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Mainland Affairs Council

I. Mainland Policy and Work

2015

January 1, 2015
President Ma Ying-jeou stated in a New Year's Day Message entitled "Reconciliation, Cooperation, Peace" presented at the 2015 national founding memorial and New Year's Day ceremony that peace is the most important goal in promoting cross-strait relations. The achievements of the government over the past six years stand as proof that seeking peace in this way is the right way to go. In the future, the government will continue to maintain the status quo of no unification, no independence, and no use of force under the framework of the ROC Constitution and on the basis of the 1992 Consensus, whereby each side acknowledges the existence of "one China" but maintains its own interpretation of what that means. Building upon that foundation, the government operates in line with the principle of putting Taiwan first for the benefit of its people. With that aim in mind, the government will continue forward with follow-up economic and trade talks and establish cross-strait representative institutions in order to facilitate even more peaceful relations. At the same time, everyone in society ought to share in the peace dividend generated by cross-strait peace, especially the benefits that come from stronger economic and trade ties. The president further stated that the past year has witnessed steady progress in cross-strait ties. The ministers in charge of cross-strait affairs from each side met three times—once each in Nanjing, Taipei, and Beijing—and referred to each other using their formal titles, the first time such a thing has occurred in the 65 years since the two sides came under separate rule. Moreover, Taiwan's MAC and the Taiwan Affairs Office under the Mainland's State Council, have established a mechanism for regular communications and liaison. These are the concrete results of the gradual institutionalization of cross-strait relations over the past six and a half years. President Ma also stated that lasting peace across the Taiwan Strait is what people on both sides want. It is also what the international community hopes to see. The most effective way to promote peace is to allow young people on both sides, while they are still in their formative early years, to begin having contact, because this will reduce misunderstandings and establish friendship. Indeed, this is an approach that the government will continue to take.

January 13, 2015
President Ma Ying-jeou stated during a meeting with a delegation from Irish House of Representatives that the government has striven to improve Taiwan's relations with mainland China. To date, the two sides have signed 21 agreements. In terms of stability and frequency, economic and cultural interaction between Taiwan and mainland China has also reached its highest levels in 65 years. The heads of cross-strait authorities from each side have also met three times over the past year, in Taipei, Nanjing, and Beijing, referring to each other by their official titles, a testament to the normalization of relations between the two sides.

January 16, 2015
MAC Minister Wang Yu-chi stated during a visit to Kinmen to inspect the Mini Three Links that the central government has always supported policies that can enhance the development of Kinmen. The implementation of visa on arrival service is anticipated to generate future tourism benefits for Kinmen. He also stated that the MAC will continue to coordinate with the Mainland side and demand that the Mainland face up to issues related to the rights and interests of Kinmen residents, especially with respect to sand dredging, cross-border fishing and other issues that have seriously harmed Kinmen's natural resources. The Mainland must control such actions from the source to truly solve the problem. The MAC will also coordinate with the central competent authority to jointly provide maximum assistance to Kinmen. Moreover, to meet the needs of Kinmen residents, the MAC will, in the future, coordinate relevant competent authorities and fully consult views of the Kinmen County Government before Taiwan engages in negotiations with the Mainland on issues related to Kinmen. Minister Wang also expressed hope that the construction and development of outlying island areas can be promoted in tandem with enhancing benign cross-strait interactions.

January 19, 2015
The MAC stated in a press release that it has communicated with the Mainland's Taiwan Affairs Office on joint research preparations for cross-strait economic cooperation and regional economic integration participation. The two sides will further discuss matters such as the promotion of a cross-strait joint research platform, research topics and research content. The start of joint research across the Taiwan Strait has positive and constructive significance for cross-strait economic development and participation in regional economic cooperation. It will also extend the effects of benign cross-strait interaction into regional economic cooperation and create favorable conditions for Taiwan's participation in regional economic integration.

January 20, 2015
President Ma Ying-jeou stated in a speech presented at a commemorative assembly on the "60th Anniversary of the Battle of Yijiangshan Islands: Love and Peace" that the two sides have signed 21 agreements to date, laying a firmer foundation for cross-strait peace. These pacts can all be regarded generally as "peace accords." President Ma also noted that the government will continue to promote peaceful cross-strait development while maintaining the status quo of no unification, no independence, and no use of force under the framework of the ROC Constitution and the basis of the 1992 Consensus, whereby each side acknowledges the existence of "one China" but maintains its own interpretation of what that means. In the future, the government will continue on this foundation to promote the policy of "putting Taiwan first for the benefit of the people" so that the people on both sides may leave the shadows of war far behind.

January 22, 2015
MAC Minister Wang Yu-chi stated at a year-end press conference that, in the new year, the MAC will continue, on the foundation of the 1992 Consensus of "one China, with respective interpretations," to promote cross-strait dialogue consultations and exchanges, deepen official exchanges and interaction between the two sides, and build institutionalized cross-strait relations of peace and mutual benefit. The MAC also will continue to promote the normal operation of exchange visits by the heads of cross-strait competent authorities. Minister Wang further stated that completion of the legislation for the Cross-Strait Agreement Supervisory Act would help to enhance communication and consultation with the public at various stages of cross-strait negotiations, enabling institutionalized cross-strait negotiations to function smoothly on a legal foundation. The MAC fully respects the legislature's procedures for handling the bill and, with the greatest sincerity and open mind, will seek consensus in the hope that the legislation may be promptly completed. Additionally, the MAC will continue to promote institutionalized cross-strait negotiations so that the people may all jointly share the benefits of the agreements. Looking to the future, the MAC hopes that, on the existing foundation of cross-strait peace and mutual respect, the two sides can, with goodwill and sincerity, deepen exchanges, interaction, dialogue and consultations in various fields to create institutional, constructive, mutually beneficial and co-prosperous relations across the Taiwan Strait. The MAC will also prioritize the Taiwanese people's opinions and hope for the Mainland to truly understand the Taiwanese people's mindset.

January 28, 2015
The MAC stated in a press release that Director Zhang Zhijun of the Mainland's Taiwan Affairs Office has accepted an invitation from MAC Minister Wang Yu-chih to lead a delegation to Kinmen for a two-day/one-night visit from February 7 to 8. The visit is promoted on the foundation of normalized exchange visits by the heads of cross-strait competent authorities. The MAC also noted that it will adhere to the principles of reciprocity and dignity in arranging Zhang Zhijun's visit to Kinmen.

January 29, 2015
President Ma Ying-jeou stated at the 2015 CommonWealth Economic Forum that Taiwan is still not on track to be a founding member of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) or the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). These two regional economic blocs absorb 35% and 57% of Taiwan's exports, respectively. Compared to its major trading partners in the region, the ROC is thus seriously lagging in terms of regional economic integration. President Ma further stated that the government will make every effort to join in the second round of TPP negotiations and accelerate efforts designed to promote Taiwan's global deployment. The government also hopes that the long-stalled draft versions of the Cross-Strait Agreement Supervisory Act and the Cross-Strait Trade in Services Agreement will be deliberated by the Legislative Yuan as soon as possible so that Taiwan may keep in pace with other countries around the world.

February 5, 2015
The MAC stated in a press release that Director Zhang Zhijun of the Mainland's Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO) was originally invited by the MAC to visit Kinmen on February 7 to 8. However, both sides decided after discussions, to postpone the visit in consideration of the Kinmen-bound TransAsia Airways air crash and the need for more time to fully communicate on the issue of the Mainland's unilateral establishment of four air routes including the M503 route. The MAC further stated that the main purpose of the communication and liaison mechanism with the TAO and exchange visits by the heads of cross-strait competent authorities is to pragmatically resolve problems between the two sides. The issue of M503 and other three routes is one concerning flight safety; the Mainland's unilateral announcement, without Taiwan's consent, has triggered a backlash in Taiwan. In its statement to the Mainland, the Taiwan side expressed its solemn position and appealed to the Mainland to consider public reaction in Taiwan, respect the feelings of the people of Taiwan, and pragmatically communicate with Taiwan.

February 17, 2015
MAC Minister Andrew Hsia stated at the MAC ministers' handover ceremony that maintaining national dignity and security and enhancing the well-being of the people are the core promotional points of the government's policy, and also the people's expectations. Dignity, security and international participation have been issues of concern for the Taiwanese people, and the Mainland should more deeply understand the feelings of the Taiwanese people and concretely show goodwill, which would in turn benefit the development of cross-strait relations. Minister Hsia also stated that, as minister of the MAC, he will continue to uphold the principle of "putting Taiwan first for the benefit of the people," keeping the needs of the people in mind, and working to build a national security iron triangle combining "cross-strait peace," "flexible diplomacy," and "solid national defense" to create the best possible environment of stability, security and prosperity for the nation's sustainable development, peace and happiness.

February 24, 2015
President Ma Ying-jeou stated in a speech at the 2015 Lunar New Year banquet for representatives of Taiwan-invested enterprises in mainland China that the improvement of cross-strait ties has been substantively beneficial to Taiwan's economy. Some participants expressed concern over Taiwan becoming over-reliant on mainland China, which could impact Taiwan's overall economic development. However, the government has taken efforts to diversify Taiwan's export markets. Thus, while the volume of cross-strait trade has risen, its accounted percentage in total exports has declined, which in fact has been helpful in reducing Taiwan's reliance on the Mainland. Looking forward, the president emphasized that the government will continue to embrace the "1992 Consensus," whereby each side acknowledges the existence of "one China" but maintains its own interpretation of what that means, as the foundation for the sustainable development of cross-strait relations.

February 24, 2015
MAC Deputy Minister Lin Chu-chia stated in a speech at the 2015 Lunar New Year banquet for representatives of Taiwan-invested enterprises in mainland China that the government will, with respect for the completion of congressional procedures, continue to build on the results of institutionalized cross-strait negotiations. Moreover, to protect the rights and interests of the Taiwanese people in the Mainland, the government will promote the establishment of reciprocal institutions between the SEF and the ARATS and positively value the protection of the rights and interests of the people on both sides. At the same time, the government hopes to promptly complete the ECFA follow-up negotiations, including negotiations on the Trade in Goods Agreement, Dispute Settlement Agreement and other issues, to maintain the competitive advantage of Taiwan's industries in the Mainland and enable the benefits of the ECFA related agreements to be substantively felt. Deputy Minister Lin further stated that participation in international economic integration is a major issue of survival for Taiwan. It will help Taiwan's economy to link with Asia-Pacific and global markets, as well as significantly reinforce the public's confidence in cross-strait trade liberalization. The Mainland must understand the long-held aspiration of the Taiwanese people to participate in regional economic integration. Cross-strait economic cooperation and joint cross-strait participation in regional economic integration should advance along a parallel track. Cross-strait participation in regional economic integration can further deepen cross-strait economic and industrial cooperation.

March 5, 2015
President Ma Ying-jeou stated during a meeting with Associate Director and Director of Library and Archives of the Hoover Institution at Stanford University Eric Wakin that the ROC government has consistently sought, under the framework of the ROC Constitution, to maintain the status quo of "no unification, no independence, no use of force" in the Taiwan Strait. It has also sought to promote the peaceful development of cross-strait ties under the "1992 Consensus," whereby each side acknowledges the existence of "one China" but maintains its own interpretation of what that means. These important declarations have both helped to stabilize cross-strait relations. The president further stressed that in the past, the agenda involving cross-strait relations and the ROC's international relations created conflict, resulting in a vicious cycle. However, the efforts of the government over the past six years have transformed this into a "virtuous cycle."

March 10, 2015
President Ma Ying-jeou stated at the 2015 Lunar New Year Gathering for Industrial and Commercial Groups that the draft Cross-Strait Agreement Supervisory Act and Cross-Strait Trade in Services Agreement are major bills concerning Taiwan's future development. He hoped for the Legislative Yuan could accelerate the related review process so that cross-strait trade, exchanges and interactions can continue. Mainland China has become Taiwan's largest trading partner; therefore in order to disperse cross-strait trade risk, the government has worked actively to expand into the Southeast Asia and other markets. In the future, the government will continue to uphold the policy principle of "putting Taiwan first for the benefit of the people" and continue to create new business opportunities for Taiwan's economy so as to win the people's support.

March 10, 2015
President Ma Ying-jeou stated during a meeting with a delegation from the U.S.-based Project 2049 Institute that a major reason for the successful progress of cross-strait relations is that both sides simultaneously returned to the "1992 Consensus," whereby each side acknowledges the existence of "one China" but maintains its own interpretation of what that means. Both sides of the Strait can find something they need under this principle and also allows each side to have slightly different views. The President noted that 23 years have passed since the "1992 Consensus" was first proposed, after full implementation over the past few years, it has been proven to be a feasible path.

March 12, 2015
President Ma Ying-jeou stated at a banquet for ambassadors and representatives to the ROC and their spouses to mark the Lunar New Year that, over the past six-plus years, the government has consistently sought, under the framework of the ROC Constitution, to maintain the status quo of "no unification, no independence, and no use of force" in the Taiwan Strait, and to promote the peaceful development of cross-strait ties under the "1992 Consensus," whereby each side acknowledges the existence of "one China" but maintains its own interpretation of what that means. Substantive achievements have been made, including the signing of 21 agreements between the two sides and the reaching of two points of consensus. In addition, the heads of the agencies on either side responsible for cross-strait affairs met last year in Nanjing, Taipei, and Beijing, addressing each other using their official titles. These examples indicate that Taiwan and mainland China have already institutionalized communication channels, and that on the basis of "mutual non-recognition of sovereignty, and mutual non-denial of governing authority," the Taiwan Strait now enjoys a level of stability and peace unprecedented in 66 years. The president also stated that by replacing the "scorched earth diplomacy" with "viable diplomacy" has turned the "vicious cycle" between Taiwan's foreign relations and cross-strait relations into a "virtuous cycle." The president hoped that Taiwan could play the role of "peacemaker" in the international community, and that once the government achieved peace in the Taiwan Strait, it would also promote peace in other areas in the region.

March 13, 2015
The Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) issued a press release stating that the ROC is a sovereign and independent country, where the government's Mainland policy is to maintain the "no unification, no independence and no use of force" status quo under the ROC Constitution framework. This is also the mainstream public opinion in Taiwan. In the future, the government will continue to promote peaceful and stable development of cross-strait relations on this foundation. The MAC stated that, the Mainland announced the Anti-Secession Law in 2005. These actions of stressing to resolve the Taiwan Strait issue through non-peaceful means and unilaterally determining the future for both sides with the Mainland's law have ignored realities across the Taiwan Strait and failed to respect the Taiwanese people's choice. The MAC pointed out that, in order to meet the demands arising from cross-strait developments, the government has gradually established a legal basis for the development of institutionalized cross-strait relations and protect the people's rights and interests on both sides. As for the Mainland's statement to accord with the law in protecting the Taiwanese people's rights and interests, the MAC believes the Mainland should actively and pragmatically implement institutionalized protections for the personal safety, property rights and other interests of Taiwanese people in the Mainland. The MAC stressed that, over the past seven years, the government has adhered to the "1992 Consensus" basis of "One China, with respective interpretations" in interacting with the Mainland. Through institutionalized negotiations and deepened exchanges, the government has gradually built up mutual trust and promoted mutual understanding between the two sides. This pragmatic and prudent approach has created favorable conditions for respective development of the two sides. It has also laid a more solid foundation for the long-term and stable development of cross-strait relations. The MAC urged that, in the future, the two sides should cherish and preserve the achievements of cross-strait benign interaction, show mutual goodwill, consolidate mutual trust, and actively promote follow-up negotiation issues to create a greater well-being for people on both sides.

March 15, 2015
In response to remarks made at the press conference after the mainland's National People's Congress session concerning cross-strait relations, the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) stated in a press release that "the 1992 Consensus of one China with respective interpretations" is the basis for institutionalized cross-strait negotiations, interaction and exchanges, and also highlights the fact of the Republic of China's existence. The government's Mainland policy, to maintain the cross-strait status quo of "no unification, no independence and no use of force" under the ROC Constitution framework, has always been the greatest consensus in Taiwan's mainstream public opinion. The MAC called out for the Mainland to squarely face cross-strait reality, fully understand public opinion in Taiwan, and pragmatically promote peaceful and stable development of cross-strait relations. The MAC reiterated that the government will continue to actively promote Cross-Strait Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) follow-up issues such as trade in goods and dispute settlement mechanisms. It is also hoped that the Mainland will pragmatically communicate with Taiwan on related issues so as to reach an early consensus. At the same time, both sides should actively discuss the implementation result of these agreements. The MAC pointed out that the ROC government expects the Mainland to demonstrate its commitment to systematic reforms and strengthen citizen participation. The two sides also should continue to mutually learn and advance through exchanges and interaction, as well as work to enhance the well-being of the people on both sides.

March 19, 2015
President Ma Ying-jeou stated during the 2015 Fulbright Research Workshop that this year is also crucial to enhancing Taiwan's international competitiveness as it seeks to participate more fully in regional economic integration. Taiwan will continue to use a cumulative "building-block" strategy to sign economic cooperation or free trade agreements with major trading partners and build momentum for participation in the TPP and the RCEP. The president also noted that the ROC government has been firm in maintaining the status quo of "no unification, no independence and no use of force" under the framework of the ROC Constitution. Moreover, on the foundation of the "1992 Consensus of one China, with respective interpretations," the government has promoted various cross-strait exchanges. Over the past six-plus years, Taiwan has concluded 21 agreements with the Mainland, including the Cross-Straits Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) and reached two major points of consensus with Mainland Chin, and achieved many results. At the same time, last year the ministers of the two sides in charge of cross-strait relations met in Taipei, Nanjing, and Beijing and called each other by their official titles. These examples indicate that Taiwan and Mainland China have already institutionalized communication channels, and that on the basis of "mutual non-recognition of sovereignty, and mutual non-denial of governing authority," the Taiwan Strait now enjoys a level of stability and peace unprecedented in 66 years. Looking to the future, peace across the Taiwan Strait will yield a "peace dividend" that will continue to be nurtured, forming an important pillar in the prosperity that we can share with all the countries in the region.

March 23, 2015
The MAC announced the results of a routine public opinion survey results on the Mainland's M503 and other air routes' establishment, in which the majority of the people support the government in expressing its solemn position to the Mainland and demanding pragmatic communication from the Mainland (62.7%), as well as accept the preliminary adjustment measures taken by the Mainland (57.4%). The MAC stated that the government, in adherence to the "safety and dignity" principles, has demanded for the Mainland to pragmatically communicate with Taiwan on the issue of establishing the M503 and other routes. It has also urged the Mainland to face up to the demands of public opinion in Taiwan and has achieved preliminary results. This shows that rational and pragmatic cross-strait negotiations hold positive significance for Taiwan's national security and flight safety, as well as for cross-strait peace and stability. The MAC stated that the Mainland's agreement to not fly military jets on the M503 international route and to not operate near the strait median line at the ROC government's demand has been regarded as conducive to peace in the Taiwan Strait by 45.2% of the surveyed; whereby 60.2% of the surveyed public believe the government's ongoing communication and coordination with the Mainland on M503 route flight safety and future establishment of a cross-strait flight control mechanism to be conducive to safeguarding regional air security.

March 27, 2015
The MAC issued a press release stating that the M503 air route established by the Mainland does not encroach on Taiwan's airspace and is unrelated to the issue of sovereignty. In the handling of this issue, the ROC government has adhered to the principles of "safety and dignity" in pragmatic consultations with the Mainland. No harm has come to Taiwan's sovereignty. The government has further solemnly expressed its position and pressed the Mainland to squarely face public opinion and demands in Taiwan and to ensure Taiwan's due rights through peaceful means. Moreover, the government must establish a comprehensive grasp of and effective response measures for all Mainland aircrafts upon the M503 route implementation so as to ensure the security of Taiwan's territory, airspace, and territorial waters. Additionally, the distance of the route from Taiwan's FIR was increased from 4.2 NM to 10.2 NM. The M503 route is established as an international civil aviation route that will not be used by Mainland military jets, which in turn creates a larger air defense buffer for Taiwan. The MAC further stated that the cross-strait civil aviation authorities have held five rounds of talks to discuss issues related to the M503 route. The related situation was reported to the Legislative Yuan's Internal Administration Committee and Transportation Committee, receiving due congressional oversight. In the future, relevant government departments will remain vigilant and respond pro-actively. They will continue to watch the dynamics of relevant route implementation to ensure Taiwan's air defense security and the Taiwanese people's safety and well-being, as well as continue to consult with the Mainland and deal with relevant issues in an appropriate manner.

March 31, 2015
The MAC stated in a press release that Taiwan's letter of intent (LOI), signed by Minister Chan Sheng-ford, to participate in the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) was directly faxed to the AIIB Multilateral Interim Secretariat by the Ministry of Finance on the evening of March 31, following approval from the Executive Yuan. The LOI was also sent by the MAC to the Taiwan Affairs Office to be forwarded to the Secretariat. The MAC stressed that active integration in the regional economy and promotion of economic organization participation have always been the established position of the ROC government, and also the consistent aspiration of the Taiwanese people. The ROC government has begun inter-ministerial deliberations and evaluation of the matter, and will adhere to principles of reciprocity and dignity in the future to maximize Taiwan's best interests in AIIB accession.

April 8, 2015
President Ma Ying-jeou stated at the Taiwan Foreign Correspondents' Club (TFCC) speech and seminar that the government has been committed to maintaining the cross-strait status quo of "no unification, no independence, and no use of force" under the framework of the ROC Constitution, while also remaining committed to the principle of "putting Taiwan first for the benefit of the people," as well as promoting peaceful cross-strait development based on the 1992 Consensus of "one China, respective interpretations." In the past seven years, the ROC and mainland China have signed 21 agreements and reached consensus on two issues. There is now more stability and peace across the Strait than there has been in the past 66 years. In addition, last year, the ministers in charge of cross-strait relations from each side of the Taiwan Strait met three times, thereby establishing institutionalized communication mechanisms between them. That was a significant step in the peaceful development of cross-strait relations. It was also a concrete example of putting into practice the policy of "mutual non-recognition of sovereignty, and mutual non-denial of governing authority." Looking to the future, in the spirit of equality and reciprocity, the two sides of the Taiwan Strait can continue to work together in a pragmatic partnership to ensure cross-strait and regional peace and prosperity.

April 9, 2015
President Ma Ying-jeou stated during a meeting with a homecoming delegation from the Asia Taiwanese Chambers of Commerce that, at the end of March, the government conveyed its intention to join the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). This was done based on the founding purpose of the bank and in line with Taiwan's goal to become an "international humanitarian assistance provider." At the same time, Taiwan hopes to play a constructive role in the process of regional economic integration. More importantly, participation in the bank would greatly help Taiwan's construction and engineering management industry to tap more business opportunities. As for the status and title of participation, the President said he believed that participation under the name "Chinese Taipei," consistent with international practice and the ROC's participation in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum and World Trade Organization (WTO), should be an approach acceptable to both sides.

April 14, 2015
President Ma Ying-jeou stated during a reception and discussion with Japanese journalists stationed in the ROC that the development of cross-strait ties is crucial to peace in the Asia-Pacific region. Consequently, over the past seven years, the ROC government has consistently sought, under the framework of the ROC Constitution, to maintain the status quo of "no unification, no independence, and no use of force" in the Taiwan Strait, and to promote the peaceful development of cross-strait ties under the "1992 Consensus," whereby each side acknowledges the existence of "one China" but maintains its own interpretation of what that means. This has helped to underpin an increase in the breadth and depth of bilateral interaction. The two sides have so far signed 21 agreements, including the Cross-Strait Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA). This has brought about direct sea and air transport links, Mainland tourist visits to Taiwan, joint crime-fighting and other exchanges. Furthermore, last year the ministers in charge of cross-strait affairs from each side met three times, in Nanjing, Taipei and Beijing, successively, and addressed each other by their official titles. This amply demonstrates that the two sides have established institutionalized communication channels and that relations between the two sides are at their most stable and peaceful state in the past 66 years of separation across the Strait.

April 24, 2015
President Ma Ying-jeou stated in a speech at an exhibit in commemoration of the sixth anniversary of the signing of the Cross-Strait Joint Crime-Fighting and Judicial Mutual Assistance Agreement that the government has actively sought to improve cross-strait relations, and in 2009, Taiwan and mainland China signed the Cross-Strait Joint Crime-Fighting and Judicial Mutual Assistance Agreement. Since taking effect, the agreement has closed many avenues of escape, as criminals are no longer free to flee to mainland China or even Southeast Asia with impunity. The agreement has effectively improved public safety in Taiwan. The President expressed hope that everyone would continue to be successful in these efforts and allow the public to really feel that the peace dividend brought about by improved cross-strait relations not only results in enhanced bilateral trade and investment, as well as economic cooperation, but also greater social stability and safety.

April 28, 2015
President Ma Ying-jeou met with a delegation from the 2015 Asia Pacific Journalism Fellowships of the East-West Center at the University of Hawaii, United States. During the meeting, he stated that the government has consistently sought, under the framework of the ROC Constitution, to maintain the status quo of "no unification, no independence, and no use of force" in the Taiwan Strait, and to improve cross-strait ties under the "1992 Consensus," whereby each side acknowledges the existence of "one China" but maintains its own interpretation of what that means. The heads of the agencies on each side responsible for cross-strait affairs have met three times last year and addressed each other by their official title. This puts the principle of "mutual non-recognition of sovereignty, and mutual non-denial of governing authority" into practice. In addition, Taiwan and mainland China over the past nearly seven years have signed 21 agreements that cover a broad range of issues, and cross-strait relations have continued to develop in a stable manner. The ROC government, with the hope of promoting sustainable peace and prosperity between the two sides, will continue to negotiate with mainland China on topics of mutual concern, such as allowing mainland Chinese to transit in Taiwan on their way to third destinations, signing the Cross-Strait Trade in Goods Agreement, establishing cross-strait representative offices, and jointly participating in regional economic integration.

April 29, 2015
President Ma Ying-jeou stated during an inspection visit to the MAC that the so-called "1992 Consensus" is an agreement reached by Taiwan and the Mainland in 1992 whereby both sides acknowledge the existence of "one China," but maintain their own interpretation of what that means. That has special significance for Taiwan, as it finally gave the two sides a mutually acceptable political basis to address the "one China" issue. Taiwan's interpretation of "one China," based on the ROC Constitution, means the Republic of China. Without the 1992 Consensus, the 1993 Koo-Wang talks would never have happened, and the window of opportunity for progress in cross-strait peace would never have opened after 2008. It is therefore clear that the 1992 Consensus has played a pivotal role in ensuring cross-strait peace and prosperity. The President also noted that the "1992 Consensus" is based on the Constitution of the Republic of China and reflects the positioning of cross-strait relations under the Additional Articles of the ROC Constitution. Abiding by the 1992 Consensus is conducive to defending the ROC's sovereignty and the dignity of Taiwan. Moreover, the 1992 Consensus is a pragmatic and feasible consensus that has withstood the test of time, one that can yield all sorts of peace dividends for the two sides of the Taiwan Strait. Institutionalized negotiations over the past seven years have resulted in the signing of 21 agreements between the two sides that are related to the livelihood of the public. These agreements have also solidified a strong foundation for the development of cross-strait peace. The heads of the agencies on each side of the Taiwan Strait responsible for cross-strait affairs met three times last year during which they referred to each other by their official titles. This is conducive to the normalization of interaction between the two sides. All of this is the result of implementing the 1992 Consensus. By adhering to the "1992 Consensus", cross-strait relations will flourish; divergence from it will result in deterioration; and opposing to it will create turmoil. The 1992 Consensus is not a panacea, but it can resolve quite a few issues, maintain the status quo in the Taiwan Strait, and bring peace and prosperity to the Taiwan Strait.
The President further stated that peace and prosperity are the common hope of the people on both sides, as well as the unchanging goal in developing cross-strait relations. Looking ahead, the two sides should continue to consolidate mutual trust and pursue well-being for the public based on the "1992 Consensus with separate interpretations." There are three areas that the government will promote actively to solidify and deepen cross-strait peace: first, the signing of the Cross-Strait Agreement on Trade in Goods to help round out the function of the ECFA; second, realizing the establishment of representative offices in each other's countries to provide services to the public of both sides; and third, negotiating Taiwan's participation in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), and participating in the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and other multilateral regional economic organizations under the condition of "dignity and equality." These goals have great significance for Taiwan's sustained development and long-term peace in the Taiwan Strait.

May 5, 2015
President Ma Ying-jeou stated during a meeting with a visiting delegation from the Malaysia-Taiwan Trade Federation Association (MTTFA) that the "1992 Consensus" was a proposal, raised by Taiwan after the two sides failed to reach an agreement during the talks held in Hong Kong at the end of October 1992, that the Taiwan and the Mainland sides "orally express their respective views on "one China" principle." This proposal was accepted by the Mainland. The "1992 Consensus" has greatly benefited Taiwan, enabling sustained stability in cross-strait relations and ending the cross-strait conflict on this point. The President also stated that, "When we adhere to the 1992 Consensus, cross-strait relations prosper. If we diverge from that Consensus, cross-strait relations will deteriorate. And if we oppose the 1992 Consensus, there will be turmoil in the Taiwan Strait." Therefore, both sides should "cherish and not deviate from" the consensus so that cross-strait ties can steadily advance. This would certainly further benefit Taiwan, the Mainland and regional development.

May 7, 2015
President Ma Ying-jeou stated at the opening ceremony of the "Cross-Strait Interaction and Exchange through the Corridors of Time" exhibit that, over the past seven years, the government and people of the ROC have worked together under the framework of the ROC Constitution to maintain the status quo in the Taiwan Strait, meaning "no unification, no independence, and no use of force," while promoting cross-strait exchanges and development based on the 1992 Consensus, whereby each side acknowledges the existence of one China but maintains its own interpretation of what that means. The two sides have also signed 21 agreements. Even if the two sides have yet to resolve their overlapping sovereignty claims, the 1992 Consensus allows them to temporarily shelve disputes while cross-strait relations continue to move forward. The President also stated that, on August 1, 1992, former President Lee Teng-hui convened the 8th plenary session of the National Unification Council. At the meeting, a resolution was passed on the meaning of "one China," stating that "Both sides of the Taiwan Strait acknowledge that there is only one China. However, the two sides have different opinions as to the meaning of 'one China'." Since the two sides failed to reach a consensus at the meetings in Hong Kong at the end of October that same year, Taiwan sent a letter suggesting that both sides give their interpretation of "one China" verbally. The ARATS transmitted a response saying that they accepted and respected the SEF's suggestion. The Taiwan side thus proposed the 1992 Consensus, and the Mainland responded. The Mainland side did not make a demand and then force Taiwan to accept it. The President further noted that the 1992 Consensus is significant because it has acted as a buffer, bringing flexibility to cross-strait relations. The "one China" in "one China, respective interpretations" means the ROC. It is based on the ROC Constitution. When we abide by the 1992 Consensus, cross-strait relations thrive; if we diverge from it, cross-strait relations will deteriorate; and if we oppose it, there will be turmoil in the Taiwan Strait. People throughout society should face history squarely and work together to pave the way to peace and prosperity in cross-strait relations.

May 7, 2015
MAC Minister Andrew Hsia stated at the opening ceremony of the special exhibition "Cross-Strait Interaction and Exchange Through the Corridors of Time" that the "1992 Consensus of one China, with respective interpretations" is the key foundation for the government's promotion of cross-strait affairs. Its core is to adhere to the sovereignty of the ROC. This is an important principle in the government's promotion of Mainland policy. The political wisdom and height of this policy is to move the two sides of the Taiwan Strait from the brink of war towards cooperation and contact, in turn create the greatest benefits of maintaining Taiwan's security and regional peace. The SEF and the ARATS have so far held 10 high-level talks and signed 21 agreements related to the livelihood of the people. This has increased the opportunities for Taiwanese industries and helped to enhance Taiwan's economic competitiveness. It has also established order in cross-strait exchanges and protected the rights and interests of the people. Minister Hsia also stated that these 21 agreements are all based on "peace" and have progressively built up cross-strait mutual trust through a "building blocks" approach. This has also created a mutually virtuous cycle between cross-strait ties and foreign relations. In the future, the government will continue to uphold the principle of "putting Taiwan first for the benefit of the people." On the existing foundation of cross-strait peace, it will continue to promote cross-strait exchanges, dialogue and consultation in various fields to create a more solid foundation for long-term peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.

May 9, 2015
The MAC announced the results of its survey of "Public Views on the Government's Mainland Policy and Cross-Strait Relations." On the future direction of cross-strait relations, the vast majority of the public support the policy of maintaining the cross-strait status quo of "no unification, no independence, and no use of force" under the ROC Constitution framework (75.2%) and also support the continued normalization of official cross-strait interactions and institutionalized negotiations to facilitate institutionalized cross-strait ties (71.4%). Furthermore, the majority of the people support the government's approach of steadily promoting cross-strait negotiations and exchanges on the 1992 Consensus basis of “one China with respective interpretations” (53.9%). The majority also feel that the normalization of official cross-strait interactions is beneficial to peaceful and stable cross-strait ties (58.7%) and that institutionalized cross-strait negotiations are conducive to the handling cross-strait affairs (58%). In addition, the majority of the public support the government's expansion of cross-strait exchanges and interaction to propagate Taiwan’s core values of freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law and thereby increase mutual understanding(66.9%). The MAC indicated that the achievements of the government over the past seven years in promoting institutionalized negotiations, normalizing official interactions, and expanding exchanges are affirmed by the majority of the people. The government will continue to uphold the principle of "putting Taiwan first for the benefit of the people" and, on the 1992 Consensus basis of "one China with respective interpretations," continue to institutionalize cross-strait exchanges and steadily develop peaceful and stable cross-strait relations.

May 11, 2015
President Ma Ying-jeou stated during an interview with the US-based Wall Street Journal that, in November last year, the ROC government started conducting assessments concerning the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). On March 31, Taiwan expressed its aim to become a founding member of the bank, the main goal of which was to convey Taiwan's strong interest in this regard. As for the name of membership, Taiwan would like to adopt the APEC model of participating under the name "Chinese Taipei" as an official member of the AIIB. Although the time for becoming a founding member of the AIIB has passed, it is still hoped that Taiwan may participate in the drafting of the bank's articles of agreement. Taiwan's interest and determination in becoming a full official member of the AIIB has not changed. Mainland China has always responded by saying that it welcomed Taiwan's participation under an appropriate status. The President further stated that the Mainland is Taiwan's largest trading partner. However, cross-strait trade involves more than just Taiwan and Mainland China. If the trade in services and trade in goods agreements are not approved, members of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) or Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (RCEP) may re-evaluate Taiwan's integrity and sincerity to participate. In addition, Taiwan will continue to promote the establishment of reciprocal cross-strait institutions, cross-strait trade in goods, passenger transits and other reforms closely related to the rights and interests of the people on both sides.

May 11, 2015
President Ma Ying-jeou stated during a meeting with American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) Chairman Raymond F. Burghardt that the ROC government has consistently sought, under the framework of the ROC Constitution, to maintain the status quo of "no unification, no independence, and no use of force" in the Taiwan Strait, and to promote the peaceful development of cross-strait ties under the 1992 Consensus, whereby each side acknowledges the existence of "one China" but maintains its own interpretation of what that means. "This is an important foundation in maintaining the status quo," he said. The current level of cross-strait peace and stability is unprecedented in the 66 years since the two parties came under separate rule. The President further stated that the objective of the ROC's participation in the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank is to assist Asian nations develop infrastructure and participate in regional integration. The two sides of the Taiwan Strait can also take advantage of this opportunity to expand bilateral economic cooperation. The President also stressed that, when we abide by the 1992 Consensus, cross-strait relations flourish. If we diverge from it, cross-strait relations will deteriorate. And if we oppose it, there will be turmoil in the Taiwan Strait. A MAC public opinion survey indicated that the "1992 Consensus of one China, with respective interpretations" has the support of the majority of the public, providing that "one China" means the "Republic of China." This means that the public strongly identifies with the "Republic of China." The "1992 Consensus" is the best model for protecting the sovereignty of the ROC and the dignity of Taiwan.

May 14, 2015
President Ma Ying-jeou presented a speech at the International Conference on Retrospect and Prospect on Cross-Strait Relations entitled "Pioneering Peace in the Taiwan Strait, Primed for Regional Prosperity." He stated that over the past seven years, the ROC government has promoted a Mainland policy with the central tenets of peace and prosperity, while developing mutually beneficial cross-strait relations. As a result, since the two sides came under separate rule 66 years ago, the cross-strait status quo has never been more stable, which has contributed to regional security and global peace. Based on the "1992 Consensus," whereby each side acknowledges the existence of "one China" but maintains its own interpretation of what that means. The two sides have been moving forward on the path of peace through positive interaction. The "1992 Consensus" and "one China, respective interpretations" advocated by the government are based on the ROC Constitution. "One China" means the Republic of China. The "one China with respective interpretations" concept thus reflects the cross-strait status quo and provides "mutual non-recognition of sovereignty and mutual non-denial of governing authority," which in turn underscores ROC sovereignty and respect for Taiwan. It also constitutes the foundation of trust upon which the current cross-strait consensus was built. The President further noted that three key historical documents verify the existence and substance of the 1992 Consensus. The first document is from August 1, 1992 when former President Lee Teng-hui convened a plenary session of the National Unification Council. At that meeting, a resolution was passed on the meaning of "one China" stating that: "Both sides of the Taiwan Strait insist that there is only one China. However, the two sides have different opinions as to the meaning of 'one China'." The second document is from talks that took place in Hong Kong at the end of October 1992. The two sides did not reach a consensus, so the Taiwan side suggested that both sides express their interpretation of "one China" verbally. The ARATS responded that they respected and accepted the SEF's suggestion. This is another example of the SEF and the ARATS verbally expressing the "one China principle." The third document is from March 26, 2008, when mainland China's leader Hu Jintao spoke to former US President George W. Bush by phone and proposed that, "Mainland China and Taiwan should restore consultations and talks on the basis of the 1992 Consensus, which sees both sides recognize there is only one China, but agree to differ on its definition." The President also stressed that the 1992 Consensus is a critically important consensus that has been recognized, and agreed to, by the respective parties. At its very core, the 1992 Consensus is a commitment to upholding the ROC's sovereignty. The President further stated that tasks to be actively promoted include: completing the Cross-Strait Trade in Goods Agreement; establishing cross-strait representative offices to serve the public on both sides of the Strait; participating in the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) negotiations; and participating in the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, as long as Taiwan is afforded dignity and equality.

May 14, 2015
President Ma Ying-jeou stated during a meeting with Robert Wang, the US Senior Official for Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) under the Department of State, that the "1992 Consensus" is crucial to ensuring cross-strait peace and prosperity. The two sides should continue to build mutual trust and promote peaceful development on this foundation. The President furthermore stated that over the past seven years, the ROC government has consistently sought, under the framework of the ROC Constitution, to maintain the status quo of "no unification, no independence, and no use of force" in the Taiwan Strait, and to promote the peaceful development of cross-strait ties under the "1992 Consensus," whereby each side acknowledges the existence of "one China" but maintains its own interpretation of what that means. The two sides have signed 21 agreements to date. Last year the heads of the agencies on both sides responsible for cross-strait affairs met in Nanjing, Taipei, and Beijing, during which they referred to each other using their official titles. This shows that cross-strait relations are becoming more and more institutionalized and normalized. President Ma said that he will continue to push for the signing of the Cross-Strait Trade in Goods Agreement as well as the establishment of reciprocal representative offices. At the same time, Taiwan will seek to participate in the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and other multilateral regional economic organizations under the conditions of "dignity and equality" in order to expand bilateral economic cooperation and support growth in developing countries around the world.

May 15, 2015
The MAC stated that Director Zhang Zhijun of the Mainland's Taiwan Affairs Office would lead a delegation to Taiwan for a two-day/one-night visit from May 23 to 24 at the invitation of MAC Minister Andrew Hsia. During the Third Meeting between Heads of Cross-Strait Competent Authorities, Minister Hsia and Director Zhang will exchange views on the overall recent development of cross-strait relations, as well as review follow-up promotion of issues related to the "Wang-Zhang Meeting" in Beijing last November such as the Trade in Goods Agreement, Mainland tourist transits in Taiwan, and the reciprocal establishment of SEF-ARATS institutions. Minister Hsia will express Taiwan's position and demands on the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and "repatriation of major economic criminals," both issues of public concern. In addition, the two sides will exchange views on issues of long-term concern to Kinmen residents, including the diversion of water to Kinmen, cross-border fishing, illegal mining of sea sand, ocean trash, attracting more Mainland tourists to Kinmen, and Mini Three Links customs detention. Director Zhang's visit to Kinmen will help Mainland officials in charge of cross-strait affairs gain an in-depth understanding of views in Taiwan on the development of cross-strait relations, as well as more pragmatically and objectively face the cross-strait status quo. The normal operation of exchange visits by the heads of cross-strait competent authorities can help enhance mutual understanding and deepen mutual trust between the two sides. This has important implications for the continued institutionalization of cross-strait relations.

May 20, 2015
President Ma Ying-jeou stated in remarks on the seventh anniversary of his inauguration that, over the past seven years, the government has consistently sought, under the framework of the ROC Constitution, to maintain the status quo of "no unification, no independence, and no use of force" in the Taiwan Strait and, in the spirit of pragmatism, to promote the peaceful development of cross-strait ties under the "1992 Consensus," whereby each side acknowledges the existence of "one China" but maintains its own interpretation of what that means. The two sides have signed 21 agreements and reached consensus on two issues. Interaction between the two sides is not limited to economics and trade, but also includes education, cultural, and social exchanges. This is solidifying the foundation for sustainable peace between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait. The achievements in promoting peace across the Strait have been hard-won. We must cherish them and work to maintain them. This will enable cross-strait relations to continue to progress along the path of peace and prosperity.

May 20, 2015
President Ma Ying-jeou stated during a meeting with a delegation from the Atlantic Council, a US-based think tank, that the ROC government has consistently sought, under the framework of the ROC Constitution, to maintain the status quo of "no unification, no independence, and no use of force" in the Taiwan Strait, and to promote the peaceful development of cross-strait ties under the 1992 Consensus, whereby each side acknowledges the existence of "one China" but maintains its own interpretation of what that means. This has enabled the current level of cross-strait peace and stability, which is unprecedented in the past 66 years. In addition, the ministers in charge of cross-strait affairs from each side held three meetings last year and addressed each other with official titles. These are unprecedented developments. The President further stated that some individuals are skeptical about the existence of the 1992 Consensus. However, not only does the "1992 Consensus" exist, but it has been in existence for 23 years. Experience has proven that when we abide by the 1992 Consensus, cross-strait relations flourish; if we diverge from it, cross-strait relations will deteriorate; and if we oppose it, there will be turmoil in the Taiwan Strait. Therefore, whichever party holds power in the future, this basic political consensus between the two sides should be maintained.

May 23, 2015
MAC Minister Andrew Hsia stated at the Third Meeting between the Heads of Cross-Strait Competent Authorities that the holding of the meeting in Kinmen particularly demonstrates how the cross-strait institutionalized mechanism established in recent years has fully realized positive benefits of the accurate path of "replacing confrontation with dialogue, enhancing understanding through communication, and creating a win-win outcome through cooperation," and jointly promoting and maintaining cross-strait peace and stability. This has profound significance for benign interactions, pragmatic mutual dealing, and the enhancement of mutual trust and resolution differences between the two sides. Minister Hsia further noted that the two sides of the Taiwan Strait have been divided and separately governed for nearly 70 years. Different systems and values have developed on each side. Over the past seven years, the two sides have worked to maintain peaceful and stable development across the Taiwan Strait. There is an even greater need for utmost patience, sincerity, mutual concern, and closer communication on both sides in order to gradually resolve the sensitive issues on which both sides have firm positions and that will be difficult to resolve in the short term. In the course of developing cross-strait relations, the Mainland should understand and realize the deep feelings of the people of Taiwan on security and dignity. In particular, recent issues related to Taiwan's security, dignity and international participation have raised concerns in public opinion and discourse in Taiwan. It is hoped that the Mainland can truly understand and realize that cross-strait relations can only "advance on a steady footing" if they are based on "dignity, respect, peace, and security." Minister Hsia also said that the reciprocal visits and liaison and communication mechanism established between the MAC and the Taiwan Affairs Office since last year have realized the benefits of developing cooperation and reducing misjudgment. The two sides should remain dedicated to maintaining this institutionalized exchange mechanism and further expand its scope and targets. On the basis of the "1992 Consensus," the two sides should continue to address realities and shelve disputes, steadily advance cross-strait relations, and create results that can be felt by more people.

May 23, 2015
The MAC stated in a press release that the Third Meeting between Heads of Cross-Strait Competent Authorities was held in Kinmen County. At the meeting, MAC Minister Andrew Hsia and Director Zhang Zhijun of the Mainland's Taiwan Affairs Office exchanged views on the current development of cross-strait relations and other important issues. The two sides reaffirmed that their determination and faith in promoting peaceful and stable cross-strait developments. The MAC also stated that the conclusions reached by the two sides during the Third Meeting between Heads of Cross-Strait Competent Authorities included the following: to continue to push forward operational consultations for SEF-ARATS institutionalized negotiation agenda issues in hope to facilitate the holding of the Eleventh Round of High-Level Talks.; to promptly hold the eleventh round of operational talks on the Trade in Goods Agreement and continue active promotion of cross-strait trade in goods negotiations and to coordinate respective relevant departments to promptly reach a consensus; to promptly convene the eighth round of operational consultations and promptly complete negotiations on the SEF-ARATS institutions’ mutual establishment; to work together to facilitate a consensus in the first half of this year on promoting Mainland tourist transits in Taiwan, actively coordinate relevant departments to promptly implement the policy, and will consult on further convenience measures for people’s exchanges across the Strait. Moreover, both sides gave considerable attention to problems related to the clearance of goods exported from the Kinmen and Matsu areas to the Mainland and agreed to actively promote the enhancement of measures to facilitate Mini Three Links customs clearance to maintain the rights and interests of legitimate companies. Furthermore, the relevant law enforcement authorities on the two sides will continue active coordination and pragmatic negotiation through the liaison mechanism and enforcement platform of the Agreement on Joint Cross-Strait Crime-Fighting and Mutual Judicial Assistance on the high-profile issue of repatriating major criminals to jointly combat major crimes. In addition, Minister Hsia stated at the meeting that "dignified and equal" participation in the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank is the policy stance and principle of the ROC government. How well the bank charter corresponds to Taiwan's concerns will be the benchmark for follow-up promotion and observation. Minister Hsia also reiterated Taiwan's solemn stance and delivered the reactions of Taiwanese society to the Mainland's recently announced draft National Security Law, joint statement with Belarus, and other controversial actions that have attracted outside concern. He also called on the Mainland to give greater consideration to the Taiwanese people’s feelings and show more goodwill in terms of security, dignity, and international participation issues much concerned by the Taiwanese people. This would be beneficial to building public support for cross-strait development and will increase momentum for peaceful developments across the Strait.

May 24, 2015
The MAC stated in a press release that it had invited Kinmen industry representatives to a forum attended also by Taiwan Affairs Office Director Zhang Zhijun. The MAC hoped this opportunity would allow Director Zhang to personally hear the voices of Kinmen industry representatives. It is also hoped that in future promotion of cross-strait policy, the Mainland may actively coordinate their related authorities to strengthen implementation and assist in resolving problems of concern to Kinmen residents. The MAC also stated that the problems brought up by Kinmen industry representatives this time are all closely related to the people's livelihood and the economy. The MAC would actively coordinate the competent authorities to solve these problems. Furthermore, issues such as illegal sea sand dredging, ocean trash, and cross-border fishing are not only related to cross-strait policy, but also to ecological conservation. Therefore, aside from being dealt with through the existing mechanisms under the agreements signed between the two sides, the MAC also calls for the Mainland to place importance on these sorts of cross-strait ecological conservation issues and include them into the agenda for future SEF-ARATS negotiations.

May 26, 2015
President Ma Ying-jeou stated at the opening ceremony for the 2015 International Law Association and American Society of International Asia-Pacific Research Forum that the basic policy in the ROC government's in handling cross-strait relations is: first, maintaining the status quo of "no unification, no independence, and no use of force" under the framework of the ROC Constitution; and second, pursuing peaceful development between the two sides on the basis of the "1992 Consensus" of "one China with respective interpretations." The common legal basis of these two policies is the ROC Constitution. The President further noted that the "1992 Consensus" and "mutual non-denial" are considered to be the best ways to eliminate hostility, shelve sovereignty disputes, and promote peace and prosperity across the Taiwan Strait. He also provided a pragmatic and clear description and interpretation of the cross-strait status quo. In addition, the President proposed a "South China Sea Peace Initiative." He said that Taiwan is willing to jointly develop South China Sea resources with other stakeholders while upholding the basic principles of "safeguarding sovereignty, shelving disputes, pursuing peace and reciprocity, and promoting joint exploration and development." Taiwan is also willing to actively participate in related dialogue and cooperation mechanisms to settle disputes by peaceful means, jointly safeguard regional peace and promote regional development, so that the South China Sea, like the East China Sea, can become a "sea of peace and cooperation."

June 3, 2015
President Ma Ying-jeou stated during a a videoconference with the Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law (CDDRL) at Stanford University that the ROC government has been firmly committed, under the framework of the ROC Constitution, to maintaining the status quo in the Taiwan Strait and, based on the 1992 Consensus, which is "one China, respective interpretations," to promoting cross-strait peace and development. This has transformed the Taiwan Strait from a flashpoint for conflict into a haven of peace. The cross-strait situation is more stable and peaceful than it has ever been in the past 66 years. The President also stated that progress towards peace and stability in cross-strait relations over the past seven years has brought a significant peace dividend, turning the vicious cycle of cross-strait and foreign relations of the past into a virtuous cycle. As a result, countries from all over the world have been able to freely interact with both sides of the Taiwan Strait at the same time under the "one China, respective interpretations" concept, which is an unprecedented development.

June 3, 2015
The MAC issued a statement concerning the 26th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square Incident. The Mainland authorities should squarely face the historical fact and important message of the Tiananmen Square Incident, proactively respond to the people's demands, promote harmony by reconciliation, and carry out reforms with determination. The MAC called for the Chinese authorities to implement political reforms, respect different opinions, and treat human rights activists with kindness. These are all actions crucial to deepening reforms in the Mainland and are also fundamental in enhancing social harmony and stability and improving the people's well being. The MAC stressed that, over the past seven-plus years, the ROC government, through institutionalized cross-strait negotiations, official interaction and exchanges, and dialogue in various fields, has spread the values of human rights protection, democratic pluralism and respect for freedom and other universal values, and has laid a solid foundation for long-term cross-strait development. The two sides should continue to encourage each other and improve on this foundation so that the whole ethnic Chinese group may jointly share the core values of democracy, freedom, rule of law and human rights, and thus further sustain peaceful and prosperous development across the Taiwan Strait.

June 4, 2015
President Ma Ying-jeou issued observations upon the 26th anniversary of the June 4th Incident. He said that, under the framework of the ROC Constitution and based on the 1992 Consensus of "one China, respective interpretations," the government has remained committed to a policy of "no unification, no independence, and no use of force," creating the peace and prosperity that characterize the cross-strait status quo. However, major systemic differences have still created a psychological distance between the people living on both sides of the Taiwan Strait. As a way to reduce the psychological distance that separates us, peace and prosperity are certainly prerequisites. Sufficient conditions can only be achieved if mainland China vigorously pushes for democratic reforms. The two sides have established the 1992 Consensus as the common foundation. If mainland China strengthens its democratic processes, that will provide a common foundation for more intensive dialogue in the future. It is hoped that the Mainland authorities can face up to the June 4th Incident, doing whatever it takes to redress the wrongs of the incident. This would have a powerfully positive impact on Taiwan and draw the two sides of the Taiwan Strait closer together. It would also give both sides a more stable and diversified common foundation.

June 5, 2015
The MAC announced the results of its latest public opinion survey of "Views on Exchange Visits by the Heads of the Competent Authorities for Cross-Strait Affairs and on Cross-Strait Relations." The survey results showed that the majority of the people agree that the meetings between the heads of the competent authorities for cross-strait affairs are beneficial to the more efficient handling of cross-strait affairs (55.1%); and that the numerous results reached between the two sides are helpful to the development of institutionalized cross-strait relations (53.4%). The MAC stated that more than half of the people think the agreement reached between the two sides at the "Hsia-Zhang Meeting" to actively promote negotiations on the trade in goods pact is conducive to cross-strait economic cooperation (51.8%); and support early completion of the negotiations on the mutual establishment of reciprocal institutions (61.8%), and joint promotion of the prompt implementation of Mainland tourist transits in Taiwan (51.1%). At the same time, the majority of the people think that MAC Minister Andrew Hsia's expression to the Mainland of the position of "dignified and equal" participation in the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and the voicing of concerns over the draft charter of the AIIB are conducive to Taiwan's participation in the international community (53.3%), and support the MAC's expression of the solemn stance on the Mainland's draft National Security Law (63.3%). The MAC further indicated that the results of the survey show that 87% of the public support joint efforts by the two sides to fight major cross-strait crime through the liaison mechanism and enforcement platform. On issues of long-term concern in Kinmen, nearly 60% of the public think that the agreement between the two sides to synchronize enforcement by their respective law enforcement authorities is conducive to alleviating related problems, such as cross-border fishing and illegal dredging of sea sand (59.7%). Moreover, nearly 70% (69.6%) of the people think the exchange of views between the two sides on "expanding Mainland tourist travel to Kinmen" and "further facilitating Mini Three Links cargo clearance" is conducive to the prosperity and development of Kinmen. The MAC indicated that, during the "Hsia-Zhang Meeting," both sides pragmatically resolved issues related to cross-strait exchanges. The results achieved are affirmed by the majority of the people. The competent authorities on both sides will also promptly begin follow-up communication and consultations on and handling of related issues, consistent with the expectations of the public.

June 16, 2015
President Ma Ying-jeou stated during a meeting with Kim Moy, the new director of the Taipei Office of the American Institute in Taiwan, that the ROC government advocates maintaining the principle of "no unification, no independence, and no use of force" under the framework of the ROC Constitution and promotes peaceful cross-strait relations on the basis of the "1992 Consensus,"whereby each side acknowledges the existence of "one China" but maintains its own interpretation of what that means. Over the past seven years, the development of cross-strait relations has proven that this mode "works." The President also noted that the ROC government therefore hopes that its experience in pursuing peace and cooperation in the Taiwan Strait and the East China Sea can be extended to the South China Sea as well to jointly promote regional peace and prosperity.

June 17, 2015
MAC Minister Andrew Hsia stated at the international seminar on "China's Further Rise: Opportunities and Constraints" held by National Chengchi University that the core of the ROC government's Mainland policy is the positioning of cross-strait relations as "one Republic of China, two areas" as enshrined in the ROC Constitution, and the "1992 Consensus" derived from this, whereby each side maintains its respective definition of one China, as well as creating a multiple-win situation for the Asia-Pacific region through the cross-strait status quo of "no unification, no independence, and no use of force" and deepening positive cross-strait interactions with Taiwan's experience and pluralistic values. Minister Hsia further stated that, last year, Taiwan and the Mainland officially launched a liaison and communication mechanism between the MAC and the Mainland's Taiwan Affairs Office. This marked the start of normalized official interactions between the two sides and was an important milestone in the development of cross-strait relations. The normal operation of exchange visits by the heads of the competent authorities for cross-strait affairs reflects the objective fact of cross-strait "mutual non-recognition of sovereignty and mutual non-denial of governing authority." It has helped to enhance mutual understanding and deepen mutual trust. It also has important implications for the development of institutionalized cross-strait relations. The government will continue to advance institutionalized cross-strait negotiations, subject to congressional oversight; promote the establishment of reciprocal institutions between the SEF and the ARATS to protect the rights and interests of the Taiwanese people in the Mainland; and advance cross-strait economic and trade cooperation and regional economic integration in a dual-track approach to expand the niches for Taiwan's economic development. Minister Hsia also stated that, over the past seven years, the government has built a super framework for peace and stability rooted in the ROC Constitution and adheres to mainstream public opinion in Taiwan. Facing the long-term development of cross-strait relations, the government will continue to consolidate the sovereignty and dignity of the ROC on the basis of the 1992 Consensus. Minister Hsia also hoped that the Mainland could face the cross-strait reality, show the full wisdom of the ethnic Chinese people, and continue with mutual tolerance and understanding to seek the peaceful settlement of disputes and promote the best solutions for long-term stability in the Taiwan Strait.

June 22, 2015
MAC Minister Andrew Hsia stated at the 2015 Dragon Boat Festival Symposium and Get-Together for Taiwan Businesspeople that, since the resumption of institutionalized cross-strait negotiations, the SEF and the ARATS have held 10 high-level talks and signed 21 agreements. This has created opportunities for Taiwan businesses and enhanced the competitiveness of Taiwan's economy. It has also strengthened management systems and brought order to cross-strait exchanges. Last year, the two sides officially launched regular communication channels between the MAC and the Mainland's TAO, starting normalized official interactions. This is an important milestone in the development of cross-strait relations. At the Third Meeting between Heads of Cross-Strait Competent Authorities held last month in Kinmen, the two sides exchanged views on the overall recent development of cross-strait relations and pragmatically communicated on issues related to the interests and well-being of the public on both sides, achieving concrete results. This outcome is approved by the majority of the people. Minister Hsia also noted that current Mainland policy priorities include: first, to keep promoting institutionalized cross-strait negotiations and promptly hold the eleventh round of high-level SEF-ARATS talks, with congressional oversight; second, to promote the establishment of reciprocal institutions between the SEF and the ARATS to protect the rights and interests of the Taiwanese people in the Mainland; and third, to advance cross-strait economic and trade cooperation and regional economic integration in a dual-track approach to gain membership in the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP), Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (RCEP), and Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP) and thereby create new niches for Taiwan's economic development.

June 28, 2015
The MAC stated in a press release that no Mainland students or Hong Kong residents suffered injuries in the massive dust explosion at Formosa Fun Coast in New Taipei City. The MAC immediately activated coordination mechanisms after hearing the news. The MAC, Taiwan Affairs Office, the representative offices of Hong Kong and Macau in Taiwan, the SEF, and the ARATS have been in close contact through established liaison channels and are providing all necessary assistance. Minister Hsia stressed that related government agencies will provide full medical treatment and care for the injured. The MAC and the SEF will also continue to coordinate and fully assist in handling related matters through liaison channels.

July 1, 2015
The MAC stated in a press release that the Mainland's unilateral action of passing its National Security Law ignores the reality of separate governance, disregards the Taiwanese people’s insistence on maintaining the status quo across the Strait, and is detrimental to positive development of cross-strait relations. The MAC said that it had already publicly stated its disapproval concerning the contents of the Mainland's National Security Law involving Taiwan, and that Minister Hsia also reiterated Taiwan's solemn position concerning this matter to Director Zhang Zhijun of the Mainland's Taiwan Affairs Office during the Meeting between Heads of Cross-Strait Competent Authorities held in Kinmen. The Mainland's unilateral approval of the law disregards Taiwan's concerns and hurts the feelings and dignity of the Taiwanese people. On this matter, the ROC government reiterates its discontent. The MAC stressed that the ROC is a sovereign state. The government's Mainland policy adheres to maintaining the status quo of "no unification, no independence, and no use of force" under the ROC Constitution framework, which is the mainstream public opinion in Taiwan. The Mainland side has repeatedly taken unilateral actions in handling cross-strait affairs over the past period. The MAC hereby appeals to the Mainland to take the past seven years' achievements more seriously, face up to the reality across the Strait, and truly acknowledge public opinion and sentiment in Taiwan. Only so, may pragmatic promotion of cross strait development and long-term peace and stability across the Strait be benefited.

July 4, 2015
President Ma Ying-jeou stated at a "National Defense Capability Demonstration" during the Hanguang 31 military exercise that, under the framework of the ROC Constitution, the government has signed 21 agreements with the Mainland side based on the pragmatism of "the 1992 Consensus, whereby each side maintains its respective definition of one China," laying a foundation for cross-strait peace. With respect to regional security, Taiwan proposed the East China Sea Peace Initiative in response to tension in the East China Sea in 2012. This not only enhanced regional stability, but also advanced the signing of the Taiwan-Japan Fisheries Agreement, enabled the peaceful settlement of the 40-plus-year fishing rights dispute in the waters around the Diaoyutai Islands, and achieved the fruitful results of "major progress on fishing rights without concession on sovereignty." The recent sovereignty dispute in the South China Sea has again attracted international attention. On the successful foundation of the East China Sea Peace Initiative, Taiwan has proposed a "South China Sea Peace Initiative," which calls on all parties to shelve sovereignty disputes, jointly develop resources, replace confrontation with dialogue, and peacefully settle disputes. This has won affirmation from and resonated with the international community.

July 12, 2015
President Ma Ying-jeou stated at a banquet in Boston, Massachusetts for overseas compatriots that the government has actively worked to improve Taiwan's relations with Mainland China to promote peace. Taiwan and mainland China have found a mode for peaceful coexistence by upholding the principle of the "1992 Consensus" whereby each side acknowledges the existence of "one China" but maintains its own interpretation of what that means. President Ma stressed that this position was first proposed by Taiwan and then accepted by Mainland China and it has truly worked. The two sides have shelved sovereignty disputes that cannot be resolved at present and focused on the issues that yield mutual benefit. The President hoped that, under the principle of the "1992 Consensus" of "one China, respective interpretations," the two sides would continue to promote interaction and exchanges.

July 13, 2015
President Ma Ying-jeou stated on the first day of his itinerary in the Dominican Republic that, over the past seven years, the government has endeavored to promote a policy of "a prosperous Taiwan, peace in the Taiwan Strait, and friendship within the international community." This has given Taiwan more space for survival in the world and eased cross-strait tensions. More importantly, the government has formulated a strategy for solving problems. Under the framework of the ROC Constitution, the government has maintained the cross-strait status quo of no unification, no independence, and no use of force, as well as promoted the development of peace between the two sides on the foundation of the "1992 Consensus" of "one China, respective interpretations."

July 14, 2015
MAC Minister Andrew Hsia attended an international symposium on "Relations across the Taiwan Strait: Retrospective and Prospects" at the Brookings Institution in Washington, DC. In a keynote speech entitled "Advancing Steadily and Consolidating Foundations for Sustainable Peace," Minister Hsia remarked that maintaining the status quo in the Taiwan Strait is supported by the majority of the people in Taiwan. It is also the core of the ROC government’s Mainland policy. The Mainland policy promoted by the ROC government is centered on safeguarding the interests and well-being of the public, expanding cross-strait exchanges in various fields, and creating conditions for Taiwan's stable development through cross-strait official interactions and institutionalized negotiations based on the "1992 Consensus of one China, with respective interpretations." This is the status quo of the Taiwan Strait: one that enjoys 75% support from the Taiwanese people and which the government hopes to continue to promote. Minister Hsia said that the status quo of peace and stability achieved under the Ma administration was built on a complementary and truly feasible "ultra-stable framework for peace." Its cornerstones include the "1992 Consensus of one China, with respective interpretations," while upholding the sovereignty of the ROC; an "institutional" and "constructive" dual-core driver of cross-strait relations; the "Three Pillars of National Security" formed by three lines of defense; and "putting Taiwan first for the benefit of the people," maintaining the cross-strait status quo of "no unification, no independence, and no use of force," an interaction mode of "mutual non-recognition of sovereignty and mutual non-denial of authority to govern," and the democratic mechanisms of "national need, public support, and legislative oversight" as the four benchmarks in the handling cross-strait affairs. Minister Hsia appealed to the Mainland that institutionalized cross-strait negotiations must not stall, sincere official interactions must be strengthened, cross-strait exchanges must be sincere, and Taiwan's participation in international affairs must be promoted. The ROC government will consolidate the basis of existing achievements and "advance steadily and far." Minister Hsia also called on mainland China to face the ROC, respect Taiwan's dignity and public opinion, and jointly safeguard peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.

July 16, 2015
President Ma Ying-jeou stated during a reception for the traveling press corps while in Nicaragua that he proposed the "East China Sea Peace Initiative" and "South China Sea Peace Initiative" in the hope that mutual disputes could be resolved through negotiations on resource sharing. President Ma noted that the cross-strait rapprochement has promoted peace in the Taiwan Strait. The East China Sea Peace Initiative has resolved the fisheries dispute between Taiwan and Japan. If this can be further extended to the South China Sea, dispute resolution by peaceful means should be possible in all "Three Seas." President Ma further said that resolving disputes through peaceful means is a universal value. It is said that, "in war there are no winners, in peace there are no losers." Turning this principle into a reality would surely have a positive impact on regional peace.

July 16, 2015
The MAC announced the results of a routine public opinion survey showing that a majority of the public support the government's position of maintaining the cross-strait status quo of "no unification, no independence, and no use of force" under the framework of the ROC Constitution (72.2%) and identify with the government's position on "the 1992 Consensus, whereby each side maintains its respective definition of one China," one China means the Republic of China (49.7%). Over 70 percent (72.1%) of the public agree that institutionalized cross-strait negotiations help to pragmatically resolve exchange-related problems. Nearly 60% (59%) of the public support follow-up communication and coordination between the two sides on issues related to the results of the Third Meeting between Heads of Cross-Strait Competent Authorities. Regarding the Mainland's announced implementation of a "Mainland Travel Permit for Taiwan Residents," 70% of the public support the government's position that the two sides should respect each other and take into account the rights, interests and well-being of the people (70.3%). Regarding other cross-strait issues long observed by the MAC, the great majority of the people (86.1%) still advocate "maintaining the status quo defined in a broader sense," a level that has long remained stable. As for views on the current pace of cross-strait exchanges, 44.8% of the public believe it to be "just right," followed by the percentages believing the pace to be "too fast" and "too slow" at 29.1% and 15.4%, respectively.

July 25, 2015
MAC Minister Andrew Hsia stated at the 41st Annual Conference for Overseas Chinese in Europe that the government promotes a policy of "cross-strait peace" to consolidate the sovereignty of the ROC, build up Taiwan's strength, take cross-strait relations in a positive direction, and build long-term peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait. Minister Hsia indicated that, under provisions of the ROC Constitution and the Act Governing Relations between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area authorized under the constitution, the status of cross-strait relations is "one Republic of China, two areas." The government's positioning of cross-strait relations under the framework of the ROC Constitution reflects a pragmatic approach of "mutual non-recognition of sovereignty and mutual non-denial of authority to govern" between the two sides. This is the best way to shelve disputes, address realities, and promote peace. It is also an important basis for advancing benign interactions across the Taiwan Strait. Minister Hsia also stressed that the major breakthrough achieved in cross-strait relations under President Ma Ying-jeou's administration is that both sides have promoted peaceful cross-strait interaction on the basis of "the 1992 Consensus, whereby each side maintains its respective definition of one China." The "1992 Consensus" is a consensus acceptable to both sides. Its core is to insist on the sovereignty of the ROC. Over the past seven-plus years, the two sides have pragmatically promoted institutionalized cross-strait negotiations, exchanges and normal official interactions. This has not only spurred innovative development by both sides on all levels and built up conditions favorable to the sustainable development of cross-strait relations, but has also given form to a virtuous cycle between cross-strait peace and Taiwan's foreign relations to achieve Taiwan's best interests. Minister Hsia further stated that if cross-strait relations are to better develop in the future, the Mainland should face up to ROC and respect Taiwan's dignity and public opinion. This can reduce the psychological distance between the people of the two sides so that cross-strait relations can steadily advance.

July 27, 2015
President Ma Ying-jeou stated during an interview with the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) that he has not dismissed the possibility of a meeting between the leaders of the two sides, but will not actively pursue this. He also noted that, in accordance with the "1992 Consensus," both sides maintain there is only one China, but have different interpretations as to what that means. This flexibility allows the two sides to build friendlier relations. On Xi Jinping's comment that the Taiwan problem cannot be postponed indefinitely, President Ma said that the two sides have been governed separately for over 60 years and cross-strait relations must be promoted with patience and diligence so that the results gradually appear. Regarding mainland China's recent military exercises in which the ROC Presidential Office was a simulated target, President Ma said that Taiwan's first line of defense with respect to mainland China is cross-strait rapprochement. Reducing the chances of conflict between the two sides is the supreme strategy, what the ancient strategist Sun Zi in his Art of War means when he says, "The highest form of generalship is to frustrate the enemy's plans."

August 5, 2015
President Ma Ying-jeou stated in a speech on the theme of "Three Seas, One Island" (the Taiwan Strait, East China Sea, South China Sea and Diaoyutai Islands) presented at the 2015 East Asian Maritime Peace Forum that the Taiwan Strait has long been viewed as a potential flashpoint. Since taking office in 2008, the government has worked 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, while promoting the peaceful development of cross-strait ties based on the 1992 Consensus. As a result, the Taiwan Strait has been transformed from a flashpoint for conflict into an avenue of peace. Over the past seven years, Taiwan and mainland China have signed 21 agreements. This is the most stable and peaceful the cross-strait situation has been in the past 66 years, yielding a "peace dividend" and garnering praise from the international community. On the East China Sea, South China Sea dispute, the president stated that he looks forward to building on the successful peacemaking experiences in the East China Sea with the East China Sea Peace Initiative. He also invited countries around the world to support the South China Sea Peace Initiative. The president called on countries in the Asia-Pacific region to resolve disputes through peaceful means and work together to pursue sustainable peace and prosperity in the region.

August 16, 2015
MAC Minister Andrew Hsia stated at the 40th annual convention of the Chinese American Academic and Professional Society that the core of the ROC's Mainland policy is "cross-strait rapprochement" as the first leg of the "Three Legs of National Security" to ensure peace in the Taiwan Strait and national dignity and security. The "1992 Consensus of one China, with respective interpretations" has been the critical code enabling major breakthroughs in the cross-strait relations over the past seven years. The "1992 Consensus" has created a foundation acceptable to both sides on the most sensitive issue of "one China," as well as facilitated the "Koo-Wang Talks" held in Singapore in 1993, opening a new era of cross-strait negotiations. Minister Hsia further indicated that the core of the "1992 Consensus" is to uphold the sovereignty of the ROC. It is an important basis for institutionalized cross-strait negotiations, interaction and exchanges and the key to cross-strait peace and prosperity, and also enjoys majority support in Taiwan. It has had the effect of moving cross-strait ties toward positive interaction and peaceful and stable development. These effects have also spilled over to the virtuous cycle formed between cross-strait ties and foreign relations. Minister Hsia emphasized that the Mainland must face the cross-strait reality, fully acknowledge and respect public opinion in Taiwan in order to reduce the psychological distance between the people of the two sides and enable cross-strait relations to steadily advance. In the future, the government will adhere to the mainstream public opinion in Taiwan, firmly maintain the cross-strait status quo of "no unification, no independence, and no use of force" under the ROC Constitution framework, and, on the foundation of the "1992 Consensus of one China, with respective interpretations," continue to promote cross-strait official interactions and institutionalized consultations and exchanges to consolidate the pattern of cross-strait peace and prosperity.

August 20, 2015
President Ma Ying-jeou stated during a meeting with a delegation led by US Congresswoman Lois Frankel that the government has worked 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, while at the same time, it has promoted the peaceful development of cross-strait ties based on the 1992 Consensus. This is the most critical political basis for cross-strait relations and is shared by both sides, which he said molded the status quo. The president also noted that the stable development of cross-strait relations not only fosters regional peace and stability, but also provides a foundation for promoting the US "rebalancing toward Asia" policy.
With respect to Taiwan's relations with the US and mainland China, the president said that after he took office his administration worked aggressively to restore mutual trust at the highest levels of government, and created the conditions under which the US could interact concurrently with mainland China and Taiwan, while Taiwan could also concurrently develop relations with mainland China and the US. This situation has made it easier to maintain peace in the Taiwan Strait, he stated.

August 21, 2015
MAC Minister Andrew Hsia attended the 28th Annual Meeting of the Federation of Chinese Organizations of America and the 32nd Annual Meeting of the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Associations of America. In a keynote speech on "Mainland Policy and Cross-Strait Relations," he said that the government has positioned cross-strait relations under the framework of the ROC Constitution and promoted institutionalized cross-strait negotiations, exchanges and interactions based on the "1992 Consensus of one China, with respective interpretations." This has created the most peaceful, stable and prosperous period across the Taiwan Strait in 66 years. Over the past seven years, the Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) and the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS) have held 10 rounds of talks and signed 21 agreements. Moreover, the heads of the MAC and Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO) have made three exchange visits and held three Meetings between Heads of Cross-Strait Competent Authorities. The spillover effects of cross-strait peace have created a mutually virtuous cycle between cross-strait relations and foreign relations. Minister Hsia further stated that the government will continue, on the existing foundation, to promote the stable development of cross-strait relations, and promote institutionalized cross-strait negotiations. He also called on the Mainland to face the cross-strait reality and respect the Taiwan public's demands for peace in the Taiwan Strait.

August 25, 2015
President Ma Ying-jeou stated during a meeting with former US Deputy Secretary of State James B. Steinberg that, under the framework of the ROC Constitution, the government will work to maintain the status quo of "no unification, no independence, and no use of force" in the Taiwan Strait, as well as promote the peaceful development of cross-strait ties under the 1992 Consensus, whereby each side acknowledges the existence of "one China" but maintains its own interpretation of what that means. The two sides of the Taiwan Strait have signed 23 agreements over the past seven years, including the Cross-Strait Agreement on Avoidance of Double Taxation and Enhancement of Tax Cooperation and the Cross-Strait Collaboration Agreement on Flight Safety and Airworthiness that were signed today. The heads of the agencies on either side responsible for cross-strait affairs have met five times and referred to each other using their official titles. Cross-strait relations are the most stable and peaceful they have been in the past 66 years. This is the first time since the beginning of the Cold War that the United States need not choose sides in the cross-strait equation, and could have amicable interactions with the ROC and mainland China at the same time. The president also said that the ROC has developed relations with mainland China at the same time that ROC-US relations have progressed, and that the two sides have established mutual trust. The ROC is also forging cross-strait relations under the principle of "no surprises," making every effort to prevent the US from being surprised and also taking a low-key approach so both sides have considerable latitude in handling affairs.

August 26, 2015
The MAC stated in a press release that the Eleventh Round of Cross-Strait High-Level Talks between the SEF and the ARATS was successfully concluded on August 25, 2015. MAC Minister Andrew Hsia, accompanied by Chairman Lin and others, headed to the Executive Yuan to report to Premier Mao Chi-Kuo and also submitted the texts of the Cross-Strait Agreement on Avoidance of Double Taxation and Enhancement of Tax Cooperation and Cross-Strait Collaboration Agreement on Flight Safety and Airworthiness. Premier Mao stated that, although legislation of the Cross-Strait Agreement Supervisory Act has not yet been completed, the government has, in the spirit of the Act, already carried out related tasks such as communication, national security reviews and assessments to help the public better understand the contents of the related agreements, dispel the doubts of various parties, and also gain public support. Premier Mao also expressed hopes for the two sides to implement the two agreements promptly after completing procedures. Implementation of the Cross-Strait Agreement on Avoidance of Double Taxation and Enhancement of Tax Cooperation would create a more favorable investment environment for Taiwanese enterprises. Furthermore, the signing of the Cross-Strait Collaboration Agreement on Flight Safety and Airworthiness is expected to have immense effect on flight safety and thus protect the people's security.

August 28, 2015
MAC Minister Andrew Hsia stated at the 2015 Southern Taiwan Leadership Institute of Education event held by the Southern Taiwan Joint Services Center of the Executive Yuan that the government has maintained the status quo of "no unification, no independence and no use of force" under the ROC Constitution framework, promoted peaceful cross-strait development on the "1992 Consensus" of "One China with respective interpretations," and built up favorable conditions for benign cross-strait interactions, all of which have been beneficial to Taiwan's overall interests and expansion of foreign relations. Over the past seven-plus years, the SEF and the ARATS have held 11 high-level talks and signed 23 agreements. This has spurred innovative actions in various fields across the Strait, introduced predictability and trust in cross-strait developments, and won majority public support. Three meetings have been held between the heads of the cross-strait competent authorities since last year. Through exchange visits and the established regular communication liaison mechanisms, the two sides have pragmatically resolved cross-strait exchange issues, protected the welfare of the people, and deepened mutual trust across the Strait. This has created more solid conditions for sustainable cross-strait developments. Minister Hsia also prompted the Mainland to correctly acknowledge the fact that systems and values differ across the Taiwan Strait. He urged the Mainland to face up to the status quo of separate governance across the Taiwan Strait and to take seriously the Taiwanese people's views concerning cross-strait relations. The government will continue to promote and strengthen this mechanism in the future.

September 3, 2015
The MAC issued a press release stating that it was the ROC government that led the military and civilians to hard-won victory in the War of Resistance Against Japan, which made a decisive contribution in World War II and secured the nation's survival and the dignity of the people. The MAC further stated, in response to the large-scale weaponry display and military parade held by the Mainland today at Tiananmen and Mainland leader Xi Jinping's statements regarding the history of the War of Resistance, that mainland China's unwillingness to accurately acknowledge and faithfully present the historical truths of the war shows that it has not objectively and comprehensively regarded, nor deeply reflected on, the leading role played by the ROC on the battlefields of Asia over 70 years ago. The MAC stressed that the government has repeatedly made clear its disapproval over the participation of ROC citizens in the Mainland commemoration activities. As for the invitees who insisted on attending, the government repeatedly appealed for them to clearly state historical facts. The MAC also stated that, over the past seven-plus years, maintaining positive cross-strait interactions and development is the mutual responsibility of both sides. Only when both sides are able to objectively acknowledge historical facts, recognize the reality of separate governance across the Strait, face the existence of the ROC, cherish hard won peace, show mutual respect, and cooperate with sincerity, can there be true contributions to long-term peace and stability in the Strait and prosperity and security for the region.

September 10, 2015
President Ma Ying-jeou stated during a review of an anti-ship artillery drill at the Hanguang 31 Military Exercise that the Taiwan Strait was once a potential flashpoint in the East Asian seas. He said that during his administration since 2008, Taiwan has maintained the cross-strait status quo of "no unification, no independence, and no use of force" under the framework of the ROC Constitution, as well as continued to promote peaceful development in the Taiwan Strait based on the 1992 Consensus, whereby each side insists on the existence of "one China" but maintains its own interpretation of what "China" means. Moreover, under the strategic principle of pursuing peace, the government four years ago proposed a national security iron triangle composed of the three lines of defense: cross-strait, diplomacy and national defense. This strategy has steadily achieved results. The President also reiterated that, although cross-strait relations are the most stable that they have been in 66 years, Taiwan will not slacken its defenses in the slightest.

September 17, 2015
President Ma Ying-jeou stated during a meeting with representatives of the Association for Cross-Strait Public Affairs that, when running for president eight years ago, he proposed a cross-strait development framework, which was to maintain the status quo of "no unification, no independence, and no use of force" under the framework of the ROC Constitution and to seek peaceful cross-strait relations on the basis of "the 1992 Consensus, whereby each side maintains its respective definition of one China. " Over the past seven years, this framework has served as an important basis for the government in promoting the development of cross-strait relations. The implementation of related policies and measures has produced concrete results and met the expectations of the vast majority of the people.

September 21, 2015
The MAC issued a press release in response to the Mainland's replacement of the paper-style Mainland Travel Permit for Taiwan Residents with a new card-type document, which was fully implemented on September 21. The Mainland has comprehensively expanded the card issuance for all people of Taiwan, raising public concerns over whether the Mainland will use this opportunity to collect personal information, fingerprints, and other private information or to monitor personal whereabouts. The MAC believes that the Mainland failed to fully think through this move, did not provide comprehensive supporting measures, and also failed to communicate properly with Taiwan. The move is of disrespect to Taiwan and hurts the feelings of the Taiwanese people, and we have repeatedly expressed dissatisfaction on this matter. The MAC also called again for the Mainland to adjust major measures related to contact between people on both sides and to strengthen advance communication through cross-strait institutionalized liaison mechanisms in order to eliminate needless uncertainties. In the future, the government will continue to closely monitor and fully grasp the details of the Mainland's implementation in order to protect the rights and interests of the Taiwanese people.

September 29, 2015
President Ma Ying-jeou spoke at a video-conference with Members of the European Parliament at the invitation of the Chairman of the European Parliament-Taiwan Friendship Group Werner Langen. In a keynote speech citing the inspiration of the "European Experience," the President said that he has vigorously promoted cross-strait student exchange under his administration in the belief that having young people on both sides build relationships early in life will decrease misunderstandings and help to preserve peace. The President noted that the current cross-strait position, which entails the "mutual non-recognition of sovereignty, and mutual non-denial of governing authority," was influenced by the concept of separating sovereignty and governing authority adopted by the Grundlagenvertra (Basis of Relations Agreement) signed between the two Germanies. He also stated that since 2008, the government has been committed to maintaining the cross-strait status quo of "no unification, no independence, and no use of force" under the framework of the ROC Constitution. Moreover, based on the 1992 Consensus, whereby each side insists on the existence of "one China" but maintains its own interpretation of what that "China" means, the government has continued to promote peaceful development in the Taiwan Strait. As a result, against the historical backdrop of the past 66 years, stability and peace in cross-strait relations are now at an all-time high. Over the past seven years the two sides of the Taiwan Strait have signed 23 agreements. Over the past two years, the ministers in charge of cross-strait affairs from both sides of the Strait have held five formal meetings where both sides used their official titles. This is a sure sign that cooperation has gradually replaced confrontation in cross-strait relations.

September 29, 2015
President Ma Ying-jeou stated at the 2015 Mid-Autumn Festival Gathering of Taiwanese Businessmen's Associations that, during his administration, the government has actively improved cross-strait relations, maintained the cross-strait status quo of "no unification, no independence, and no use of force" under the framework of the ROC Constitution, and, on the basis of the "1992 Consensus of one China, with respective interpretations," sought peaceful cross-strait relations. This has completely changed the face of the Taiwan Strait. The President stressed that "one China with respective interpretations" means the "Republic of China." The government's policy on this is fundamentally consistent with the United States and Mainland China, especially as the "1992 Consensus" was proposed by Taiwan, not forced onto Taiwan by the Mainland. The President also reiterated that, when we adhere to the 1992 Consensus, cross-strait relations prosper. If we diverge from that Consensus, cross-strait relations will deteriorate. And if we oppose the 1992 Consensus, there will be turmoil in the Taiwan Strait.

September 29, 2015
MAC Minister Andrew Hsia stated at the dinner banquet for the 2015 Mid-Autumn Festival Gathering of Taiwanese Businessmen's Associations that the government has consistently studied and deliberated the possibility of establishing institutions in the Mainland. The two sides are now formally discussing issues related to increasing the level and functions of the SEF-ARATS reciprocal Institutions. It is hoped that a consensus can be reached as soon as possible so that the reciprocal institutions may be established to directly, effectively, and promptly serve Taiwan businesspeople. Minister Hsia said that serving and assisting Taiwan businesspeople is an unshirkable duty of the MAC. In February last year (2014), the two sides officially launched a liaison and communication mechanism between the MAC and the Mainland's Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO), starting official interaction between the heads of competent authorities for cross-strait affairs. This is a historic breakthrough in the development of cross-strait relations. It also establishes another platform to help Taiwan businesspeople and provides a means to discuss and handle all future matters concerning Taiwan businesspeople as needed. Minister Hsia further stated that the Ministry of Economic Affairs and SEF annually organize delegations over to the Mainland to serve the Taiwan businesspeople and to host forums in the Mainland so as to help them solve operational problems. Furthermore, the government has also signed agreements to assist Taiwan business operations. For example, the Cross-Strait Investment Protection and Promotion Agreement signed in 2012 strengthens protections for Taiwanese investment in the Mainland and safeguards for the personal safety, rights and interests of Taiwanese businesspeople; the Cross-Strait Agreement on Avoidance of Double Taxation and Enhancement of Tax Cooperation signed at the 11th high-level cross-strait talks on August 25 this year (20115) lightens the tax burden on Taiwan businesspeople and strengthens the competitiveness of Taiwanese investment in mainland China; a Cross-Strait Dispute Settlement Agreement is also currently under negotiation, whereby the government is promoting operational talks and hoping for a common consensus on the issue to promptly conclude the agreement. The government will continue to dedicate efforts to maintaining cross-strait peace and working for the public's interests and well-being. Its main tasks include doing the utmost to maintain peaceful, prosperous and stable cross-strait relations, strengthen and establish global footholds for Taiwan; continue to promote institutionalized cross-strait negotiations; strive to reach an early consensus on trade in goods, establishment of SEF-ARATS reciprocal institutions, and other follow-up negotiation issues; build on the results of the 20 agreements signed to date and implement congressional oversight and public communication; promote the completion of policy acts to safeguard the interests and welfare of the people on both sides and expand in-depth intellectual exchanges between the people on both sides; strengthen the effective operation of the communication and liaison mechanism between the MAC and the Mainland's TAO; and actively participate in the international community and join regional economic organizations.

October 1, 2015
President Ma Ying-jeou stated during an interview with Thomson Reuters that, over the past seven years, the government has peacefully resolved cross-strait problems and built mutual trust to deal with these issues, fostering prosperity and friendship across the Taiwan Strait. It has also signed 23 agreements with Mainland China, an unprecedented achievement in the past 66 years. The President noted that the time is not ripe for talks on the unification issue. Nevertheless, the Cross-Strait Joint Crime-Fighting and Judicial Mutual Assistance Agreement signed by the two sides in 2009 and the establishment of reciprocal representative offices currently under negotiations with the Mainland have some political quality. Taiwan has not ruled out such talks but has set priorities, namely: addressing urgent matters before non-urgent ones, easy issues before difficult ones, and economic matters before political ones. The President also stated that Taiwan and mainland China have been under separate rule for 66 years and have different political, economic, and social systems. There is still a gap between the two sides on certain core issues. The two sides should narrow this gap through greater exchanges. If both sides are willing to engage in further discussions on the issues, then there is more likelihood of resolving them.

October 8, 2015
President Ma Ying-jeou stated at the opening ceremony of the 2015 World Peace Conference that he has endeavored during his administration to achieve the policy objectives of a prosperous Taiwan, cross-strait peace, and friendly international relations, while simultaneously handling cross-strait and international relations. The government has maintained the cross-strait status quo of "no unification, no independence, and no use of force" under the framework of the ROC Constitution. It has also continued to promote peaceful development in the Taiwan Strait based on the 1992 Consensus, whereby each side insists on the existence of "one China" but maintains its own interpretation of what that "China" means. These efforts have produced considerable results, such as the improved peaceful atmosphere in Taiwan-US relations. US President Barack Obama and several current or former US secretaries of state have all spoken positively about Taiwan-US relations, describing Taiwan as an important security and economic partner of the US. The European Parliament has also closely watched peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region and affirmed the improvement in cross-strait relations. The President also noted that in August 2012, he proposed the East China Sea Peace Initiative in the spirit that "although sovereignty cannot be compromised, natural resources can be shared." He called on parties in the East China Sea to shelve sovereignty disputes, resole disputes through peaceful means, and share resources. On May 26 this year (2015), President Ma proposed the South China Sea Peace Initiative in the hope that current tensions in the South China Sea can be eased by peaceful means and that disputes in neighboring sea areas can be peacefully settled. The US Department of State promptly commended this initiative.

October 9, 2015
MAC Minister Andrew Hsia stated at a welcome banquet for Hong Kong and Macau residents visiting Taiwan to celebrate the 2015 ROC National Day that, since President Ma took office in 2008, the government has adhered to the position of "mutual non-recognition of sovereignty and mutual non-denial of governing authority." Based on the framework of the "one Republic of China, two areas" under the ROC Constitution, the government has maintained the cross-strait status quo of "no unification, no independence, and no use of force." Moreover, based on the 1992 Consensus, whereby each side insists on the existence of "one China" but maintains its own interpretation of what that "China" means, the government has continued to promote peaceful development in the Taiwan Strait, ushering in the most stable and peaceful period of cross-strait relations in the past 66 years. The two sides have signed 23 agreements institutionalizing the handling of cross-strait exchanges and various issues of concern to the people, demonstrating concrete results of peaceful development between the two sides. Minister Hsia noted that the improvement in cross-strait relations has also enabled historic progress in Taiwan's relations with Hong Kong and Macao. Through the government's effort, the titles of Taiwan representative offices based in Hong Kong and Macao have been changed to the "Taipei Economic and Cultural Office," highlighting their official nature. The Hong Kong and Macau governments have also respectively set up offices in Taiwan, significantly enhancing service efficacy. Measures to simplify entry and exit, the signing of an air transport agreement, and various cultural, economic and trade exchange activities have made personnel exchanges more convenient and brought relations closer. Minister Hsia said he believed that everyone has felt substantive benefits.

October 10, 2015
President Ma Ying-jeou delivered an address at the 2015 ROC National Day Celebration entitled "Taiwan's Future: Sustaining Peace and Prosperity." He said that the government has promoted the peaceful development of cross-strait relations. No longer a flashpoint in East Asia, the Taiwan Strait has been transformed into an avenue of peace, winning wide acclaim within the international community. In Taiwan, a broad consensus has coalesced around maintaining the status quo. The President also noted that the five principles that have helped maintain the cross-strait status quo over the past seven years, include: maintaining a cross-strait status quo of "no unification, no independence, and no use of force" under the framework of the ROC Constitution; promoting peaceful cross-strait development on the basis of the "1992 Consensus," whereby each side acknowledges the existence of "one China," but maintains its own interpretation of what that means; in interactions with the Mainland, putting Taiwan first for the benefit of the people; in negotiations with mainland China, addressing urgent matters before non-urgent matters, easy issues before difficult issues, and economic matters before political matters; and basing interactions with the Mainland on equality, dignity, and reciprocity. Among these principles, the "1992 Consensus of one China, respective interpretations" is the most important. One China means the Republic of China. If the "1992 Consensus" is abided, cross-strait relations flourish; if diverged from, relations will deteriorate. And if it is opposed, there will be turmoil in the Taiwan Strait. The President also stated that the Mainland authorities recently proposed the concept of "sharing historical materials and coauthoring history books." Taiwan is keeping an open mind and is willing to work together under the principles of equality, reciprocity, open archives, unrestricted access, and no restrictions on research topics. Participation by foreign scholars and experts should also be considered. The President expressed belief that if both sides can squarely face the facts of history, the people on the two sides of the Taiwan Strait can be brought closer together and would benefit the development of cross-strait relations.

October 13, 2015
President Ma Ying-jeou stated during a meeting with Ms. Madeleine Majorenko, the new Head of the European Economic and Trade Office (EETO) in Taiwan, that the policy objectives under his administration have been to create a "prosperous Taiwan, peaceful Taiwan Strait, and friendly international relations." Thanks to the government's efforts over the past seven years, these goals have been largely achieved. This has created a virtuous cycle between cross-strait relations and the ROC's international relations, as well as a "peace dividend" for the international community. The President pointed out that the ROC government's most important policy on cross-strait relations is to maintain the status quo, defined as "no unification, no independence, and no use of force" in the Taiwan Strait under the framework of the ROC Constitution, and to promote the peaceful development of cross-strait ties under the 1992 Consensus, whereby each side acknowledges the existence of "one China" but maintains its own interpretation of what that means. As a result, he said, over the past 66 years, cross-strait relations have never been better. The President also mentioned that Taiwan and mainland China signed the Cross-Strait Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement in 2010, which paved the way for the ROC to sign economic agreements with other countries. The ROC government is actively seeking to participate in the second round of Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations, as well as the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). All of these examples show that the ROC is sparing no effort to take part in regional economic integration in East Asia.

October 13, 2015
President Ma Ying-jeou stated during a meeting with a delegation from the US National Association of Attorneys General that, over the past seven years, the ROC government has maintained the status quo, defined as "no unification, no independence, and no use of force" in the Taiwan Strait, while also promoting the peaceful development of cross-strait ties under the 1992 Consensus, whereby each side acknowledges the existence of "one China" but maintains its own interpretation of what that means. The President noted that since the Cross-Strait Joint Crime-Fighting and Judicial Mutual Assistance Agreement was implemented in June of 2009, the number of fraud cases and losses resulting from those scams have fallen sharply. Moreover, the "Mainland is no longer safe haven for Taiwan criminals."

October 14, 2015
President Ma Ying-jeou stated during a meeting with a delegation from the US National Committee on American Foreign Policy that both sides of the Taiwan Strait have returned to the 1992 Consensus, an important foundation for good relations over the past seven years. The 1992 Consensus was in fact proposed by the ROC and accepted by the Mainland. The 1992 Consensus is based on a resolution on the meaning of "one China" that was passed by the eighth plenary session of the National Unification Council (NUC), convened by former President Lee Teng-hui in 1992. The President also stated that over the past seven years, the two sides of the Taiwan Strait have signed 23 agreements covering economics, public security, medicine, and health. Cross-strait interactions have also become more frequent, and the number of Mainland tourists and students visiting Taiwan has increased. The ministers in charge of cross-strait affairs from both sides of the Strait have held six formal meetings where both sides used their official titles, amply showing that cross-strait relations have moved from conflict and confrontation toward reconciliation and cooperation. The President also stated that the government introduced its East China Sea Peace Initiative in August 2012, asserting that "although sovereignty over national territory cannot be compromised, natural resources can be shared," and urging all parties in the East China Sea to resolve disputes using peaceful means. Looking ahead, the President hopes that the experiences in promoting peace and cooperation in the East China Sea can be extended to the South China Sea to resolve disputes there peacefully, and allow the ROC to serve as a "peacemaker" in the international community.

October 19, 2015
President Ma Ying-jeou stated at the opening ceremony of 2015 Taiwan International Symposium on Regional Security and Transnational Crime that, after the Cross-Strait Joint Crime-Fighting and Judicial Mutual Assistance Agreement was signed on April 26, 2009, law enforcement officials on both sides finally had an institutionalized, cooperative mechanism to work with. Moreover, under that mechanism, law enforcement personnel from the two sides are cooperating more closely and comprehensively than ever before and have made notable achievements in judicial assistance, humanitarian assistance, and operational exchanges. The President further stated that, based on the principles of equality, dignity, and reciprocity, the two sides of the Taiwan Strait are working together to expand joint efforts to prevent drug crimes and insurance fraud. They have made outstanding progress in combating fraud by transnational criminal groups, ushering in a new era in joint cross-strait crime-fighting.

October 28, 2015
President Ma Ying-jeou attended the 13th Global Views Monthly Global Views Business Forum" and received the "Global Views Leadership and Peace Contribution Award." He stated that, his administration has promoted cross-strait peace and development under the framework of the ROC Constitution, maintained a cross-strait status quo of "no unification, no independence, and no use of force" and on the basis of the 1992 Consensus of one China, with respective interpretations, and also built closer exchanges. In line with the principle that "in war there are no winners, in peace there are no losers, let the world become one family," he hopes that the Taiwan Strait, East China Sea, and South China Sea can become "seas of peace and cooperation."

November 6, 2015
President Ma Ying-jeou stated during a meeting with the participants attending the International Conference on Asia-Pacific in Transition that over the past seven-plus years, the government has consistently sought, under the framework of the ROC Constitution, to maintain the status quo of "no unification, no independence, and no use of force" in the Taiwan Strait, and to promote the peaceful development of cross-strait ties under the 1992 Consensus, whereby each side acknowledges the existence of "one China" but maintains its own interpretation of what that means. As a result, the Taiwan Strait has been transformed from a flashpoint of conflict into an avenue of peace. The President stated that the two sides of the Taiwan Strait have signed 23 agreements and the ministers in charge of cross-strait affairs from both sides of the strait have held six formal meetings where both sides used their official titles. Institutionalized cross-strait negotiation channels have "moved the discussions, step by step, from the SEF to the MAC. And tomorrow, those discussions will be between the leaders of the two sides." This is a gradual process, but has moved forward in an extremely steady manner, showing that over the past 66 years, cross-strait relations have never been as stable and peaceful as they are now. The international response to the Ma-Xi meeting has generally been positive. The US White House, State Department, former Chairman of the Board and Managing Director of the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) Richard Bush, and former Director of AIT's Taipei Office Douglas Paal, for instance, have all come out in support of the meeting. Japan, the European Union, and Australia have also welcomed and praised this development.

November 10, 2015
President Ma Ying-jeou stated during a meeting with Matt Salmon, Chairman of the US House Committee on Foreign Affairs' Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific, that since he took office, his administration has consistently sought, under the framework of the ROC Constitution, to maintain the status quo, defined as "no unification, no independence, and no use of force" in the Taiwan Strait, The two sides of the Taiwan Strait also seek to promote the peaceful development of cross-strait ties under the 1992 Consensus, whereby each side acknowledges the existence of "one China" but maintains its own interpretation of what that means. The SEF and the ARATS have held 11 talks at the highest level and signed 23 agreements. The ministers in charge of cross-strait affairs from both sides of the Strait have held seven formal meetings where both sides used their official titles. This indicates that Taiwan and mainland China have already institutionalized cross-strait communication channels. Cross-strait relations have moved from conflict and confrontation toward reconciliation and cooperation. The President stated that, thanks to a foundation of sufficient mutual trust, he and mainland Chinese leader Xi Jinping met in Singapore on November 7. The meeting marked the first time that the cross-strait leaders had met since Taiwan and mainland China came under separate rule 66 years ago. The exchange of views by the two sides was a highly symbolic, historic milestone that attracted worldwide attention, while the specific content and conclusions about key cross-strait issues were substantive. In addition, the two sides of the Taiwan Strait both notified the US before the meeting took place. Both before and after the meeting, the US expressed its praise and support, which shows that the trilateral ROC-US-mainland China relationship is maturing, and showing greater mutual trust. In fact, the improvement in cross-strait relations has created a "win-win-win" situation. The President further stated that prior to the meeting, the ROC premier, secretary-general to the president, and MAC minister jointly notified the Legislative Yuan president and various party caucuses. The MAC minister and the president also held press conferences to explain the meeting. After the meeting, President Ma immediately held a press conference in Singapore to explain in detail the results of the meeting. The level of openness and transparency was on a par with any important international meeting.

November 17, 2015
President Ma Ying-jeou stated during a meeting with a delegation from the Center for a New American Security's Next Generation National Security Leaders Program that, on November 7, he met with mainland Chinese leader Xi Jinping in Singapore to consolidate peace in the Taiwan Strait and maintain the cross-strait status quo, which was significant for the peaceful development of cross-strait relations in four ways: To begin, it marked the first meeting between the leaders of the two sides since Taiwan and Mainland China came under separate rule 66 years ago, demonstrating to the world that the leaders of the two sides want to resolve disputes through peaceful means. This also set a positive example for other areas throughout the international community facing similar situations. Second, the meeting was the first time in the 23 years since the 1992 Consensus was reached that the leaders of the two sides affirmed that the 1992 Consensus is the key political foundation shared by both sides of the Taiwan Strait, and is part and parcel of the cross-strait status quo. Third, the Ma-Xi meeting established a new model for meetings between the leaders of the two sides that future leaders can follow, continuing peaceful cross-strait exchanges and sustaining the mutually beneficial, win-win status quo. Fourth, this was the first time that the Taiwan side formally raised issues, such as the Mainland's military deployment aimed at Taiwan and the squeezing of Taiwan's international space, in a face-to-face meeting with the Mainland Chinese leader. The Taiwan side asked the Mainland to address the Taiwan public's concerns regarding security and dignity and show goodwill by taking concrete action.

November 18, 2015
The MAC stated in a press release that to promote normal development of cross-strait marriage and to protect the rights and interests of Mainland spouses, it has drafted amendments to Article 17 of the Act Governing Relations between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area in keeping with the policy principles of "anti-discrimination" and "protection of the basic rights and interests bona fide married Mainland spouses living in Taiwan." The amendments adjusted the period required for Mainland spouses to obtain an ROC ID card to between four and eight years from the original six years. The Executive Yuan approved the said draft amendments and submitted them to the Legislative Yuan for deliberation on November 14, 2012. The MAC hopes that the draft amendments will be given priority consideration and be promptly reviewed by the Legislative Yuan so as to further protect the identity rights of Mainland spouses. Furthermore, private organizations involved with cross-strait marriage affairs also brought up the issue that when children of a Mainland spouse's previous marriage enter Taiwan as dependents and have not obtained long-term residency status by the age of 20, they would be forced to terminate their university studies and return to the Mainland. The MAC believes that the children of Mainland spouses have a right to education which should be protected on humanitarian grounds.

November 20, 2015
President Ma Ying-jeou stated during a meeting with Matthew J. Matthews, US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs and Senior Official for Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), that since taking office in 2008, he has consistently sought, under the framework of the ROC Constitution, to maintain the status quo of "no unification, no independence, and no use of force" in the Taiwan Strait, and to promote the peaceful development of cross-strait ties under the 1992 Consensus, whereby each side acknowledges the existence of "one China" but maintains its own interpretation of what that means. The two sides of the Taiwan Strait have signed 23 agreements to date, and the ministers in charge of cross-strait affairs from both sides have held seven formal meetings where both sides used their official titles. This demonstrates that cross-strait relations are the most stable and peaceful they have been in the past 66 years. The President stated that, because of an existing, stable foundation of mutual trust, he was able to meet on November 7 with Mainland Chinese leader Xi Jinping in Singapore to exchange opinions on consolidating cross-strait peace and maintaining the status quo in the Taiwan Strait. The meeting was significant for the peaceful development of cross-strait relations in four respects: First, it marked the first cross-strait leaders' meeting since Taiwan and Mainland China came under separate rule 66 years ago, demonstrating to the world that the two sides have established a mechanism to resolve disputes in a peaceful manner. This is very good news for the international community. Second, this was the first time since the two sides reached the 1992 Consensus that the leaders of the two sides have met to reconfirm the shared political basis of cross-strait ties. Third, the Ma-Xi meeting helped to build a bridge between the two sides, establishing a new model and platform whereby the two leaders can meet under conditions of equality and dignity. Future leaders will be able to follow suit regardless which party they belong to, so as to continue the status quo of peaceful cross-strait peace exchanges and mutual benefit. This status quo includes the 1992 Consensus. Fourth, the meeting also marked the first time Taiwan could directly convey to the leader of mainland China its concerns about the Mainland's military deployment against Taiwan, as well as Taiwan's breathing room on the international stage, and demand that the Mainland show goodwill through concrete actions, because the people of Taiwan are very concerned about issues affecting their dignity and security.

December 17, 2015
President Ma Ying-jeou stated during a reception with the presidents, vice presidents, and secretaries-general from the five Yuans that, since taking office in 2008, he has consistently sought, under the framework of the ROC Constitution, to maintain the status quo of "no unification, no independence, and no use of force" in the Taiwan Strait, and to promote the peaceful development of cross-strait ties under the 1992 Consensus, whereby each side acknowledges the existence of "one China" but maintains its own interpretation of what that means. Over the past seven-plus years, the two sides of the Taiwan Strait have signed 23 agreements. Because there was ample mutual trust, he met on November 7 with Mainland Chinese leader Xi Jinping in Singapore as equals, and with dignity. They exchanged opinions on consolidating cross-strait peace and maintaining the status quo in the Taiwan Strait with an eye toward building a sustainable and solid framework for cross-strait relations. The President also cited the opinion poll conducted by the Executive Yuan's Mainland Affairs Council, noting that over 60% of the public supports the Ma-Xi meeting; and over 60% agreed with him giving Mr. Xi a full explanation of the 1992 Consensus, which is "one China, respective interpretations." The most important thing is that the Ma-Xi meeting helped build a bridge of peace between the two sides, establishing a new model—based on equality and dignity—for meetings between the two leaders, and consolidating the status quo of peaceful development in cross-strait ties. The cross-strait leaders meeting attracted considerable attention and an overwhelmingly positive response from the international community, calling the meeting a historic breakthrough and saying it was highly beneficial to cross-strait and regional peace.

December 19, 2015
MAC Minister Andrew Hsia presented a keynote speech at the Indonesia Taiwan Business Council and attended the 25th anniversary celebration of the Jakarta Taiwan Entrepreneur Association. He said that, on November 7 this year, the leaders of the two sides met for the first time since separate governance began across the Taiwan Strait 66 years ago, established a new historic milestone in the development of cross-strait relations, created a new peace paradigm for cross-strait and regional stability, and laid favorable conditions for consolidating cross-strait peace and maintaining the cross-strait status quo. Minister Hsia emphasized that maintaining cross-strait peace is a mutual responsibility for the two sides. The ROC government will continue to adhere to the established policy stance, steadily promote the development of positive interaction between the two sides, and endeavor to maintain cross-strait peace. It also hopes that the Mainland will face up to the objective fact of separate governance across the Taiwan Strait, fully acknowledge and pragmatically deal with issues of major concern to the Taiwanese people, jointly work for the well-being of the people on both sides of the Strait, and consolidate cross-strait peace and maintain cross-strait status quo.

December 28, 2015
In response to the Mainland's announcement of measures to increase quota and expand scope of provinces and cities for Mainland vocational school graduates' admission to two-year "College-to-University" programs in Taiwan, the MAC indicated that the measures would not only increase opportunities for Mainland students to study in Taiwan but also enhance mutual awareness and understanding between young students on the two sides, thereby resulting in benign development in cross-strait relations. Expansion of the "College-to-University" program for Mainland students studying in Taiwan was one of the topics discussed at the "Ma-Xi Meeting," and its steady promotion has been a consistent policy priority of the government. The MAC, in conjunction with Ministry of Education, will continue to promote related measures under the principle of carrying out "phased implementation, review and assessment, and comprehensive supporting measures."