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Mainland Affairs Council

I. Mainland Policy and Work

2014

January 1, 2014
While presiding at the 2014 national founding memorial and New Year's Day ceremony, President Ma Ying-jeou stated that the government made the 1992 Consensus—whereby each side acknowledges the existence of "one China" but maintains its own interpretation of what that means—the foundation on which to rebuild the cross-strait relationship. The government has also identified viable diplomacy as the means to avoid zero-sum diplomatic competition between the two sides. The Taiwan Strait is no longer a tense flashpoint, but rather, has become an avenue of peace and a gateway through which other countries can enter the Mainland Chinese market. The government has maintained a balanced strategy in promoting the development of external trade and investment relations. On the one hand, it has endeavored to improve the cross-strait relationship and increase bilateral trade and investment. At the same time, it is expanding international relations and participating in regional economic integration. These two approaches are complementary. The President also noted that completion of ECFA follow-up talks and agreements as well as Taiwan's membership in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) are our unswerving goals. The government will adopt a dual-track approach and seek public unity to move forward at full speed.

January 27, 2014
President Ma Ying-jeou stated during a reception in Honduras for the travelling press corps that the government has pursued a dignified and pragmatic policy of "viable diplomacy" to transform the "vicious cycle" of cross-strait relationship and international relations into a "virtuous cycle," as well as establish long-term relationships with diplomatic allies based on mutual benefit and common prosperity. The President also stated 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. He noted that cross-strait relations are at their most stable and peaceful state in the past 60 years. So far the two sides have signed 19 agreements, making substantive achievements that have benefited Taiwan's economy and contributed to broader and deeper cross-strait ties. This progress has made people from both sides realize the importance of cross-strait peace.

January 28, 2014
The MAC stated in a press release that Minister Wang Yu-chi accepted an invitation by Director Zhang Zhijun of the Mainland's Taiwan Affairs Office to lead a MAC delegation to visit Nanjing and Shanghai in the Mainland from February 11 to 14. During the visit, the heads of the competent authorities for cross-strait affairs will meet to communicate views on important cross-strait issues and related visits and events will also be carried out. Minister Wang will be the first MAC minister to visit the Mainland as an incumbent government official, which is a major significant index in the normalization of development in cross-strait relations. The MAC stressed that Minister Wang's visit would enhance mutual understanding and strengthen mutual trust between the two sides, as well as enable the competent authorities for cross-strait affairs on the two sides to openly communicate and efficiently handle cross-strait related affairs. Thus enhance the welfare of the people on both sides, work together to further institutionalize cross-strait relations and promote peaceful and stable development across the Taiwan Strait.

January 28, 2014
MAC Minister Wang Yu-chi stated in a speech presented at a year-end press conference that the MAC would prioritize four tasks this year: First, on the basis of the cross-strait agreements now in force, establish a national security review mechanism to conduct comprehensive security assessments of future pacts to be signed between the two sides so all sectors may have more peace of mind over institutionalized negotiations. Specifically, all cross-strait agreements negotiated and signed in the future will undergo a two-stage review. First the MAC, as an advisory unit, will submit reports to the Executive Yuan for interagency review. The approved reports will be submitted to the National Security Council to undergo a second-stage review by consulted experts and scholars to ensure that each cross-strait agreement will not negatively affect Taiwan's national security, national defense or society. The cross-strait collaboration agreements on meteorology and seismological monitoring, which are now closest to the signing stage, will serve as the first examples for the application of this mechanism. The second task is to complete the legislative review process for the Cross-Strait Agreement on Trade in Services and continue to promote public explanations and communication on the agreement to facilitate its enactment soon. The MAC will also continue to advance ECFA follow-up negotiations on the trade in goods and dispute settlement agreements to ensure the prudent and orderly progress of cross-strait economic and trade relations, and to protect Taiwan's long-term economic interests. At the same time, the signing of the Cross-Strait Agreement on Trade in Services and future ECFA follow-up agreements will pave the way for Taiwan's future accession to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and other regional economic integration pacts, as well as trade liberalization. The third task is to promote the establishment of reciprocal institutions between the SEF and the ARATS. The realization of the establishment of the representative offices not only pertains to the protection of the people's rights and interests, but also affects the future direction of cross-strait relations. As for humanitarian visit functions, an issue closely watched by the ruling and opposition parties and the public, the government will actively seek to secure such functions for the offices in hopes that negotiations can be soon completed in order to protect the rights and interests of Taiwanese people in the Mainland area. The MAC hopes that the related legislative process can be soon completed to lay an important legal basis for the establishment of reciprocal institutions between the SEF and the ARATS. The fourth task is to promote the normalization of official interactions across the strait to enhance mutual understanding and trust. The main purpose of making visits to the Mainland is to enhance mutual understanding, enable the two sides to pragmatically discuss cross-strait affairs issues, and promote respective work through exchange visits by heads of the cross-strait competent authorities. The aim of this trip to the Mainland is to understand actual developments in different social aspects in the Mainland through visits, and to care for the Taiwanese's living conditions in Mainland. The visit will have major significance in the further institutionalization of cross-strait relations.

January 29, 2014
The MAC released the results of its special public opinion survey on the "Public's Views on Exchange Visits by Heads of Competent Authorities for Cross-Strait Affairs and on Cross-Strait Relations." The survey found that the majority of the people approve the government's plans and arrangements for MAC Minister Wang Yu-chi to visit the Mainland under the principle of equality and dignity (55.8%), and think that the pragmatic discussion of issues related to cross-strait exchanges between heads of competent authorities for cross-strait affairs is beneficial to the development of cross-strait relations (60.5%). Furthermore, the MAC stated that the majority of the public endorse the government's arrangement of Minister Wang's Mainland visit based on the 1992 Consensus of one China with respective interpretations (52.6%); and on the policy position that the "1992 Consensus" is "one China with respective interpretations," in which "one China" is the Republic of China (55.6%). Regarding the use of official titles in the mutual address between Minister Wang and the director of the Taiwan Affairs Office during the meeting, over half of the public affirm that this is a significant development in cross-strait relations (54.8%) and is conducive to normal interactions between the two sides (57.1%).

February 5, 2014
President Ma Ying-jeou stated in a letter sent to Pope Francis of the Catholic Church in response to the Papal Message for World Day of Peace 2014 that political differences led to confrontation across the Taiwan Strait that continued for many years. By upholding the principles of "equality, dignity and reciprocity," Taiwan has resumed institutionalized negotiations with mainland China, and cross-strait relations have evolved from conflict to dialogue. So far 19 agreements and two points of consensus have been reached between the two sides. Cross-strait relations, which were once a source of tension and hostility, are today characterized by peace and stability. This development is in line with UN calls for nations to abide by international law and resolve international disputes through peaceful means.

February 5, 2014
MAC Minister Wang Yu-chi stated in a speech presented at the "2014 Lunar New Year Gathering for Taiwanese Businessmen in Mainland" held by the Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) that the MAC this year would give priority to promotion of "national security review mechanism for institutionalized cross-strait negotiations", "strengthening promotion of ECFA follow-up negotiations and communication with the public" and tasks related to cross-strait agreements. Regarding the "national security review mechanism for institutionalized cross-strait negotiations," a national security review mechanism will be established on the foundation of the existing cross-strait agreements. All cross-strait agreements negotiated and signed in the future must undergo a two-stage review conducted by Executive Yuan's interagency mechanism and National Security Council, so that a comprehensive security assessment is assured. The national security review mechanism will be clearly institutionalized to ensure that no cross-strait agreement would have negative impact on national security. In terms of "strengthening promotion of ECFA follow-up negotiations and communication to the public," the MAC will continue to promote ECFA follow-up negotiations while make more efforts to more fully communicate and explain to the public, congress and media in the agreement signing process.

February 11, 2014
The MAC stated in a press release that MAC Minister Wang Yu-chi and Director Zhang Zhijun of the Mainland's Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO) held the first meeting between the heads of the competent authorities for cross-strait affairs in Nanjing, mainland China. The MAC stated that the successful meeting is an important milestone in the development of cross-strait relations and has positive implications for the normalization of official interactions and exchanges across the Taiwan Strait. In a speech presented at the meeting, Minister Wang stated that the start of this phase of interaction concretely demonstrates the willingness of the two sides to objectively face affairs, and plays great significance in the progress of pragmatically handling cross-strait issues and safeguarding the public's wellbeing between the two sides. The MAC stated that, under the principles of equality and dignity, the two sides agreed to establish a liaison and communication mechanism between the MAC and TAO to pragmatically discuss and address major issues deriving from cross-strait interactions and exchanges. The mechanism will handle issues such as high-level exchange visits by the heads of the two organizations and the strengthening of communication channels between the operational departments (bureaus) on both sides. Under the mechanism, the two sides have agreed to grant facilitation measures for the entry-exit and customs clearance of related personnels in keeping with the principle of equality and mutual benefit and in adherence to respective laws and regulations.
Regarding the issue of humanitarian visiting functions for the reciprocal institutions of the SEF and the ARATS, Minister Wang emphasized that Taiwan's institution functions should include the right to visit Taiwanese citizens whose personal freedom have been restricted in the Mainland. The two sides also agreed to more proactively discuss feasible measures and pragmatically handle issues related to the establishment of reciprocal institutions. Furthermore, Minister Wang affirmed and welcomed the value placed by the Mainland on the issue of medical coverage for Taiwanese students studying at Mainland schools, and stated that the Taiwan side should continue to actively push for the inclusion of Mainland students in Taiwan into the Taiwan National Health Insurance program. During the meeting, Minister Wang emphasized that at this stage, the two sides should discuss this matter in tandem with the issues of the reciprocal exchange of news information across the Taiwan Strait, so as to facilitate improvements of the overall environment for cross-strait news information, as well as continue to provide the living conveniences for stationed reporters. Minister Wang also stated that promoting accession to the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement and Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (TPP) Agreement is a major economic and trade priority for Taiwan at this time. Deepening and expanding cross-strait economic cooperation and joint cross-strait participation in regional economic integration should "advance side-by-side".
The MAC stated that the "1992 Consensus" is the crux of institutionalized cross-strait negotiations, interactions and exchanges. In the future, both sides should continue to promote mutually beneficial relations across the Strait so that the people on both sides can enjoy the fruits of the peaceful development of cross-strait relations. Minister Wang also formally invited Director Zhang Zhijun to lead a delegation to visit Taiwan so as to gain a deeper awareness and understanding of Taiwanese society and popular sentiment.

February 12, 2014
During a meeting with a delegation led by Premier of Canada's Province of Prince Edward Island Robert W.J. Ghiz, President Ma Ying-jeou stated that, cross-strait relations have seen substantive progress over the past five-plus years. Besides the signing of 19 agreements, the two sides are now negotiating an agreement on the trade in goods. Furthermore, officials from the respective agencies responsible for cross-strait affairs have formally met and referred to each other by their official titles for the first time in the 65 years since each side of the Taiwan Strait came under the rule of different governments in 1949. He hailed this as an important milestone in the history of cross-strait exchanges, saying that this creates a new foundation for the long-term development of cross-strait relations. The president also said this will be conducive to Taiwan continuing to expand its relations in the international arena.

February 12, 2014
The MAC stated in a press release that MAC Minister Wang Yu-chi led the MAC delegation to Sun Yat-sen Mausoleum in Nanjing to pay homage and honor the memory of Dr. Sun Yat-sen, and Minister Wang also served as officiate of the memorial service. The service oration described Dr. Sun's great achievements as leader of the revolution and founding father of the Republic of China, as well as reported on the concrete realization in Taiwan of the Three Principles of the People, Five-Power Constitution and other ideals and principles of Dr. Sun. The oration further expounded on the recent significant improvement and developments in cross-strait relations achieved on the basis of the "1992 Consensus," and expressed hope that the two sides may jointly carry forward Dr. Sun Yat-sen's ideals and contribute to world harmony. Minister Wang pointed out that the first democratic republic in Asia—the Republic of China—was founded by Dr. Sun Yat-sen 103 years ago. Since 2008, peaceful and stable development of cross-strait relations has been achieved through institutionalized negotiations and cross-strait exchanges and cooperation based on the "1992 Consensus." In the future, it is crucial that the two sides must face up to the reality across the Strait and pragmatically deal with and resolve issues in order to build lasting and solid cross-strait relations, enhance the welfare of the people, and turn the Taiwan Strait into a sea of peace and cooperation.

February 12, 2014
The MAC issued a press release announcing that MAC Minister Wang Yu-chi stated in a speech at Nanjing University (NJU) that exchanges between youth on both sides of the Taiwan Strait are conducive to mutual understanding. He urged the two sides to pragmatically confront their differences and form friendships in sincerity and good faith so as to truly put aside differences, seek common ground, and create a new future, which would also conform to the spirit of the verse from NJU's anthem: "What greatness, to move the world with our sincerity!" Minister Wang also encouraged young students across the Strait to discuss reforms in the spirit of "chivalry" and "compassion." Therefore, not only should the rights and interests of Mainland students and spouses be treated without discrimination, but priority should also be given to discussion of granting Taiwan's institution to be established in the Mainland humanitarian visiting functions, as these issues all represent values of importance to Taiwan. Minister Wang further said that by dedicating more sincerity in overcoming historical barriers and facing the reality of their differences, youths of the two sides may truly put aside these differences, seek common ground and usher in a new future. At the same time, through interaction, the two sides may foster more pragmatic understanding and mutual political trust and forge a real consensus in order to pass down national culture, enrich the people's life and jointly embrace a more harmonious cross-strait relationship.

February 13, 2014
The MAC issued a press release announcing that MAC Minister Wang Yu-chi stated during a panel discussion with scholars at the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences that his visit represented an important step in the development of benign cross-strait interactions, and that the two sides must mutually understand, tolerate and face each other in order for cross-strait relations to move forward. Minister Wang expressed confidence for future cross-strait relations to proceed upon the current peaceful and stable path. During the discussion, he also stated that foreign trade is the lifeblood of Taiwan and that signing free trade agreements (FTAs) with other countries, Taiwan's accession to the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) and to Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (RCEP) are the common aspiration of Taiwan. He also stressed that Taiwan places equal importance on its participation in the TPP and RCEP. Furthermore, Minister Wang emphasized that public support in Taiwan for maintaining the cross-strait status quo represents the mainstream public opinion in Taiwan, and that future development of cross-strait relations will continue to be steadily promoted on this foundation.

February 16, 2014
President Ma Ying-jeou stated when attending a Lunar New Year celebration organized by the "New Alliance Association" that the government's Mainland policy has always adhered to the framework of the ROC Constitution and on the foundation of the "1992 Consensus of one China, with respective interpretations," maintained the status quo of "no unification, no independence and no use of force," and promoted peaceful cross-strait development. Recently MAC Minister Wang Yu-chi visited the Mainland and met with his counterpart, Director Zhang Zhijun of the Taiwan Affairs Office. This was the first official meeting in 65 years since the two sides came under separate rule and also the first meeting of the heads of the cross-strait competent authorities. The two sides also addressed each other by their official titles, representing a major step forward in the normalization of cross-strait relations. Furthermore, this year the government plans to increase the quota of Mainland independent travelers allowed visiting Taiwan. It will also continue to promote the mutual establishment of institutions and deepen exchanges across the Taiwan Strait, as well as comprehensively review and amend the "Act Governing Relations between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area" to enable the sustained and stable development of cross-strait relations.

February 25, 2014
President Ma Ying-jeou stated during a meeting with American Institute in Taiwan Managing Director Joseph R. Donovan Jr. 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 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. President Ma further stated that MAC Minister Wang Yu-chi made a visit to mainland China and met with his counterpart there, Director Zhang Zhijun of the Taiwan Affairs Office. This was the first official meeting of the heads of the respective agencies responsible for cross-strait affairs since the two sides came under separate rule 65 years ago. The meeting represents the gradual institutionalization of relations between the two sides. Both sides are accepting political realities, which is an important and positive development.

February 25, 2014
The MAC announced the results of the special public opinion survey on the "Public's Views on Cross-Strait Official Interactions and Cross-Strait Relations." The survey indicated that more than 60% of the public affirm Minister Wang's first visit to the Mainland in an official capacity and the holding of the meeting between the heads of cross-strait competent authorities. The survey also pointed out that the said developments were conducive to direct interaction between officials across the Strait (65.1%) and also to the future development of cross-strait relations (61%). Furthermore, 63.1% people affirm that the establishment of routine communication mechanism between the MAC and the Taiwan Affairs Office is helpful to the handling of cross-strait affairs. The MAC stated that, in the future, it would use this mechanism and channel to efficiently communicate with the other side, pragmatically handle major issues related to cross-strait interactions, and enhance benefits of cross-strait exchanges and well being of the people. Meanwhile, on the basis of public opinion, the MAC will continue to promote the normalization of official cross-strait interactions so as to facilitate long-term development of cross-strait institutionalized relations and promote sustainable peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait. Regarding the negotiation issues at the "Tenth Round of Cross-Strait High-Level Talks" by the SEF and the ARATS, the majority of the surveyed public expressed support for negotiation issues concerning "cross-strait meteorological cooperation" (67.9%) and "earthquake monitoring cooperation" (72.6%).

February 26, 2014
President Ma Ying-jeou stated at the International Conference on Peace and Security in East Asia that the government has actively pushed for rapprochement across the Taiwan Strait. Under the framework of the ROC Constitution, a status quo of "no independence, no unification, and no use of force" is being maintained, while peaceful cross-strait developments are being promoted based on the 1992 Consensus of "one China, respective interpretations." MAC Minister Wang Yu-chi and Director Zhang Zhijun of the Mainland's Taiwan Affairs Office had a historic meeting in Nanjing. This marked the first official meeting between high-ranking officials in the 65 years the two sides have been separately governed. The two heads also addressed each other by their official titles. It was therefore a significant milestone in the history of cross-strait exchanges. The international community has recognized the significance of the meeting. This reflects the enormous progress made in cross-strait relations, as well as the government's resolution in maintaining peace and prosperity.

February 27, 2014
The MAC issued a press release announcing that MAC Minister Wang Yu-chi stated during the meeting with Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS) Chairman Chen Deming and the ARATS negotiation delegation that the competent authorities for cross-strait affairs on the two sides have established a liaison and communication mechanism. However, there are still many issues relevant to people's livelihood and well being that must be addressed through the platform of the Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) and the ARATS. The two organizations are especially irreplaceable in their function of providing service to Taiwanese businesspeople. Minister Wang also expressed hope that both sides would continue, on the basis of the "1992 Consensus," to address realities and promote the development of cross-strait relations. During the meeting, Minister Wang especially noted that foreign trade is not a matter of politics but of survival for Taiwan. The Mainland should welcome Taiwan's participation in the Trans-Pacific Partnership, Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership and other arrangements for regional economic integration. Minister Wang said that the two sides are not in a zero-sum relationship and should jointly promote prosperity and development.

February 28, 2014
The MAC stated in a press release that the Cross-Strait Collaboration Agreement on Seismological Monitoring and Cross-Strait Collaboration Agreement on Meteorology signed at the Tenth Round of Cross-Strait High-Level Talks between the SEF and the ARATS will help the two sides to more accurately track seismic activity and weather system information, upgrade seismic and meteorological monitoring and early warning capabilities, and will also further protect the safety of people's lives and properties across the Strait. The MAC further stated that issues on the negotiation agenda for the 11th round of talks may include ECFA follow-up negotiation issues such as the Cross-Strait Trade in Goods Agreement and Dispute Settlement Agreement, other issues may include "cooperation on the avoidance of double taxation and strengthening of tax cooperation", "SEF-ARATS reciprocal establishment of institutions", and "cross-strait cooperation on environmental protection," "flight safety and airworthiness standards." The MAC will coordinate with the competent authorities and carefully deliberate and promote the negotiation work.
The MAC stated that each of the agreements signed between the two sides has enhanced the public's well being and maintained the order of exchanges. On this basis, the regular communication and liaison mechanisms between the competent authorities for cross-strait affairs on the two sides will, in the future, have synergistic function and benefit in institutionalized cross-strait negotiations, while at the same time, further contribute to peaceful development across the Taiwan Strait.

March 5, 2014
President Ma Ying-jeou stated during a meeting with Hawaii's East-West Center's 2014 Asia Pacific Journalism Fellowships recipients that the Republic of China (ROC) intends to act as a peacemaker. Over the past six years, the ROC government has strived to improve cross-strait relations, which has reduced tensions between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait. To date, the two sides have signed 21 agreements and reached two consensuses, which have enabled the Taiwan Strait to transform from a battlefield into a boulevard of peace. In mid-February this year, MAC Minister Wang Yu-chi met with his mainland Chinese counterpart Zhang Zhijun, Director of the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council, in Nanjing. This marked the first time in the 65 years since the two sides of the Taiwan Strait came under separate rule that the top officials for cross-strait affairs from the two sides have met. Consequently, this meeting carried important significance for cross-strait relations and the development of peace.

March 13, 2014
President Ma Ying-jeou stated at the Fulbright Grantees Research Workshop that peace across the Taiwan Strait is the cornerstone of stability and prosperity in East Asia. The government has resumed the negotiation mechanism with the other side on the basis of the "1992 consensus of one China with respective interpretations." On the consensus of "shelving our differences and pursuing our common ground," the two sides have been able to conclude 21 agreements and reached two consensuses covering a wide range of issues. The President also stated that the Cross-Strait Trade in Services Agreement is now under review by the Legislative Yuan. Under the agreement, the Mainland will open 84 service categories to Taiwan, some of them exceeding the standards of the World Trade Organization ("WTO Plus"). Clearly this will help Taiwanese companies break new ground in the Mainland market and accelerate Taiwan's participation in regional economic integration. President Ma called on the Legislative Yuan to pass the agreement as soon as possible to demonstrate to other countries Taiwan's determination and credibility in pursuing trade liberalization. The President further stated that universities and academic institutions on both sides have signed more than 6,000 cooperation agreements; the government has also signed meteorological and seismological cooperation agreements with the Mainland, deepened exchanges in related fields and proved the fact that there is room for cross-strait cooperation in science and high-tech fields. President Ma stressed that the government will establish review mechanisms for science and technology cooperation from a national security perspective to ensure the safety and security of information flow and cooperation plans. He also hoped that both sides may continue to carry out dialogues and cooperation, and jointly create a win-win outcome.

March 17, 2014
The MAC stated in a press release that failure to pass and implement the Trade in Services Agreement would have three major affects: 1. Lose opportunities for Taiwan's service industry to enter the Mainland market, and Taiwanese companies will face greater difficulties in that market; 2. Delay the pace of Taiwan's accession to the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) and Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (RCEP), which will result in economical marginalization for Taiwan; and 3. Delay the progress of the Cross-Strait Trade in Goods Agreement and ECFA follow-up negotiations and increase the difficulty of cross-strait negotiations. The MAC called on the people of Taiwan to face up to the fact that the Mainland is an important trading partner of Taiwan and to rationally treat the development of cross-strait economic and trade relations. The MAC also stated that the government has, in accordance with the views of various parties, strengthened related safety management and guidance and relief support measures. The MAC stated that the executive branch has never been opposed to the Trade in Services Agreement undergoing congressional review, and it fully respects review procedures of the Legislative Yuan. Yet Taiwan is now at a major juncture in its economic development; the government hopes that all sectors will support the prompt completion of the relevant procedures for the Trade in Services Agreement to help forge a road ahead for Taiwan's economy.

March 18, 2014
The MAC stated in a press release that the executive branch respects related procedures of the Legislative Yuan in its review of the Cross-Strait Trade in Services Agreement. Moreover, in response to the concern of various sectors over the potential impact of the agreement, the government would continue to explain to the public. Related safeguard mechanisms have been established for both the agreement and current existing regulations. In the event the implementation of the agreement adversely affects the service sector and labors, the government has formulated a "Program to Assist Industries in Adjusting to Trade Liberalization". The program provides three adjustment support strategies targeted at different groups, being revitalization guidance, industrial transformation and damage relief to upgrade companies' competitiveness and guide their transformation, while also providing employment counseling, skill training and subsidy support for affected workers. The MAC stated that the Trade in Services Agreement is not only related to the development of Taiwan's service industry, but also to the progress of cross-strait trade in goods agreement negotiations, Taiwan's free trade agreement negotiations with other countries and accession to the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership and other arrangements for regional economic integration. The government will continue to adhere to the initial intention of "helping the people do business and increasing Taiwan's competitiveness," create a sound competitive environment for industries, and continue efforts to enhance the well-being of the people.

March 20, 2014
President Ma Ying-jeou stated during a meeting with participants from seminar on "Mainland China's Reform and Transition?” that, under the framework of the ROC Constitution, the government has maintained the status quo of "no unification, no independence, and no use of force" in the Taiwan Strait and promoted the peaceful development of cross-strait ties under the "1992 Consensus of one China, with respective interpretations." Moreover, institutionalized negotiations have gradually established order in cross-strait exchanges. Cross-strait ties and international relations have changed from a "vicious cycle" into a "virtuous cycle." The government will continue to pursue the development of cross-strait relations in a stable and active manner, and will also engage in comprehensive planning and assessment so that it can adopt appropriate methods to maintain sustainable peace and prosperity on the two sides of the Taiwan Strait.

March 23, 2014
President Ma Ying-jeou stated during an international press conference on the Cross-Strait Trade in Services Agreement that Taiwan signing the agreement with the Mainland is entirely for the sake of Taiwan's economic future. Taiwan has a small and open economy. External trade accounts for 70 percent of economic growth. Taiwan has only signed seven FTAs or ECAs, far behind Singapore, the Republic of Korea, Japan and the Mainland. Tariffs are levied on the export at rates higher than other countries. Therefore, we must try to sign more FTAs as soon as possible so that we will not be marginalized. Furthermore, the services agreement falls under the Cross-Straits Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA), and if it is not passed, it will seriously damage Taiwan's international credibility and cross-strait relations, hamper Taiwan's efforts to liberalize trade. It will certainly affect Taiwan's chances of joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). The President stated that Taiwan's innovative and high-quality service industry has high-caliber human resources. Mainland China is the world's second largest economy and Taiwan's leading trade partner, and it too is actively developing its service industry. Upon passage of the Cross-Strait Trade in Services Agreement, the Mainland would further open its markets to Taiwan's service providers and offer them conditions better than those available to firms from other countries. Furthermore, the agreement does not allow labor, immigrants or publishers from mainland China to come to Taiwan. The 80 sectors to be opened to Taiwan by the Mainland are all applicable to Taiwan's small and medium enterprises and do not merely favor big corporations. Overall, the services agreement was signed in accordance with the principle of "putting Taiwan first for the benefit of the people." For Taiwan, the benefits far outweigh the disadvantages. The President expressed hope that the Trade in Services Agreement could be reviewed and voted upon article by article.

March 26, 2014
During an exclusive interview with the U.K. "The Economist", President Ma Ying-jeou stated that the Trade in Services Agreement is part of the Cross-Straits Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA). Failure to pass it would affect the upcoming signing of the Trade in Goods Agreement with the Mainland. Moreover, the international community would question the sincerity and determination of Taiwan's hope to participate in regional economic integration. If the agreement is rejected, Taiwan could be regarded as an unreliable trade partner, which would be very detrimental to Taiwan's international involvement. Furthermore, the President stated that he has always been open-minded about a meeting with PRC President Xi Jinping. Moreover, to avoid concerns over title and the occasion of such a meeting, he suggested last year that the meeting could be arranged through participation in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), which is also strongly supported by the people of Taiwan. However, the Mainland does not want the meeting to be held at an international forum. The President hoped that in the future the two sides could again create appropriate conditions.

March 27, 2014
MAC Minister Wang Yu-chi stated at a regular press conference that the government has always closely watched the views expressed by various sectors of society on the Cross-Strait Trade in Services Agreement, as well as understands and respects the expectations of all sides regarding the government's handling of the agreement. At this stage, there are still many different opinions on cross-strait policy in Taiwan that require further discussion and consensus building. Cross-strait peace is the shared hope of the Taiwanese people and it also corresponds with Taiwan's best interests. Minister Wang expressed hope that the dispute over the Cross-Strait Trade in Services Agreement would not affect normal exchanges and interactions across the Taiwan Strait. The government will most certainly make utmost efforts to communicate with all sectors of the society and continue to promote peaceful and stable development across the Strait.
Minister Wang further stated that the article-by-article review and vote upon the agreement proposed by the students opposing the agreement was the outcome of consultations between the ruling and opposition parties last year. The executive branch also supports this position. However, if any article were rejected during the article-by-article vote, it would be tantamount to restarting the negotiations; and the public must understand that negotiations cannot be restarted unilaterally by Taiwan alone. As to whether or not auxiliary resolutions or other methods are called for during the final review process, the executive branch will respect the outcome of the Legislative Yuan review. Minister Wang also stated that the legislation for a cross-strait agreement monitoring mechanism should avoid constitutional disputes. The government has proposed a four-stage mechanism for supervision and communication on cross-strait agreements, including communication with congress and the public during the stages of issue formation, talks on operational issues, before signing the agreement and after signing the agreement. The MAC has deliberated the specifics of the communication mechanism and will make a public announcement.

March 29, 2014
During an international press conference on the recent student movement, President Ma Ying-jeou stated that the government supports the institutionalization of a mechanism for oversight of cross-strait agreements. He called upon the Legislative Yuan to complete this before the end of this current session of the legislature. The President further noted that the government supports an article-by-article review and vote upon the agreement by the Legislative Yuan, but it does not agree that the Executive Yuan should withdraw the agreement as the harm caused to Taiwan would be too great. The President stated that the government promotes the Trade in Services Agreement to stimulate Taiwan's service sector, ensure Taiwan's economic vitality and create conditions conducive to Taiwan participating in the process of economic integration in the Asia-Pacific region. The Cross-Strait Trade in Services Agreement is part of the Cross-Straits Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA), which is a bilateral trade pact under the World Trade Organization (WTO). If the services agreement is not passed, it would severely damage Taiwan's credibility in the international community, hamper Taiwan's efforts to liberalize trade, and affect Taiwan's chances of joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).

April 3, 2014
The MAC stated in a press release that in response to the public's demand for supervision of cross-strait agreements and national security concerns in the negotiation process, the MAC has established a "four-stage external communication and consultation mechanism" and a "national security review mechanism" under the existing regulatory framework of the Act Governing Relations between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area. Moreover, in reference to the intent of Judicial Yuan interpretations, stipulations under the Exercise of Legislative Powers Law, and the precedent of international and cross-strait agreement procedures. The MAC-formulated draft Statute for the Processing and Monitoring of Agreements between the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area has been approved by the Executive Yuan and submitted to the Legislative Yuan for review.
The MAC stated that legislation on the processing and monitoring of cross-strait agreements should be consistent with the constitutional system and should take into account the requirements of negotiations. The MAC has formulated a constitutional, pragmatic and feasible legal system for the processing and monitoring of cross-strait agreements while balancing the need to protect the public's right to know and with consideration to negotiation requirements. The Legislative Yuan is urged to complete the legislation as soon as possible so as to satisfy the public's demands for strengthened congressional oversight.

April 4, 2014
The MAC stated in a press release that the Executive Yuan version of the draft Cross-Strait Agreement Supervisory Act specifies that the executive branch shall fully communicate and consult with the Legislative Yuan President and Vice President, ruling and opposition party members, related committees and conveners or members at the four stages of "negotiation issue formation," "operational talks on negotiation issues," "before signing the agreement," and "after signing the agreement." The draft also stipulates that the views of related parties in the Legislative Yuan shall serve as references in the agreement negotiations, signing and implementation. Once cross-strait agreements have been signed, they shall be submitted to the Legislative Yuan either for review or record as mandated by law, where the Legislative Yuan may exercise full supervisory powers consistent with the constitutional principle of separation of powers. The MAC stated that if, in the future, the legislation of the supervisory act is approved by the legislature, the four-stage communication process under the supervisory act would not be applied to the Cross-Strait Trade in Services Agreement since the agreement has already been submitted to Legislative Yuan for associated procedures in accordance to the law. Rather, it would be submitted directly to the Legislative Yuan for review according to the related provisions on Legislative Yuan review procedures. The executive branch shall fully respect the future outcome of the legislature's review.

April 9, 2014
President Ma Ying-jeou stated in remarks at the videoconference with the Washington D.C.-based Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) that the government has pursued a cross-strait policy of maintaining the political status quo. This means "no unification, no independence, and no use of force" under the framework of the ROC Constitution. It also means maintaining peaceful cross-strait relations on the basis of the 1992 Consensus, namely, "one China, respective interpretations." Cross-strait relations are at their best state in over six decades. To date, the two sides have completed 10 rounds of talks, signed 21 agreements and planed to exchange representative offices in the future. Furthermore, MAC Minister Wang Yu-chi visited mainland China last February to meet in Nanjing with his counterpart, Director Zhang Zhijun of the Taiwan Affairs Office. This was the first official meeting of its kind since the two sides came under separate rule 65 years ago. This meeting represented the gradual institutionalization of the cross-strait relationship, and was a historic milestone on the path toward sustainable peace and prosperity.

April 10, 2014
President Ma Ying-jeou stated during a meeting with a homecoming delegation of the Asia Taiwanese Chambers of Commerce that the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) is part of the bilateral agreements under the World Trade Organization (WTO) framework, covering trade in goods, trade in services, investment protection and dispute settlement. The Cross-Strait Trade in Services Agreement was signed last year, and it does not open Taiwan to Mainland workers or investment immigration. The government has established multiple defense mechanisms for areas that could potentially impact national security. The president also pointed out that the government has budgeted NT$ 98.2 billion that can be used over a 10-year period to assist companies and factories that could be adversely affected by these measures. A range of stimulus and guidance, structural adjustment, and damage relief will be offered to those that seek such assistance. The president further stated that the government formulated the Statute for the Processing and Monitoring of Agreements between the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area to help the public understand the content of agreements signed between the two sides in the future. Legislation of the statute and the review of the Trade in Services Agreement should be carried out at the same time. Failure to pass the Trade in Services Agreement would greatly affect Taiwan. Furthermore, the President emphasized that the government will strengthen public communication on agreements signed between the two sides to help people understand the content of the agreements and adhere to the principle of "putting Taiwan first for the benefit of the people" in the agreement negotiations.

April 11, 2014
The MAC stated in a press release that the Cross-Strait Trade in Services Agreement has been submitted to the Legislative Yuan and is undergoing associated procedures. The executive branch entirely respects the process and outcome of the legislature's review of the Cross-Strait Trade in Services Agreement. It hopes that the agreement can be promptly passed and put into effect to help Taiwanese companies tap the vast business opportunities in the Mainland and lay a foundation for Taiwan's participation in regional economic integration.

April 11, 2014
MAC Minister Wang Yu-chi stated during an interview on udn tv's "Global Outlook" program that the Cross-Strait Trade in Services Agreement stipulates that amendment or revocation of the original opening commitments can be proposed three years after the agreement comes into effect. Provisions of the pact may also be reviewed after one year of implementation, and according to the emergency consultation regulations, either side may demand emergency consultations if its service sector suffers substantive negative impact. Minister Wang said that the most feasible approach to resolving trade in services disputes is to first approve the Trade in Services Agreement and capitalize on opened resources, and later adjust the agreement content as needed through emergency consultations. This is a better approach than restarting negotiations. Minister Wang also stressed that the Executive Yuan version of the cross-strait agreement supervisory draft conforms to stipulations of the present ROC Constitution, fundamentally complies with the national identity design under the ROC Constitution, and accords with the constitutional separation of powers principle, under which the executive branch is responsible for external negotiations and the legislative branch is in charge of resolutions. This also meets the needs for the practical operation of negotiations and avoids the problem of non-separation of authority and responsibility resulting from allowing "legislative power to dictate administrative powers" in negotiations.

April 18, 2014
President Ma Ying-jeou stated during a meeting with Dominique V. Turpin, president of the Switzerland-based International Institute for Management Development (IMD), that over the past six years, the two sides across the Taiwan Strait have held 10 rounds of talks, signed 21 agreements and reached two consensuses. Considerable progress has been made in promoting institutionalized relations between the two sides. Moreover, the government is promoting cross-strait exchanges and cooperation by opening cross-strait banking and strengthening people-to-people exchanges. The President also mentioned that recently the Cross-Strait Trade in Services Agreement has triggered considerable controversy in Taiwan, which has delayed legislative approval of the agreement. Consequently, government agencies intend to further strengthen communication with the public to explain the agreement content and help the public understand that the advantages of cross-strait trade outweigh the disadvantages.

April 22, 2014
MAC Minister Wang Yu-chi stated during a forum on "Cross-Strait Relations and Mainland Policy" at Dong Hwa University that regional economic integration is the current trend in international trade and economic development. As an export-driven economy, Taiwan must promptly join the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and other major organizations for economic and trade integration in East Asia. At the same time, Taiwan also needs to pragmatically face the fact that mainland China is both its largest economic and trading partner and overseas market. The government must therefore actively promote the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) and its follow-up agreements on trade in services and trade in goods to create conditions for Taiwan's integration into the regional economy. Minister Wang also stated that the government will make thorough reflections on the controversies of the Trade in Services Agreement promotion process, yet he hopes for the public to rationally consider and understand that the Agreement is in fact a key step for Taiwan's integration into regional economy. Minister Wang further stated that in response to public opinion, the government has formulated a Cross-Strait Agreement Supervisory Act based on the current Act Governing Relations between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area, in hope to strengthen future promotion of external communication and consultation work at each stage of cross-strait agreements, so that the public may fully participate in the process and congress may exercise supervision both before and after the agreement signing. The Act stipulates that competent authorities must present complete impact assessment for each agreement and the agreements must undergo national security review mechanism inspection. The Act also refers to procedural precedent and the Exercise of Legislative Powers Law in establishing review procedures for cross-strait agreement supervision. The government hopes that through a "constitutional, pragmatic and feasible" approach, future cross-strait agreements promotion may become more institutionalized and transparent.

April 23, 2014
President Ma Ying-jeou stated during a meeting with top officers of District 300-A3 of the Taiwan Chapter of Lions Clubs International that the Cross-Strait Trade in Services Agreement is an important benchmark in the international community's assessment of Taiwan's determination to pursue trade liberalization. Under the agreement, Taiwan will open up 64 sectors to the Mainland and the Mainland will open up 80 sectors to Taiwan. Overall, the agreement favors Taiwan. It also does not allow Mainland laborers to work in Taiwan. The government has formulated a range of support strategies, including stimulus and guidance, structural adjustments and damage relief, for industries, enterprises and workers likely to be impacted by trade liberalization to enhance their competitiveness and support their transformation. The President further emphasized that the Cross-Strait Trade in Services Agreement will “have a limited impact on Taiwan, yet create many business opportunities.” It also stipulates emergency consultation and amendment provisions, under which adjustments can be made after the agreement is signed and comes into force. The Cross-Strait Trade in Services Agreement is emphatically not a "black-box operation." The government will continue to provide various information to help the people of Taiwan understand that the government will uphold the principle of "putting Taiwan first for the benefit of the people" to further "help the people do business and raise Taiwan's competitiveness."

May 1, 2014
The MAC announced the results of its special public opinion survey concerning the cross-strait agreements’ supervision. The survey showed that the great majority of the public believe that requiring the executive branch to communicate and consult with congress and the public at each stage in the signing of cross-strait agreements and to respect Legislative Yuan procedures of review or recording for future reference, along with measures such as national security review would be conducive to increasing openness and transparency of negotiations and public participation (73.2%), congressional oversight (73.9%), and national security (72.6%). Furthermore, 42.5% of the public support the Cross-Strait Trade in Services Agreement, higher than the percentage not supporting the agreement (40.1%). Additionally, 70.4% of the public support the start of an article-by-article review and article-by-article vote on the Trade in Services Agreement in the Legislative Yuan. The Executive Yuan version of the draft Supervisory Act has included the important views of the public. The government hopes that the legislative process may be completed as soon as possible to promote orderly operation of negotiations.

May 12, 2014
President Ma Ying-jeou stated during a meeting with a homecoming delegation of the Taiwan Benevolent Association of America that the government is actively signing free trade agreements (FTAs) with major trading partners under an economic strategy aimed at "building up Taiwan, linking with the Asia-Pacific region, and deploying globally." The Cross-Strait Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) plays a "stepping stone" role by making more countries willing to sign FTA-like economic cooperation pacts with Taiwan. The government hopes that Taiwan can join the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) and Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (RCEP) this year to further participate in regional economic integration.
The president also stated that the government is actively improving relations with mainland China and promoting peaceful cross-strait relations while maintaining 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" and “one China, with respective interpretations”. Such efforts have ushered cross-strait relations into their most stable and peaceful state in 65 years. Any attempt by either sides across the strait to unilaterally change the status quo with non-peaceful means will encounter huge resistance. President Ma also noted that the Cross-Strait Trade in Services Agreement is crucial to Taiwan and the government will continue to endeavor to build consensus.

May 20, 2014
President Ma Ying-jeou stated during a press conference convened to mark the sixth anniversary of his inauguration that mainland China is the world's second largest economy entity and Taiwan's largest trading partner. The majority of the Taiwan public feel that the Cross-Strait Trade in Services Agreement is beneficial to Taiwan's economy, support article-by-article screening of the agreement, and hope for the swift passage of the Cross-Strait Agreement Supervisory Act. The government's cross-strait policy over the past six years has sought to maximize opportunities and minimize risks. It is hoped that the Cross-Strait Agreement Supervisory Act can be passed as soon as possible. This would enable thorough screening and supervision of cross-strait agreements and ensure greater transparency of all cross-strait agreements that will benefit the public in Taiwan.

May 26, 2014
President Ma Ying-jeou stated during a meeting with the ninth board of directors and supervisors of the General Chamber of Commerce of the Republic of China that, while the service industry accounts for nearly 70% of Taiwan's GDP, the value of exports in this sector is very low. The government therefore attaches great importance to the Cross-Strait Trade in Services Agreement. Taiwan's service industry is highly competitive. If Taiwan's business management advantages can be further integrated with the Mainland's vast market, it would accelerate the booming development of the domestic service industry. President Ma further stated that the ruling and opposition parties have reached a consensus on reviewing the Cross-Strait Trade in Services Agreement. It is hoped that the agreement review can return to a democratic process. The President also noted that whether the Cross-Strait Trade in Services Agreement can be passed is not only pertinent to the development of cross-strait economic and trade relations, but also has major significance for Taiwan's global economic position. If the agreement fails to pass, it will adversely affect Taiwan's credibility and create barriers to the signing of economic cooperation agreements with other countries in the future.

May 27, 2014
The MAC stated in a press release that the core position of the government's Mainland policy is to abide the mainstream public opinion in Taiwan and squarely face the reality of separate governance across the Taiwan Strait. The government will continue to call on the Mainland side to squarely face the reality of separate governance across the Taiwan Strait and the objective existence of the Republic of China. These are the key issues to the continued deepening and expansion of cross-strait relations. Over the past six years, the "1992 Consensus of one China, with respective interpretations" has been the most important foundation for the peaceful and stable development of relations across the Strait. The two sides should continue on this foundation to face each other more positively and pragmatically and to boldly confront differences in order to enable the continued promotion of mutually beneficial, peaceful and stable cross-strait relations. Furthermore, the government’s current objective remains to build domestic consensus on Mainland policy and to pragmatically implement signed agreements to work for the greater well-being and interests of the people.

May 30, 2014
MAC Minister Wang Yu-chi stated during the “Focus Forum on Legalization of the Cross-Strait Agreement Supervisory Act” that the government's purpose in promoting cross-strait agreements is to normalize and institutionalize cross-strait exchanges and enhance mutual understanding between the two sides. The design of the Cross-Strait Agreement Supervisory Act should therefore be based on the principles that "cross-strait exchanges must continue and the Supervisory Act must be feasible" so as to prevent the Act from becoming a "Failure to Sign Cross-Strait Agreements Act" that would affect cross-strait relations.

May 31, 2014
President Ma Ying-jeou stated during an interview by Japan's Yomiuri Shimbun that the APEC annual meeting this November will be held in mainland China. The possibility of a meeting with the Mainland leader Mr. Xi Jinping would depend on the timing, occasion and capacity. Furthermore, a meeting would be contingent on national need, public support and legislative oversight. The president also stated that cross-strait exchanges should address "easy matters before difficult ones, urgent matters before non-urgent ones, and economic matters before political ones." The past six years have witnessed the smoothest and most peaceful state of cross-strait ties in 65 years. This is the direction in which Taiwan hopes to advance. Furthermore, the two sides are now in talks over an agreement on the establishment of reciprocal institutions. Although the agreement itself is neutral, it has political implications. Taiwan will not shy away from these issues and will act with the best discretion so long as it is in the interests of people on both sides.

June 3, 2014
The MAC issued a statement on the 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square Incident. The statement urged for mainland China to squarely face and actively reflect upon the major significance of the Tiananmen Square Incident and turn this historical scar into an opportunity and force for reform and transformation in the Mainland. The MAC stated that the Mainland authorities should also show sincerity by shouldering responsibility, making reconciliation, and treating kindly June 4th Incident victims and families. The Mainland authorities should also respect and be tolerant of diverse opinions in society, protect human rights of Mainland dissents and activists, concretely implement pledges made by the Mainland in the White Paper on Human Rights, promote civil rights, and create a better political and social environment. The MAC further pointed out that advancing the people's well being is the core value and common goal in the development of cross-strait relations. Over the past six-plus years of cross-strait negotiations and dialogue, the government has communicated and exchanged with the Mainland side on important human rights issues such as protection of personal safety and humanitarian care. The government has also deepened cross-strait exchanges and cooperation, while at the same time, promoted universal values of democracy, freedom, human rights, and the rule of law across the Strait. At this critical juncture when the Mainland is promoting comprehensive and deep reforms, Taiwan is willing to continuously share its experiences in development with the Mainland, in hope for mutual betterment and realization of a "people-centered" vision across the Strait.

June 4, 2014
President Ma Ying-jeou stated in thoughts upon the 25th anniversary of the June 4th Incident that, looking back on that great historic wound, he sincerely hopes that the Mainland authorities will think hard about the incident and act quickly to restore the good names of those who have been wronged. He also called on them to ensure that such a tragedy will never recur. The president also stated that the best way to lessen the feeling of "otherness" between people on the two sides of the Taiwan Strait is for the Mainland to treat dissidents well. By tolerating differences of opinion, the Mainland authorities would actually be elevating their own stature and strengthening their legitimacy. Moreover, they would be sending a clear signal to Taiwan that the Mainland is serious about political reform. The approval and respect that such an approach would elicit, both internationally and among the people on both sides of the Taiwan Strait, would be far more than anything that's been gained through concessions granted in the economic sphere. It would greatly change the stereotypical image of Mainland authorities that has so long held sway in the minds of the Taiwanese people. It is hoped that democracy and the rule of law will become a "language in common" shared on both sides of the Taiwan Strait, and that freedom and equitable distribution of wealth will become a shared dream.

June 9, 2014
President Ma Ying-jeou stated during a meeting with Jerome A. Cohen, co-director of the U.S.-Asia Law Institute at the New York University School of Law that, this past February, MAC Minister Wang Yu-chi and Director Zhang Zhijun of the Mainland's Taiwan Affairs Office held discussions, the first time since the two sides came under separate rule 65 years ago that the heads of the respective offices responsible for cross-strait affairs held discussions and addressed each other by their official titles. This was an important milestone in the history of cross-strait interaction. The President further stated that the enactment of a Cross-Strait Agreement Supervisory Act and screening of the Cross-Strait Trade in Services Agreement could be carried out simultaneously and would not conflict with each other. President Ma expressed hope that these bills, which are critical to Taiwan's economy and cross-strait relations, will be quickly passed.

June 9, 2014
The MAC stated in a press release that the government's promotion of cross-strait agreements is aimed to further normalize and institutionalize cross-strait exchanges and enhance mutual understanding between the two sides. Therefore, on the basis of the Act Governing Relations between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area, the MAC has drafted a constitutional, pragmatic and feasible Statute for the Processing and Monitoring of Agreements between the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area. The draft statute integrates a "four-stage external communication and consultation mechanism" and "national security review mechanism." It also refers to the bill versions proposed by all sides and the precedent of the Legislative Yuan, as well as corresponds to the positioning of cross-strait relations and the separation of executive and legislative powers principle stipulated in the ROC Constitution. The MAC stated that the Executive Yuan version of the bill was drafted in accordance with public opinion, and it allows congress full advance procedural participation and full post execution supervision powers. It also includes a comprehensive and rigorous impact assessment mechanism, industry response plan and remedial measures, public communication, and a mechanism to monitor review resolutions. It is hoped that the legislative process may be completed as soon as possible.

June 14, 2014
The MAC stated in a press release that the itinerary planning for the Mainland's Taiwan Affairs Office Director Zhang Zhijun's Taiwan visit has been entirely in line with the principle of equality and dignity. The requests proposed by the Mainland side have all been carefully assessed and thoroughly discussed; the Taiwan side will not simply accept all requests without question. The MAC stressed that Zhang Zhijun's upcoming Taiwan visit has important implications for normal official interactions and the benign development of relations across the Taiwan Strait. It will also help Mainland officials in charge of cross-strait affairs to personally experience Taiwan's democracy and pluralistic society, properly understand views in Taiwan on the development of cross-strait relations, and pragmatically and objectively view the cross-strait status quo. The MAC hopes that all sectors may look at normal official exchanges and interaction across the Strait from positive perspectives.

June 16, 2014
President Ma Ying-jeou stated at the 2014 joint graduation ceremony of ROC's five military academies 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 peaceful 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 Taiwan Strait to become a symbol of peace and prosperity. In the face of the latest developments and challenges in the Taiwan Strait, the government, in order to prevent war, defend freedom and democracy, and promote peace, still needs to maintain a strong military force so that it can pursue longer-term peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait free of concerns about national security. President Ma also called on all parties involved to resolve disputes by peaceful means under the principles of "safeguarding sovereignty, shelving disputes, pursuing peace and reciprocity, and promoting joint exploration and development."

June 25, 2014
MAC Minister Wang Yu-chi stated in a speech presented at the Second Meeting between Heads of Cross-Strait Competent Authorities that, since 2008, the two sides have been adhering to the principle of "shelving disputes and jointly creating a win-win outcome," and enabling cross-strait relations to make considerable progress over the past six-plus years. Minister Wang emphasized hopes for the Mainland side to understand Taiwan's democratic constitutional system and political ecology, stressing especially the current trend in Taiwanese society concerning civic awareness and civic movement developments, as well as the expectations the Taiwanese people have placed on expanding foreign trade in hope of seeking a way forward. It is also under this context that the mainstream public opinion in Taiwan identifies with the government's cross-strait policy to steadily promote peaceful and stable development of cross-strait relations. Minister Wang also expressed hope that during this trip Director Zhang could listen to Taiwanese people's voice, understand Taiwanese people's way of life, and respect Taiwanese people's choice.

June 25, 2014
The MAC stated in a press release that, during the second Meeting between Heads of Cross-Strait Competent Authorities, the two sides exchanged views on important issues related to cross-strait relations. Regarding the issue of deciding Taiwan's future, Minister Wang reiterated at the meeting the government's position, which is to maintain the status quo of "no unification, no independence and no use of force" under the ROC Constitution framework. The consensus of the Taiwanese people is that the future of Taiwan future should be determined, in adherence to the ROC Constitution framework, by the 23 million people of Taiwan. It is hoped that the Mainland may respect the people's voice. The MAC appealed to the Mainland to uphold the spirit of shelving disputes and jointly creating a win-win outcome, to demonstrate more sincerity, and to pragmatically and with priority handle issues such as the people's welfare, rights and interests. Only by doing so may there be a new page for cross-strait relations. Minister Wang further noted that since the official launch of the liaison and communication mechanism between the MAC and the Taiwan Affairs Office in February this year, communication has operated smoothly and the mechanism has contributed to increasing understanding, reducing misjudgments, and advancing the institutionalization of official contacts across the Strait. On this basis, the two sides will continue to pragmatically promote following communication and contact. At the meeting, Minister Wang also reiterated Taiwan's hope to accede to the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP), Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (RCEP), and Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP). He said that if Taiwan were to successfully begin negotiations with other countries on economic and trade agreements, it would help increase the Taiwanese people's confidence and support in promoting cross-strait economic and trade liberalization.
With respect to the issue of humanitarian visit functions for the reciprocal institutions of the Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) and the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS), the MAC stated that both sides expressed a positive attitude to actively deliberate and handle specific arrangements such as the implementation plan for humanitarian visits, codes of conduct, guarantees and convenience measures for the reciprocal institutions. The two sides will continue to pragmatically promote follow-up operational discussions and communication and input more dedication to strengthen substantive services of the institutions.
Furthermore, the two sides agreed to study feasible measures and further arrange the start of communication between relevant authorities on the issue of allowing Mainland tourists to transit in Taiwan. They also agreed to continue promotion on cross-strait cultural, education, technology, and news exchanges, as well as to encourage the grassroots public and young students on both sides to strengthen exchanges to enhance awareness and understanding. The MAC also indicated that the "1992 Consensus" represents the spirit and political wisdom of the two sides in "addressing realities and shelving disputes," as well as an attitude of pragmatically resolving problems. This is the crux of institutionalized cross-strait negotiations, interactions and exchanges. In the future, the two sides should continue to promote mutually beneficial cross-strait relations in adherence to this foundation.

July 3, 2014
President Ma Ying-jeou stated during a reception for the traveling press corps accompanying him on his trip to Panama and El Salvador that the government sought to improve cross-strait relations to create space for the ROC to develop its international relationships, and to transform the past vicious cycle between the two sides into a virtuous cycle, so that cross-strait relations would no longer be an impediment to the ROC's external relations. Substantive achievements have been seen in this regard, and the heads of state allies and the international community have applauded this development. This year, the government has been aggressively working to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) and Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (RCEP), and it has examined potential roadblocks and formulated responses, in order to create conditions beneficial to the ROC's admission to the TPP and the RCEP.

July 4, 2014
Deputy Minister Wu Mei-hung of the MAC stated at the 19th Asian Chinese Amity Conference that the government's Mainland policy is to pragmatically position cross-strait relations under the ROC Constitution framework and to steadily promote institutionalized cross-strait negotiations on the basis of the "1992 Consensus with respective interpretations of one China" and adhering to the principle of handing "easy matters before difficult ones, urgent matters before non-urgent ones and economic matters before political ones." To date, the two sides have signed 21 agreements. The government has adopted a "building blocks" approach in its pursuit of long-term peace across the Taiwan Strait. In terms of the economy, security and the order of cross-strait exchanges, the government has safeguarded the interests of the people on both sides and earned the public's affirmation. Deputy Minister Wu further said that in February this year, Minister Wang accepted an invitation from Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO) Director Zhang to visit the Mainland in his capacity as incumbent minister of the MAC. The two sides held the first Meeting between Heads of Cross-Strait Competent Authorities, representing the start of normalized official interactions and contacts across the Strait. In June, TAO Director Zhang visited Taiwan and the two sides held the second Meeting between Heads of Cross-Strait Competent Authorities. It not only had important significance for normal official interactions and benign development across the Strait but also enabled Mainland cross-strait authorities to properly understand views in Taiwan concerning cross-strait relations development and pragmatically and objectively view the cross-strait status quo. Looking to the future, the government will proactively and steadily continue dialogue and communication with the Mainland on the basis of mainstream public opinion, as well as deepen and expand cross-strait exchanges and cooperation to create favorable opportunities for the long-term development of institutionalized cross-strait relations and joint participation in regional economic integration.

July 10, 2014
President Ma Ying-jeou stated during a reception with the presidents, vice presidents and secretaries-general of the five branches of the ROC government that, upon taking office, he began actively seeking to improve cross-strait relations and expand room for the ROC in the international community, and many substantive achievements have been seen. The President further said that, in February this year, MAC Minister Wang Yu-chi met with Taiwan Affairs Office Director Zhang Zhijun in mainland China. In June, Director Zhang reciprocated by visiting Taiwan. Both sides not only referred to each other by their official titles, but also reached a preliminary consensus on the "establishment of representative institutions," "humanitarian visits," "mainland tourist transits in Taiwan" and "Taiwan's participation in Asia-Pacific economic integration." Cross-strait relations are at their most stable situation since the two sides came under separate rule 65 years ago. The President also emphasized that mainland China and Korea are presently negotiating a free trade agreement and expecting it to conclude before the end of the year. As 70% of Taiwan's economic growth is generated by external trade, and many of Korea's and Taiwan's exports compete head to head, the government will move as quickly as possible to sign related economic and trade agreements with major trading partners to reduce risks.

July 10, 2014
The MAC stated in a press release that exchange visits by the heads of cross-strait competent authorities are arranged under the principles of equality and dignity. This institutionalized platform is created to pragmatically handle important cross-strait issues, work for people's welfare, highlight the status quo of separate rules on the two sides, the objective fact of the Republic of China's existence, and voice the pluralistic values of Taiwanese society. The Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO) of the Mainland had consulted the MAC in advance for its assessment and opinion on Zhang Zhijun's itinerary in Taiwan, and the government was fully in control of all arrangements for the trip. Moreover, regarding the opinions raised by businesses and the public in Taiwan during Zhang Zhijun's visit to Taiwan, the MAC has long communicated with the Mainland through the institutionalized cross-strait negotiation platform and agreement review mechanism to seek for solutions. Regarding issues involving the competent authorities, the MAC will coordinate with said authorities to follow up and handle such matters. The MAC stated that, facing the current trends of globalization development, the government began actively taking initiatives this year to promote a Mainland policy prioritizing national survival and development and the people's welfare. In the future, the government will also continue to prioritize interaction and communication in cross-strait economic and trade cooperation and institutionalized negotiations, as well as guide the Mainland towards more stable institutional reforms and development through official interactions and contacts on the two sides.

July 17, 2014
The MAC announced the results of its latest routine public opinion survey. The survey found that nearly 70% (69%) of the public approve regular exchange visits by the MAC minister and director of the Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO). The majority of the people think such visits would be conducive to the handling of cross-strait affairs (63.7%) and they are important to the healthy development of cross-strait relations (60.7%). The MAC stated that, in the future, the government would promote cross-strait official interactions mechanism in an orderly manner under the principles of reciprocity and dignity. The survey also showed that 65.1% of the public support joint studies by the two sides on cross-strait related regional economic integration and believe that the government's ability to smoothly negotiate with other countries on economic and trade cooperation would increase Taiwanese people's confidence in cross-strait economic and trade liberalization (59.8%). The MAC stressed that participation in regional economic integration is a matter pertinent to Taiwan's survival. The government will simultaneously promote participation in regional economic integration and cross-strait economic and trade cooperation. As for public views on the Cross-Strait Agreement Supervisory Act, over 60% of the public hope for the Legislative Yuan to promptly pass the Cross-Strait Agreement Supervisory Act (63%); and agree that the Legislative Yuan should be required to vote on cross-strait agreements within a set timeframe (61.6%). The MAC stated that cross-strait agreements concern the rights and interests of the people, and that the Executive Yuan version of the Cross-Strait Agreement Supervisory Act is "constitutional, pragmatic and feasible." The MAC urged prompt completion of the legislative process so as to be consistent with the public's expectations. The survey also found that 68.1% of the public support the government's adherence to the cross-strait status quo of "no unification, no independence, and no use of force" under the ROC Constitution framework; 52.3% of the public identify with the government's position on the "1992 Consensus of one China with respective interpretations" where one China refers to the Republic of China. This shows that the government's Mainland policy corresponds with mainstream public opinion in Taiwan.

July 18, 2014
President Ma Ying-jeou stated during a meeting with the "20th Homecoming Mission of Leaders of the World Taiwanese Chambers of Commerce" that the 12 member states of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement account for about 35% of Taiwan's total trade and the 16 member states of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement account for about 57% of Taiwan's total trade, showing the importance and urgency for Taiwan's participation in these two regional economic partnerships. The government will actively seek support from both the United States and mainland China.

July 18, 2014
President Ma Ying-jeou stated during a review at the Military Police Command that there has been significant improvement in cross-strait relations in the past six-plus years. The Taiwan Strait has transformed from a "battlefield" into a "peace square" and is now becoming a "prosperous marketplace." The Taiwan Strait has also become a "sea of peace and cooperation." The President further stressed that, considering that mainland China has not changed its military deployment against Taiwan, the ROC Armed Forces must still adhere to the principle of "preventing war but not fearing it; maintaining readiness for war but not seeking it " to realize its mission of defending the homeland.

July 28, 2014
The MAC issued a press release concerning the removal of a page in the program for the 20th Biennial Conference of the European Association of Chinese Studies (EACS) in Portugal introducing the Chiang Ching-Kuo Foundation for International Scholarly Exchange (CCKF). The MAC stated that the event was purely an academic and cultural exchange. The Mainland's unfriendly behavior towards Taiwan has provoked unnecessary controversy and has harmed the feelings of Taiwan's 23 million people. It has been detrimental to the deepening of cross-strait mutual trust. The government urges the Mainland to demonstrate good-will towards Taiwan at international venues and comprehensively adjust its ossified thinking on the issue of Taiwan's pragmatic participation in international activities so that cross-strait ties and foreign relations may truly become a virtuous cycle and create more favorable conditions for the further development of mutually beneficial cross-strait relations.

August 4, 2014
President Ma Ying-jeou stated during a meeting with the ninth plenary board of directors and supervisors of the Chinese National Federation of Industries that mainland China has been Taiwan's largest trading partner since 2003. This year the mainland also replaced Japan as Taiwan's largest importing economy. The strength and rise of the other side of the Strait cannot be ignored. The government will continue to uphold the position of "maximizing opportunities and minimizing risks" and conduct exchanges with mainland China under the principle of "putting Taiwan first for the benefit of the people," to have the full power to make decisions on economic and policy.

August 5, 2014
President Ma Ying-jeou stated during a meeting with participants at the 2014 East China Sea Peace Forum that the government has been actively seeking to improve cross-strait relations, and the Taiwan Strait is in the most peaceful and stable state in 65 years. The cross-strait reconciliation has not only increased exchanges and interaction between the two sides, but also led to greater mutual prosperity. Moreover, as disputes and antagonistic conflicts between the two sides began to decrease and mutual trust began to increase, such mutual trust extended into international affairs and helped the ROC to expand its international relations and space. The President also noted that differences exist between the two sides on the issue of sovereignty. The government has proposed a position of "mutual non-recognition of sovereignty" and "mutual non-denial of authority to govern," which allows the two sides to put aside the current insoluble sovereignty dispute and explore areas in which both sides can work together towards greater prosperity. The president also stated that the East China Sea Peace Initiative, though not a panacea, could mitigate disputes, buy more time to deal with more complex problems, and create a "win-win" or "multiple-win" situation.

August 7, 2014
President Ma Ying-jeou stated during a meeting with a delegation led by U.S. House Armed Services Committee Chairman Howard McKeon that the government has sought to resolve disputes by using peaceful means in its handling of cross-strait relations. The two sides have signed 21 agreements and reached two consensuses. Furthermore, in February and June this year, Minister Wang Yu-chi of Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Council and Director Zhang Zhijun of the Mainland's Taiwan Affairs Office met in Nanjing and Taipei respectively. This proves that substantive progress is being seen in cross-strait relations. The President further remarked that Taiwan's policy with regard to mainland China seeks long-term rather than short-term gain. The ultimate objective is to achieve peace and prosperity. The ROC will continue to play the roles of peacemaker and provider of humanitarian aid, with the hope of enabling the international community to understand that the existence of the ROC is an asset and not a liability to the world.

August 14, 2014
President Ma Ying-jeou stated during a meeting with a delegation of East Asian security experts from the U.S. Center for Strategic and International Studies that in a bid to ensure long-term peace and prosperity in the Taiwan Strait, the government has striven to improve relations with Mainland China. The two sides have signed 21 agreements and reached two consensuses. Furthermore, Minister Wang Yu-chi of Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Council and Director Zhang Zhijun of the Mainland's Taiwan Affairs Office made reciprocal visits in February and June of this year, addressing each other by their formal titles. This remarked the first time in 65 years since the two sides came under separate rule that visits of this type were held, marking an important breakthrough.
The president also noted that the Mainland has long been Taiwan's largest trading partner. The government has worked to expand Taiwan's trade dealings with other regions over the past six years to disperse cross-strait trade risk and help control the reliance of Taiwan on trade with mainland China. This shows that the government has adopted a pragmatic trade policy that has been effective. The President further stated that mainland China is the world's factory and also the world's market. It is neither necessary nor possible for Taiwan to abandon or greatly reduce its trade with mainland China. The most important thing is for Taiwan to diversify its markets. Taiwan's major trading competitors in the region continue to develop mainland Chinese market, and if Taiwan does not sign trade agreements with mainland China, it would not benefit Taiwan. The president also stated that efforts by the government have turned around contentious relations between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait and international relations, from a "vicious cycle" to a "virtuous cycle." The government will continue to create an environment that features "peace in the Taiwan Strait and friendship within the international community."

August 28, 2014
The MAC stated in a press release that in order to protect the nationals' personal safety and rights when traveling to the Mainland Area, Hong Kong and Macau, the MAC formulated the "Handling Principles for Issuing Travel Alerts for Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau," which have been approved by the Executive Yuan. From September 1, the MAC will be in charge of issuing travel alerts for the Mainland Area, Hong Kong and Macau. The MAC stated that if incidents affecting travel safety (such as epidemics or natural disasters) occur in the Mainland Area, Hong Kong or Macau, it will use various resources to conduct a comprehensive study and assessment of known information as a basis for issuing travel warning information and warning lights. The warning light categories and meaning will be consistent with the current four-level warning system used by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), including gray (caution recommended), yellow (be aware of travel safety and reconsider visit plans), orange (avoid non-essential travel), and red (travel inadvisable). At the same time, in reference to the MOFA's current modus operandi, the travel alerts, scope and relevant information announced through this mechanism will be provided to the public as a reference. They will not be mandatory or binding, nor can they be directly used by the public as reference to terminate contracts or seek refunds from service providers. However, in the case of a related dispute, the public still could seek assistance from the Tourism Bureau of the Ministry of Transportation and Communications or the Civil Aeronautics Administration to meditate with service providers.

September 9, 2014
President Ma Ying-jeou stated in his remark at the 2014 Mid-Autumn Festival banquet for the representatives of Taiwanese-invested firms based in mainland China that, while mainland China is a member of neither the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) nor the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), it has been Taiwan's largest trading partner since 2003. In addition, starting this year it became Taiwan's largest source of imports. Globalization is the route Taiwan must take in the future. Taiwan cannot exclude mainland China in the process of globalization, particularly since the Mainland could become the world's largest economy in the next 10 to 20 years. Taiwan must pragmatically face this challenge in order to find space to survive among the United States, Japan, mainland China and other powerful international political entities.

September 26, 2014
The MAC stated in a press release that the ROC is a sovereign and independent country and that adherence to a free and democratic system is the core value of Taiwan. Related public opinion surveys show that over 70% of the Taiwanese people believe the "one country, two systems" formula to be inapplicable to Taiwan and cannot serve as a solution to cross-strait relations, demonstrating the fact that the mainstream public opinion in Taiwan does not identify with the "one country, two systems" formula. The ROC government cannot accept the Mainland's statements concerning "one country, two systems." The MAC stressed that the government insists on the greatest common denominator in Taiwan society, which is to maintain the cross-strait status quo of "no unification, no independence, and no use of force" under the ROC Constitution framework. In the future, the government will continue to follow the mainstream public opinion in steadily promoting cross-strait negotiations and exchanges so as to advance cross-strait mutual trust and understanding and to set a foundation for the future resolution of complex problems. Over the past six-plus years, the government has been committed to promoting peaceful and stable development of cross-strait relations on the basis of the "1992 Consensus of one China with respective interpretations." This policy direction will not change in the future.

September 27, 2014
President Ma Ying-jeou stated during an interview by Qatar-based Al Jazeera English that the Republic of China is a sovereign state that is different from Hong Kong. Taiwan can not accept the Mainland's "one country, two systems" formula, though it can accept "one China with respective interpretations," since this is the consensus Taiwan reached with the Mainland on this issue in 1992. The president also stated that APEC is a very appropriate occasion for the leaders of the two sides to meet, though the Mainland believes it is inappropriate. Taiwan will continue to create conditions, but will not demand for its happening. The president further stated that Taiwan is a small and open economy that 70% of its economic growth depend on foreign trade. Mainland China, on the other hand, has become the world's second largest economy, and in 2003, it also became Taiwan's largest trading partner. This is an objective economic reality. Therefore, in the process of the development, the government will seek to minimize risks and maximize opportunities and cautiously engage in economic and trade activities with mainland China.

September 29, 2014
President Ma Ying-jeou attended the opening ceremonies of the 20th congress of the World Taiwanese Chambers of Commerce (WTCC) and the third joint conference of directors and supervisors. In his opening remarks, he urged the authorities in mainland China to heed the voice of the Hong Kong people and to adopt a peaceful and cautious attitude in handling the situation. Outside observers have expressed the hope that Hong Kong can gradually move toward democracy. Taiwan is confident that if universal suffrage can be achieved in the future, it will be a win-win situation for both Hong Kong and mainland China.

September 30, 2014
The MAC issued a statement in regard to recent actions by the people of Hong Kong seeking democratic universal suffrage. The government's long-standing policy has always been to support freedom, democracy, prosperity and stability in Hong Kong. The people of Hong Kong have long held high expectations to carry out democratic universal suffrage and regards it as an indicator of the Mainland's intention to honor its "one country, two systems" pledge. It is hoped that the Mainland and Hong Kong authorities may listen to the people's voices to allow smooth democratic progression in Hong Kong. This would not only ensure Hong Kong's long-term stability, but would also hold strong significance for long-term cross-strait development and be a key milestone on the whole ethnic Chinese society's path towards democracy and rule of law.

October 7, 2014
President Ma Ying-jeou stated during a meeting with a delegation from the US Hudson Institute that the ROC government has striven to improve cross-strait relations. These efforts have led to clear changes in ties between the two sides, which have been under separate rule for 65 years. The Taiwan Strait has turned from a potential "flash point" into an "avenue of peace." The institutionalization of cross-strait rapprochement has helped to reduce the threat of military conflict because any unilateral change to the status quo would now have an enormous impact on cross-strait relations. The president noted that there was once a vicious cycle between cross-strait ties, on the one hand, and Taiwan's relations with the international community, on the other, but the government has been working to transform it into a virtuous cycle. Over the past six years, Taiwan has been invited to attend the World Health Assembly and the Assembly of the International Civil Aviation Organization, and the frequency of its participation in a wide range of international activities has increased. This represents a concrete example of how the government is successfully improving cross-strait relations and international relations at the same time. The President further stated that Taiwan is a part of East Asia area and inevitably must have close investment and trade relations with the Mainland. Taiwan must respond cautiously and not become overly-reliant on the Mainland. At the same time, Taiwan can not ignore the importance of the Mainland market.

October 9, 2014
MAC Minister Wang Yu-chi stated at a 2014 National Day welcome banquet for Hong Kong and Macau residents that, at the meeting between the heads of cross-strait competent authorities held in the first half of this year, the two sides reached a consensus on establishing normal communication and liaison mechanisms between their respective cross-strait competent authorities. This has major symbolic meaning for the further institutionalization of cross-strait relations and marks an important milestone in the development of cross-strait relations. Minister Wang further remarked on the goodwill shown by the two sides and the joint efforts to promote reconciliation in cross-strait relations. Both sides sought consensus in a process of mutual respect and understanding. Building further on this mutual trust is conducive to peaceful development in the East Asia region and also conforms to meet the common expectation of the international community.

October 10, 2014
President Ma Ying-jeou stated in his 2014 National Day Address that, over the past six years, Taiwan and the Chinese mainland have moved from confrontation to rapprochement and from antagonism to consultations. The ROC's constitutional democracy has played a role in this process. Whether in maintaining the status quo of no unification, no independence, and no use of force under the ROC constitutional framework, or in upholding the 1992 Consensus of "one China, respective interpretations," the government's policies have been formulated in accordance with the Constitution. In particular, the 1992 Consensus has been a key foundation for the past six years of peaceful cross-strait ties. Taiwan has stood firm and consistent on this stance. The 21 agreements Taiwan has signed with mainland China have been submitted to the Legislative Yuan, either to be placed on the public record or to undergo review. This means they are subject to legislative supervision. The government will continue to conduct cross-strait policy in line with this democratic mechanism. The two historic meetings between MAC Minister Wang Yu-chi and his mainland counterpart, Minister Zhang Zhijun of the Taiwan Affairs Office, further reflect the significant progress that has made in cross-strait relations and underscore the government's determination to safeguard peace and prosperity. President Ma urged those on the other side of the Taiwan Strait to take note that now is the most appropriate time for mainland China to move toward constitutional democracy. He also stated that if the Mainland makes good on a pledge made 17 years ago, when they said that for 50 years they would allow "rule of Hong Kong by the people of Hong Kong," "a high degree of autonomy," and "election of the chief executive through universal suffrage," it would be a sure-fire way to convert crisis into opportunity. It would definitely be a win-win scenario for both the Mainland and Hong Kong and would be strongly welcomed by the people of Taiwan. Such a course of action would also be a huge boost for the development of cross-strait relations. The President further stated that the people on the two sides of the Taiwan Strait share a common ancestry, culture, and history, and Taiwan would of course be happy to work hand-in-hand with people in the Mainland, Hong Kong, and Macau, share their experiences, and jointly seek out the best way forward to political and economic reform in the Mainland.

October 22, 2014
President Ma Ying-jeou stated during the Assembly Commemorating the 65th Anniversary of the Battle of Guningtou that the government has consistently maintained the cross-strait status quo of "no unification, no independence, and no use of force" under the framework of the ROC Constitution and promoted 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. Over the past six-plus years, the SEF and the ARATS have held 10 meetings, signed 21 agreements and reached two consensuses, effectively deepening the mutual beneficial and cooperative relationship across the Taiwan Strait and further consolidating the future of cross-strait peace. The Taiwan Strait is at its most peaceful and prosperous state in 65 years. This situation is welcomed by the people of both sides and widely affirmed by the international community. In the future, the government will steadily and pragmatically promote cross-strait exchanges in keeping with the principles of "putting Taiwan first for the benefit of the people" and "parity, dignity, and reciprocity." The President also stressed that, although cross-strait relations have steadily improved, mainland China has not yet changed its military deployment against Taiwan. Therefore, the armed forces must continue to uphold the principle of "preventing war but not fearing it; preparing for war but not asking for it" in fulfilling their duty of homeland defense.

October 24, 2014
President Ma Ying-jeou stated at the Building A Competitive Taiwan Forum and breakfast meeting that, with respect to the future direction of cross-strait policy, the government has two policy objectives. First, the government will continue negotiations with the Mainland on the Cross-Strait Trade in Goods Agreement and hopes that the Legislative Yuan will promptly pass the Cross-Strait Trade in Services Agreement and Cross-Strait Agreement Supervisory Act. The government will engage in appropriate communication with the public on these issues, with the hope of having rational discussions. Second, the government hopes that Taiwan and mainland China can soon sign an agreement on the establishment of representative offices. that the purpose of such agreements is to provide services—there are no political implications or quasi-diplomatic arrangements. After all, "the cross-strait relationship is not an international relationship, but rather a type of special relationship."

October 27, 2014
President Ma Ying-jeou stated during a meeting with a delegation from the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) that the government has been promoting the institutionalization of cross-strait rapprochement and working to improve cross-strait relations. So far the two sides have signed 21 agreements and reached two consensuses, which has eliminated confrontation and reduced tension between the two sides. In February and June of this year, MAC Minister Wang Yu-chi and Minister Zhang Zhijun of mainland China's Taiwan Affairs Office engaged in reciprocal visits and addressed each other by their formal titles, the first time this had occurred in the 65 years since the two sides came under separate rule. Looking ahead, the government hopes the two sides will establish representative offices to further pursue the goal of peace and prosperity.

October 29, 2014
President Ma Ying-jeou stated at the opening ceremony of the 12th Global Views Monthly Global Views Business Forum that cross-strait economic and trade relations are indispensable to Taiwan's global layout in the process of globalization. The government therefore can not exclude mainland China. Peaceful development on the existing foundation is the only way for the two sides to jointly create a win-win outcome. The President also stated that the government will continue efforts to complete legislation of the Cross-Strait Agreement Supervisory Act so that the Cross-Strait Trade in Services Agreement can promptly take effect. The government will also complete negotiations on the Cross-Strait Trade in Goods Agreement to tangibly demonstrate Taiwan's sincerity and determination to open trade so that the international community can have faith that the ROC is a trustworthy trading partner.

October 30, 2014
President Ma Ying-jeou stated during a meeting with participants of the 12th Global Views Business Forum that Taiwan and mainland China have been divided by the Taiwan Strait and separately governed for 65 years. From the past situation of "no contact, no negotiations, and no compromise," the two sides have steadily expanded exchange and interaction. After a long hiatus, cross-strait negotiations have been resumed on the basis of the "1992 Consensus." So far the two sides have signed 21 agreements and achieved concrete results in numerous areas, demonstrating the correctness of the ROC government's policy direction of seeking peaceful cross-strait relations and advancing the happiness of the people. The President stated that promoting cross-strait exchanges and enhancing mutual understanding would help cross-strait relations develop in a positive direction. Citing the example of the policy on allowing Mainland students to study in Taiwan, the President noted that the ROC government takes a long-term view of the future and hopes that young people on both sides of the Strait can form friendships and develop mutual understanding early in life. Education is the best route to achieve this. Furthermore, Mainland students are expected to be included in Taiwan's health insurance program with premium rates comparable to those for foreign students, consistent with the principles of humanitarianism and fairness.

October 31, 2014
President Ma Ying-jeou stated in an interview by the New York Times that APEC is the most appropriate place for the leaders of the two sides of the Taiwan Strait to meet, as APEC has already settled questions of venue, title, and capacity. This is also highly supported by the public in Taiwan.
On the issue of democracy in Hong Kong, the President expressed the belief, that if mainland China can practice democracy in Hong Kong or if mainland China itself can become more democratic, it would shorten the psychological distance between people from the two sides of the Taiwan Strait. This would be a great step toward creating closer cross-strait ties over the long term. The President also noted that Taiwan could not possibly accept the "one country, two systems" model proposed by the Mainland. Taiwan supports "1992 Consensus of one China, with respective interpretations." The "1992 Consensus"remains a key foundation undergirding cross-strait relations. On the matter of participating in regional economic integration, the President stated that member countries of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (RCEP) account for 70% of Taiwan's foreign trade, so participation in these agreements is very important for Taiwan. He also stated that after the ROC government and the Mainland signed the Cross-Strait Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA), Taiwan has signed an investment agreement with Japan, an economic cooperation agreement with New Zealand and an economic partnership agreement with Singapore. Taiwan hopes to sign similar agreements with our main trading partners in Asia and Europe by simultaneously contacting many countries and negotiating accords with them one by one.

November 3, 2014
President Ma Ying-jeou expressed hope during a discussion on cross-strait relations with members of the delegation attending the 2014 22nd Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders' Meeting that former Vice President Vincent Siew could, during his meeting with the Mainland leader, make the Mainland authorities understand that Taiwan continues to pursue peace between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait based on the "1992 Consensus," whereby each side acknowledges the existence of "one China" but maintains its own interpretation of what that means. Taiwan has not changed its stance on this. At the same time, Taiwan hopes to continue strengthening opportunities for cross-strait cooperation.

November 4, 2014
President Ma Ying-jeou stated during a meeting with a delegation of the media from Europe and US stationed in Asia, that the government has been promoting the improvement in cross-strait relations and has signed 21 agreements. This accords with the interests of people on both sides. The President also said that Taiwan cannot accept the "one country, two systems" formula proposed by the Mainland. He further stressed that the underlying principle in promoting cross-strait relations is "no unification, no independence and no use of force." This is essential to achieving a stable and lasting framework for peaceful development. The ROC is a democratic sovereign state. All major policies are determined through democratic processes. This also applies to the future of cross-strait relations. The people will make related decisions in accordance with the Constitution. This principle will not change. Any major issues concerning cross-strait relations in the future will also be handled according to this principle.

November 9, 2014
The MAC stated in a press release that Vincent Siew attended the 2014 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) as the special representative of President Ma Ying-jeou and met with Mainland leader Xi Jinping. During their conversation, the two sides jointly reaffirmed the "1992 Consensus" as the crucial key to peaceful development of cross-strait relations and that both sides would continue to consolidate this foundation to secure more results favorable to the well-being of the people across the Strait. During the meeting, Mr. Siew proposed that the two sides should adhere to the "Three No Changes" in future promotion of cross-strait relations. These include no change in adhering to the objective of jointly safeguarding peaceful developments, no change in adhering to jointly consolidating the "1992 consensus" as an important foundation for cross-strait interactions and negotiations, and no change in jointly promoting institutionalized economic cooperation and enhancing the welfare of the people across the Strait. Mr. Siew also stressed that the two sides should establish a new mechanism for joint participation in regional integration and a new model for cross-strait economic cooperation, actively promote the completion of ECFA follow-up negotiations, and form a new cross-strait exchanges platform so the public may jointly participate in and share the fruits of cooperation.

November 12, 2014
The MAC issued a press release stating that MAC Minister Wang Yu-chi met with Director Zhang Zhijun of the Mainland's Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO) in Beijing. He presented a speech stating that cross-strait relations have significantly improved and progressed forward over the past six years, and the most crucial key for that has been the "1992 consensus." In the future, the two sides will continue to seek progress amidst stability on the basis of this greatest common denominator across the Strait, "the 1992 Consensus," and continue to promote peaceful and stable development of cross-strait relations. On to the matter of institutionalized cross-strait negotiations, both sides agreed to proactively promote operational talks for following negotiation issues, such as that for the Trade in Goods Agreement, and to concretely respond to respective concerns from each side of the strait. On the matter of reciprocal establishment of SEF-ARATS institutions, the two sides will pragmatically handle issues of mutual concern and push for early completion of negotiations in order to meet public expectations for high-quality service institutions. Furthermore, on the issue of Mainland tourist transits in Taiwan, the two sides will authorize the SEF and the ARATS to begin discussions and further communicate on facilitation measures for people's exchanges across the Strait. On the matters of cross-strait economic cooperation and joint participation in regional economic integration, the MAC and TAO will promptly begin substantive discussions based on the current preparatory work conducted for joint research. During the meeting, Minister Wang also stated that the two sides should strengthen notification and examination of information related to recent food safety incidents, adopt appropriate management measures so that cross-strait food safety and normal trade operations may both be ensured, and continue to promote cross-strait cultural, educational, technology and youth exchanges.

November 12, 2014
The MAC stated in a press release that Mainland Affairs Council Minister Wang Yu-chi visited the Institute of Taiwan Studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences for a symposium with Beijing scholars, during which he stated that future cross-strait interactions should seek progress amidst stability and seize opportunities. The two sides should continue to uphold the spirit of "shelving disputes and jointly creating a win-win outcome," seek consensus with sincerity and goodwill, and actively advance communication on issues such as trade in goods and reciprocal establishment of SEF–ARATS institutions to improve the well-being of the people on both sides. Furthermore, the two sides should also continue dedicating efforts to consolidate the pattern of peaceful and stable cross-strait developments while keeping in mind the mainstream public's opinions. Minister Wang stressed that, due to 65 years of separate governance across the Taiwan Strait, systemic and lifestyle differences exist between the two sides, therefore, through deeper exchanges in areas such as the rule of law, culture, and education, the two sides may continue to enhance mutual understanding and learn from each other in order to bridge the psychological and values divide, and further lay a solid foundation for long-term peace across the Strait. Minister Wang also said that cross-strait economic cooperation and joint cross-strait participation in regional economic integration should go hand in hand. If the Mainland might demonstrate a positive attitude, it could deepen public support in Taiwan for cross-strait economic cooperation.

November 14, 2014
President Ma Ying-jeou stated during a meeting with the ROC delegation that attended the 22nd APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting that, during his bilateral discussions with Mainland Chinese leader Xi Jinping, Leader's Representative Vincent Siew highlighted that the "1992 Consensus," whereby each side acknowledges the existence of "one China" but maintains its own interpretation of what that means, is the main basis for cross-strait peace. Both sides are willing to use this as the basis for the conduct of cross-strait relations. The president mentioned that during the APEC meetings mainland China and Korea announced the completion of substantive negotiations on a free trade agreement. He expressed hope that the legislative review of the Cross-Strait Agreement Supervisory Act and the Cross-Strait Trade in Services Agreement may be completed as soon as possible and that related preparatory work may be carried out so as to clearly demonstrate Taiwan's sincerity and determination to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership to facilitate progress in globalization.

November 14, 2014
President Ma Ying-jeou stated in an interview by Nihon Keizai Shimbun that former Vice President Vincent Siew attended the APEC meeting this year as the ROC leader's representative and met with the Mainland leader Xi Jinping. During their conversation, both sides reiterated that the "1992 Consensus" is the basis for the development of peace between the two sides. On this foundation, the two sides will continue to seek progress amidst stability in their relations. MAC Minister Wang Yu-chi and TAO Director Zhang Zhijun also held talks. The two sides agreed to continue to move forward on the Cross-Strait Trade in Goods Agreement, mutual establishment of institutions by the SEF and the ARATS, Mainland tourist transits and other issues. This is a positive development for cross-strait relations. The President further noted that the 21 agreements signed with mainland China have laid a foundation for the development of peace between the two sides. This is a peace agreement defined in a broader sense. Both sides will continue to seek progress amidst stability in the general direction of "peaceful development and jointly creating a win-win outcome."

November 21, 2014
President Ma Ying-jeou stated during a meeting with a delegation led by Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for the US Department of State's Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs Kurt Tong that Taiwan and mainland China have been building relations on the foundation of the "1992 Consensus," whereby each side acknowledges the existence of "one China" but maintains its own interpretation of what that means. This has led to significant positive changes in the cross-strait relationship. The two sides have signed 21 agreements, reached consensus on two issues, and established an institutionalized negotiation mechanism. The heads of the agencies on each side responsible for cross-strait affairs have already met three times this year, and the two sides have expressed willingness to handle related issues with a pragmatic attitude. This shows that cross-strait relations will continue to develop in the direction of peace and stability.

December 1, 2014
President Ma Ying-jeou stated during a meeting with a delegation joined by American Legion National Commander Michael D. Helm, his wife and American Legion Auxiliary National President Janet Jefford that the government has sought to maintain a peaceful relationship with Mainland China. To date, the two sides have signed 21 agreements covering a wide range of issues, including economic and trade ties, culture, crime-combatting, and nuclear energy safety. Even though the two sides have not signed any form of a peace agreement, the 21 agreements signed constitute a peace agreement in substance. Ties are at their most stable and peaceful.

December 11, 2014
The MAC announced the results of its latest poll of the "People's Views on Cross-Strait Issues." The results showed that the majority of the people agreed that the reiteration of promoting cross-strait relations on the "1992 Consensus" basis by the two sides during both the "Siew-Xi Meeting" and "Wang-Zhang Meeting" at the Beijing Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting in November this year was conducive to peaceful and stable development across the Taiwan Strait (67.4%), identifies with the government's position on the "1992 Consensus" (53.4%), and that cross-strait relation have eased since the meeting (53%). The MAC stressed that the "1992 Consensus" of "one China with respective interpretations," under which "one China" refers to the Republic of China, has been the key to substantial improvement and progress in cross-strait relations over the past six years. In the future, the government will continue to seek progress amidst stability based on the 1992 Consensus, which is the greatest common denominator between the two sides, and continue to advance peaceful and stable development of cross-strait relations. Furthermore, regarding the "Wang-Zhang Meeting" held after the 2014 APEC meeting, nearly 70% of the public believe the pragmatic exchange of views on cross-strait issues between the two sides to be conducive to handling cross-strait affairs. As for the many results achieved during the "Wang-Zhang Meeting," the poll showed that a majority of the public support active promotion of the establishment of SEF-ARATS reciprocal institutions so as to provide high-quality services to the people on both sides (76.7%); believe the cross-strait agreement to actively promote the Trade in Goods Agreement will contribute to economic cooperation between the two sides(68.7%); support the start of preparatory work for joint research in regional economic integration participation (59.3%); and support the authorization to the SEF and the ARATS to conduct talks on Mainland tourist transits in Taiwan (59.8%). The MAC stated that the government has started follow-up promotion work for agreements achieved at the "Wang-Zhang Meeting," such as that for future negotiations, Mainland tourist transits in Taiwan, and joint research on regional economic integration, strengthening the MAC-TAO liaison and communication platform, and facilitating the efficiency of handling cross-strait affairs.

December 21, 2014
The MAC stated in a press release that the objective of the government's Mainland policy has been to establish sustainable peace and prosperity across the Strait in order to safeguard national security, promote economic prosperity and protect the people's well-being. The government's policy direction is sound and pragmatic, it has created peace dividends and resulted in spillover effects in cross-strait and international relations, and has earned the support and affirmation of domestic public opinion and the international community. The MAC stated that the government has always adhered to the principle of openness and transparency when explaining cross-strait achievements to the public, will enhance communication work to win public support, and thus consolidate a firm foundation of public opinion for future cross-strait relations.

December 25, 2014
The MAC issued a press release announcing the results of the latest routine public opinion survey. The results showed that the great majority of the public agree that "peaceful and stable cross-strait relations are conducive to Taiwan's overall interests and future development" (70%) and 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 (65.3%). The MAC indicated that 80% of the people surveyed this time agree that the two sides should continue to carry out private exchanges in various fields (80.9%), approve the government's continued promotion of normalization of official cross-strait interaction (77.1%), and support the continued handling of cross-strait exchange issues through institutionalized negotiations (74.8%). Furthermore, nearly 70% (67.6%) of the public showed support for the Legislative Yuan to promptly complete the Cross-Strait Agreement Supervisory Act's legislation.
The MAC stated that the government's Mainland policy is still supported and affirmed by the mainstream public. In the future, the government will adhere to the public opinion basis and insist on the set policy position in continuous promotion of cross-strait exchange, interaction, and negotiations on issues beneficial to the country, the well-being of the people, and to the ongoing peaceful and stable development of cross-strait relations.