one China with respective interpretations, in which one China is the Republic of China." Additionally, 53.6% of the people approve the government's approach of promoting institutionalized cross-strait negotiations on the foundation of the "1992 Consensus of one China with respective interpretations."

December 14, 2012
President Ma Ying-jeou stated during a meeting with Professor Jerome Cohen of the U.S. New York University School that, in the future, the government will dedicate efforts on issues related to expanding and strengthening ties between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait, the mutual establishment of cross-strait institutions, and comprehensive review of the Act Governing Relations between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area. With respect to the sovereignty dispute over the Diaoyutai Islets, President Ma stated, in order to resolve heightened tensions resulting from this controversy, he unveiled his East China Sea Peace Initiative, which is based on the principle that although the ROC's sovereignty over the Diaoyutais cannot be compromised, natural resources can be shared. He expressed his hopes that this dispute can be peacefully resolved through negotiations.

December 20, 2012
President Ma Ying-jeou stated during a meeting with Taiwanese business representatives from various parts of the Mainland that the government has promoted cross-strait policy based on the "1992 Consensus of One China with respective interpretations",and has crossed a new milestone in cross-strait economic and trade relations with the signing of the Cross-Strait Investment Protection and Promotion Agreement, Cross-Strait Customs Cooperation Agreement, and Memorandum of Understanding on Cross-Strait Currency Settlement. In the future, the two sides will continue work towards the three goals of the further expansion and strengthening of cross-strait exchanges, the reciprocal establishment of institutions by the SEF and the ARATS, and comprehensive review and amendment of the Act Governing Relations between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area in order to increase the investment and business interests of Taiwanese businesspeople.

December 26, 2012
President Ma Ying-jeou stated while presiding at the 2013 First Half Promotion and Rank Presentation Ceremony for Army, Navy and Air Force Officers that, according to the ROC Constitution, the ROC is a sovereign and independent country with a territory encompassing Mainland China, though its governing authority is limited to Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu. Cross-strait relations are not state-to-state relations, but rather, "a special relationship" positioned on the basis of "mutual non-recognition of sovereignty and mutual non-denial of authority to govern" defined in the ROC Constitution. The government's Mainland policy is to maintain the status quo of "no unification, no independence, and no use of force" under the framework of the ROC Constitution and to "shelve disputes and pursue a win-win solution" and seek peaceful cross-strait relations on the foundation of the "1992 Consensus of one China, with respective interpretations". In the future, the government will continue to expand and strengthen exchanges, establish reciprocal institutions, and review comprehensively the Act Governing Relations between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area so as to facilitate development of cross-strait relations.
President Ma also said that "national security" is crucial to the survival of the ROC. The country's overall defense strategy is embodied by the "Three Legs of National Security." The first leg is the institutionalization of the cross-strait rapprochement, adhere to the principle of "putting Taiwan first for the benefit of the people." The second leg is the use of viable diplomacy to establish more breathing space for Taiwan in the international community and increase Taiwan's contribution to the international community. The third leg is a strong national defense to deter external threats. Taiwan does not seek war, neither does it fear war.