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Mainland Affairs Council

I. Mainland Policy and Work

2011

January 1, 2011
At a memorial ceremony for the centenary of the Republic of China, President Ma Ying-jeou delivers a New Year's Day Message entitled "Building Up Taiwan and Invigorating Chinese Heritage." He states that peace in the Taiwan Strait is the foundation for peace and prosperity throughout East Asia as well as the joint responsibility of both sides. The people on both sides of the Taiwan Strait share a common desire to shelve disputes and strive for long-term peaceful development of cross-strait ties. The authorities on both sides should put an end to conflicts via rapprochement and replace confrontation with cooperation. At this stage, any advocacy of a unilateral change to the status quo would affect the peaceful development of cross-strait relations. The two sides of the Strait should not quarrel over political power, independence versus reunification, or Taiwan's breathing room on the international stage. They should instead focus on encouraging and helping each other grow in terms of the core values of freedom, democracy, human rights, and rule of law. Taiwan cares about how human rights develop in mainland China because it is a core value that our country holds dear. It is also a key yardstick against which to measure the distance between the two sides, and a tool for bringing the two sides closer together.

January 4, 2011
The Ministry of Education announces the Regulations Regarding the People of the Mainland Area to Study in Taiwanese Institutions of Higher Education. It also states that the first group of Mainland students will arrive in Taiwan this September.

January 4, 2011
The Executive Yuan officially approves the revised Regulations on Recognition of Academic Credentials from the Mainland Area. The regulations will serve as a basis for the Ministry of Education in recognizing Mainland academic credentials and related affairs.

January 6, 2011
When receiving a delegation of Canadian parliamentarians, President Ma Ying-jeou states that as many as 1.4 million mainland Chinese tourists and businessmen visited Taiwan last year, while over 5 million Taiwanese traveled to mainland China, indicating the closeness of cross-strait interactions. In addition to the steady rise in the number of Mainland tourists visiting Taiwan, the government plans to allow mainland Chinese students to study in Taiwan, which hopefully will lay the foundation for long-lasting peace between the two sides.

January 6, 2011
MAC Deputy Minister Johnnason Liu and Vice Minister of Economic Affairs Francis Kuo-Hsin Liang jointly announce at a press conference the formal establishment of the Cross-Strait Economic Cooperation Committee (CSECC).

January 7, 2011
The MAC issues a press release indicating that, according to its latest public opinion survey, public support for institutionalized cross-strait negotiations remains high,72 percent of the public support the handling of cross-strait exchange issues through institutionalized negotiations, while nearly 62 percent of the public believe that the Cross-Strait Agreement on Medical and Health Cooperation signed at the Sixth Chiang-Chen Talks is conducive to promoting the development of the medical and biotech industries on both sides. Moreover, 75 percent of the public support the government's continuing negotiations with the other side on cross-strait investment protections that are to safeguard the investment rights and personal safety of Taiwanese investors in the Mainland.

January 11, 2011
During a press conference at the Office of the President, Spokesperson Luo Chih-chiang states that the "1992 Consensus" is under the framework of the ROC Constitution and rooted in the principle of no unification, no independence, and no use of force. Taiwan's position remains that the "1992 Consensus" is "one China with respective interpretations."

January 13, 2011
MAC Deputy Minister Johnnason Liu states that the government cannot engage in placement marketing, and of course it also prohibits mainland China from carrying out placement marketing in Taiwan.

January 14, 2011
The MAC issues a press release stating that the "1992 Consensus" is the foundation on which institutionalized cross-strait negotiations could be established and operated with stability. It has enabled major improvements in the development of cross-strait relations and is unanimously affirmed and supported in Taiwan and abroad. The MAC indicates that the operational mechanism and accumulated fruitful results achieved through institutionalized cross-strait negotiations lay an even more solid foundation for the development of cross-strait relations. The two sides should particularly cherish and jointly uphold these hard-won results.

January 14, 2011
During a "Mini Three Links" inspection visit to Matsu, MAC Minister Lai Shin-yuan states that the highest guiding principle of the government in promoting cross-strait relations is to adhere to the principle of "putting Taiwan first for the benefit of the people." The government takes a steady and measured approach, and, with good risk management as precondition, gradually proposes policy thinking and specific positions to ease cross-strait tension, promote mutual normalization, and institutionalize development to practically advance the public's well-being. The government's approach of "promoting and keeping watch" has won broad popular support. Furthermore, the MAC will coordinate with plans of the Ministry of Transportation and Communications to contribute to the early implementation of the policy that allows independent travel by Mainland tourists to Kinmen, Matsu, and Penghu, promote a cross-strait policy more in line with public opinion, and enable the benefits of institutionalized "Mini Three Links" to be shared by all the people.

January 18, 2011
During an interview, Premier Wu Den-yih states that intensive discussions are now underway on allowing Mainland tourists to travel independently to Taiwan. Taiwan needs to increase the identification facilities, so its national security will not be affected. He also emphasizes that rules will be appropriately relaxed as long as they are unrelated to sensitive, national defense or information and communications security matters, in the hopes of broadening areas open to Mainland investment.

January 18, 2011
During a Lunar New Year press conference, MAC Minister Lai Shin-yuan states that in facing mainland China, the government adheres to the policy guideline of "putting Taiwan first for the benefit of the people." As it promotes the signing of agreements and works for the benefits of the people, the government also firmly upholds Taiwan's identity. Moreover, in promoting new negotiations issues, it is also dedicated to establishing a mechanism to review the agreement results and realize the fruits of institutionalized cross-strait negotiations.

January 20, 2011
Regarding the meeting and the joint statement issued by U.S. President Obama and mainland Chinese President Hu Jintao, the MAC indicates that the government appreciates President Obama's words reaffirming the Taiwan Relations Act and supporting the development of cross-strait relations. The government believes that this represents an upgrading of the U.S. pledge and shared values for Taiwan's security, conveying great significance. Taiwan insists on maintaining self-defense capability and will continue to promote the sound development of cross-strait relations under the premise that its security is not threatened. Taiwan welcomes the United States' continuation of this policy position and its sustained provision of the security guarantee needed by Taiwan.

January 22, 2011
At the 2011 World Freedom Day Celebration and the annual General Conference of the World League for Freedom and Democracy(WLFD) and the Asian Pacific League for Freedom and Democracy(APLFD), President Ma Ying-jeou remarks that, over the past more than two years and under the thinking of "ending conflict by means of reconciliation, and replacing confrontation with negotiation", the two sides of the Taiwan Strait have entered into a new era of peaceful development, contributing greatly to regional security and stability. Both during the talks and in their joint statement, the leaders of the United States and mainland China have expressed support for cross-strait interactions and contacts. Taiwan hopes to continue to interact and maintain dialogues with the Mainland, using its wisdom to settle disputes and ensure peace in East Asia.

January 25, 2011
During a meeting with American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) Chairman Raymond F. Burghardt, President Ma Ying-jeou remarks that the increased cross-strait interactions in the economic sphere and other areas brought on by the signing of the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) are in the interests of both the region and the United States. With regard to the increasing cross-strait military imbalance, President Ma expresses his hope that the United States will approve as soon as possible the sale of F-16 C/D series fighter jets and diesel-electric submarines to Taiwan. He stresses that the military imbalance in the Taiwan Strait is not a positive factor for either cross-strait relations or regional security. Taiwan is not looking to expand its arsenal, but rather to replace aging equipments, and the new arms will definitely be used for defensive purposes.

January 25, 2011
When presiding at the 2011 Lunar New Year Party of the Ministry of National Defense, President Ma Ying-jeou states that, since coming into office, he has dedicated efforts to improving cross-strait relations and promoting peace in the Taiwan Strait to institutionalize cross-strait economic and trade relations, while also ensuring stability in the East Asia area. He also stresses the hopes that war will never again break out among the Chinese people, and that through deeper exchanges and with guidance by the wisdom of Chinese culture, the two sides can identify specific thinking to resolve disputes.

January 28, 2011
When attending a tea party for the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the MAC, President Ma Ying-jeou states that both sides of the Taiwan Strait acknowledge that there is only one China, but with different definitions. After his election as president in 2008, President Ma proposed to the other side the thinking of facing up to practical realities and jointly creating a win-win outcome. At the same time, mainland China was also prepared to re-acknowledge the "1992 Consensus." Therefore on June 11 that year, the two sides held the First Chiang-Chen Talks, resuming cross-strait negotiations after a 10-year break and ushering cross-strait relations into a new era. He also emphasizes that, within the framework of the ROC Constitution, the government maintains the cross-strait status quo of "no unification, no independence, and no use of force." Moreover, under the "1992 Consensus of one China with respective interpretations," the government upholds the principles of "putting Taiwan first for the benefit of the people" and "reciprocity, mutual benefit, and dignity" in developing exchanges and interactions with mainland China.

January 28, 2011
While attending a tea party for the 20th anniversary of the MAC’s establishment, Premier Wu Den-yih states that over the past two years, the MAC has thoroughly implemented the basic guiding principles on cross-strait policies announced by President Ma since his coming into office, including the two major foundations of "putting Taiwan first for the benefit of the people" and "no unification, no independence, and no use of force." These two solid foundations have enabled cross-strait policies to make steady progress for long-lasting achievements and shifted cross-strait relations from conflict and opposition to peace, stability, and development. The 15 agreements signed between the SEF and the ARATS through institutional negotiations, from the Cross-Strait Agreement on Joint Crime-Fighting and Judicial Mutual Assistance to the Cross-Strait Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) which has a broad and major impact on the future of Taiwan's economy, and to the opening of direct cross-strait transportation links and visits to Taiwan by Mainland tourists. All these agreements have had brought enormous win-win benefits for both sides.

February 8, 2011
While attending the 2011 Lunar New Year gathering and tea party for Taiwanese businessmen in the Mainland, President Ma Ying-jeou states that, over the past two-plus years, the two sides have signed 15 agreements covering a comprehensive range of areas. These agreements have further institutionalized cross-strait relations and prevented Taiwan from being marginalized in Asia-Pacific economic integration, thereby greatly enhancing the level of Taiwan's internationalization. In the future, Taiwan and mainland China will promptly sign related agreements on investment protection and dispute resolution. At the same time, the government will continue to develop markets in other countries and areas in order to achieve the goal of "strengthening Taiwan, connecting with the Asian Pacific region, and adopting a global outlook."

February 8, 2011
While attending a Lunar New Year gathering of Taiwanese businessmen, MAC Minister Lai Shin-yuan states that the MAC will continue to promote institutionalized negotiations, deepen cross-strait exchanges, and work for the benefits of the people, while firmly protecting Taiwan's identity, upholding President Ma's policy guideline of "putting Taiwan first for the benefit of the people" and "both promoting and keeping check," as well as the principles of handling "easy issues first and difficult issues later," "urgent issues first and less pressing issues later," and "economic issues first and political issues later," and sequentially and steadily promoting cross-strait relations and Mainland policy.

February 9, 2011
The Ministry of Education officially approves quotas for Taiwan universities' enrollment of students from the Mainland Area. The 67 schools in the general university system, including National Taiwan University, and the 65 technological and vocational universities, including National Taiwan University of Science and Technology, can enroll up to 2,000 Mainland students for formal degrees. Universities approved to enroll Mainland students should provide student assistance mechanisms according to enrollment plans and prudently organize related measures and guidance for Mainland students. They should also pay attention to the proportionality principle and social perception in order to uphold the rights and interests of local students.

February 10, 2011
The MAC issues a press release regarding the Philippine's sending 14 Taiwanese fraud suspects to mainland China. It notes that Taiwan has issued a formal request for the repatriation of those suspects to Taiwan according to the Cross-Strait Joint Crime-Fighting and Judicial Mutual Assistance Agreement mechanism and will strictly punish the criminals to ensure the rights and interests of the people on both sides. Taiwan hopes that the Mainland side will, on the basis of deepening current cross-strait agreements, advancing benign cross-strait interactions, and ensuring the rights and interests of the people on both sides, face up to Taiwan's request and promptly return the suspects to Taiwan to stand trial.

February 10, 2011
While attending a Lunar New Year reception held by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for members of the foreign diplomatic corps stationed in the Republic of China (ROC), President Ma Ying-jeou states that since he took office, the government, under the framework of the ROC Constitution, has embraced the policy of "no unification, no independence, and no use of force" and adopted the "1992 Consensus - one China, respective interpretations" as the foundation to promote the peaceful development of cross-strait relations. Consequently, maintaining the status quo in the Taiwan Strait, putting trade and economic relations on a more institutionalzed footing, and signing the Cross-Strait Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) last year have all helped promote closer and more orderly cross-strait relations. At the same time, the ROC has seen substantial progress in its relationships with the international community. Besides maintaining stable and solid alliances with its 23 diplomatic allies, Taiwan has re-established mutual trust at high levels and improved bilateral relations with countries of no formal diplomatic ties, including the United States, Japan, Southeast Asian nations, New Zealand, Australia, and the European Union.

February 17, 2011
During an interview with the US-based Washington Post, President Ma Ying-jeou states that Taiwan's position in the East Asian economic landscape has improved remarkably since the signing of the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA), which presents more opportunities to Taiwan. In addition to trading with mainland China, Taiwan can conduct trade and negotiate similar economic cooperation agreements with other countries, which is extremely important for Taiwan.

February 21, 2011
In response to calls made by the public in mainland China through the Internet to stage a "Jasmine Movement" series of activities which attracted extensive attention worldwide, President Ma Ying-jeou issues a press release stating that democracy and human rights are universal values as well as an extension of people-oriented thoughts and benevolent government that are deeply-rooted in the Chinese culture. These are also the core values of Taiwanese and an important indicator in measuring cross-strait relations. President Ma also expresses his hope for the Mainland authorities to speed up their pace in implementing political reforms that would usher in democracy and rule of law, as well as protect human rights. In this new age of global democratization, new ways of thinking, open-mindedness, and tolerance need to be embraced in kindly handling dissidents. Thus democracy and human rights should be made incessantly the common language between the people of the two sides of the Taiwan Strait, helping create a free and democratic future for the Chinese race.

February 21, 2011
Responding to calls made by the public in mainland China through the Internet to stage a "Jasmine Movement" series of activities, the MAC states that in recent years, the rise of mainland China's overall national strength has improved the people's lives in many ways compared to the past. It hopes that as the Mainland develops economically, it can also accelerate the pace of realizing political reforms that would usher in a fair and just society as well as protect human rights, so that the Mainland people can not only enjoy a better economic life, but also a more pluralistic, democratic, and open social space. This will reduce differences between the core values of the two sides and will be highly beneficial to the stable development of cross-strait relations and long-term peace.

February 22, 2011
In a policy report to the Legislative Yuan, Premier Wu Den-yih states that the Cross-Strait Economic Cooperation Committee (CSECC) was established under the SEF-ARATS framework to handle affairs related to negotiations on follow-up issues to the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA). The Committee serves as a task-oriented and functional platform for operational negotiations, not a permanent agency or organization. The SEF and the ARATS must still confirm or negotiate and sign agreements on any consensus reached by the Committee, so there should not be any concerns of blank authorization.

February 23, 2011
The MAC issues a press release emphasizing that the government is firm in its position on national sovereignty, namely that the Republic of China is a sovereign and independent country. President Ma Ying-jeou has repeatedly emphasized that "one China" is the Republic of China, and there is no second explanation. The government has consistently advocated that, under the framework of the ROC Constitution, it will maintain the cross-strait status quo of "no unification, no independence, and no use of force,”which is the highest common factor in the Taiwan society. At this stage, the development of cross-strait relations should be established on the foundation of "shelving controversies and facing up to practical realities", and the two sides should jointly promote cross-strait stability and peace base on the mutual trust built up through institutionalized cross-strait negotiations and exchanges. These hard-won results should be upheld with efforts.

March 8, 2011
During an interview with the United Kingdom's Financial Times, President Ma Ying-jeou states that the development of cross-strait relations should put "economic matters before political ones, urgent matters before less pressing ones, and easy issues before difficult ones" while moving forward in a gradual, orderly manner. There is no urgent need to deal with political issues at this time. The government's position is, under the Constitution of the Republic of China, to maintain the status quo in the Taiwan Strait— namely "no unification, no independence, and no use of force," and on the basis of the "1992 Consensus of one China, respective interpretations," to promote the peaceful development of cross-strait relations. This is also a very clear position of Taiwan on cross-strait political issues.

March 8, 2011
While attending the "Straits Exchange Foundation: 20 Years of Creating a Cross-Strait Win-Win Outcome" Symposium on Cross-Strait Relations, Vice President Vincent Siew states that since May 2008, the two sides have "shelved controversies and sought common ground" on the basis of the "1992 Consensus," resuming operation of the SEF-ARATS negotiation mechanism. Over the past two and a half years, the two sides have promoted cross-strait negotiations based on putting "economics first, politics later" and on the principle of dealing with "easy issues first and difficult issues later." In the future, the two sides will face even more complex and difficult issues requiring even greater wisdom from the two sides to resolve.

March 8, 2011
During the "Straits Exchange Foundation: 20 Years of Creating a Cross-Strait Win-Win Outcome" Symposium on Cross-Strait Relations, MAC Minister Lai Shin-yuan states in a speech that freedom, democracy, human rights, and the rule of law are the basic premises of Taiwan in approaching cross-strait relations. The government insists that the development of cross-strait relations and cross-strait exchanges will absolutely not and cannot harm the Taiwan people's way of life. In the process of improving cross-strait relations, the government adheres to the position that the Republic of China is a sovereign and independent country, orientating and developing cross-strait relations under the framework of the ROC Constitution. President Ma has repeatedly stressed that, under the framework of the ROC Constitution, the nation's future and prospects will be decided by the 23 million people of Taiwan. The President's firm defense of Taiwan's core values accords with the expectations of the vast majority of the public.

March 9, 2011
While attending the 20th anniversary celebration of the SEF’s establishment, President Ma Ying-jeou states that the government must consider with priority three issues in the process of promoting cross-strait relations. The first is "the people": government policies must accord with the principle of "putting Taiwan first for the benefit of the people." The second is "peace": without peace there is nothing. While pursuing peace, the government will absolutely not sacrifice national sovereignty and dignity. The third is "democracy": cross-strait policy should still accord with the principle of "national need, public support, and legislative oversight."

March 17, 2011
During a meeting with scholars and experts attending the symposium on "Mainland China’s Rise: the External and Internal Impacts," MAC Minister Lai Shin-yuan emphasizes that, along with the development of cross-strait relations, the universal values of freedom, democracy, human rights, and the rule of law not only have been a source of power and pride in promoting the growth and vigor of Taiwan, but they are also mutual objectives that Taiwan hopes to share and improve jointly with the other side of the Strait. Non-governmental organizations on both sides should expand exchanges and cooperation. The two sides should also show breadth of mind and mutual respect, dedicating efforts for the international community. This will bring major significance for the harmonious development of cross-strait relations. In international activities, the two sides should interact and treat each other in a fair and reasonable way. Minister Lai also calls on the Mainland side to take a proactive and pragmatic approach.

March 18, 2011
At the 32nd anniversary celebration for the Society for Strategic Studies, ROC, President Ma Ying-jeou states that, under the framework of the ROC Constitution, the government maintains the status quo of "no unification, no independence, and no use of force" across the Taiwan Strait. Moreover, on the foundation of the "1992 Consensus"— namely "one China, respective interpretations," Taiwan embraces the position of "putting an end to conflict via rapprochement and replacing confrontation with negotiation." The two sides have signed 15 agreements, including the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) and are now carrying out negotiations on the signing of agreements related to investment protection and dispute resolution. The President emphasizes that the facts demonstrate that the peaceful development of cross-strait relations can expand Taiwan's international space, and that cross-strait relations and international relations can coexist, forming a "virtuous cycle" and then creating a "triple win" outcome.

March 29, 2011
During a meeting with former US Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage and a delegation from the Project 2049 Institute, President Ma Ying-jeou states that the government's Mainland policy is to address "easy issues first and difficult issues later," "urgent matters before less pressing ones," and "economic issues before political ones." With this approach, the pace of cross-strait developments has been maintained "neither too fast nor too slow." He states that the ROC has no intention of engaging in an arms race with mainland China. Rather, the government only hopes to maintain peace in the Taiwan Strait. The President also indicates that Taiwan hopes to actively cooperate with mainland China to prevent possible nuclear accidents, so “nuclear safety” will become an important topic in future talks between the two sides.

March 29, 2011
During a meeting with former US Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage, MAC Minister Lai Shin-yuan states that the government upholds the Constitution of the Republic of China. Based on the real foundation of "mutual non-acknowledge of sovereignty and mutual non-denial of political authority," the government is encouraging the two sides to shelve disputes and jointly seek to develop peaceful, stable, and co-prosperous relations. This is a policy outcome of great significance. Moreover, freedom and democracy are Taiwan's biggest assets and core values. Last year, nearly 1.2 million Mainland tourists visited Taiwan. This high-frequency contacts and interactions between people on the two sides will help increase awareness among the Mainland people of Taiwan's pluralistic and open society, as well as have an impact on political and social development in the Mainland. She also emphasizes that, as Taiwan purses peaceful and stable development across the Taiwan Strait, it will extend its global reach, constantly upgrade its national power, and deeply cultivate its confidence in contacts with the Mainland. This is the best strategy at this stage to protect our national interests.

March 31, 2011
The MAC issues a press release indicating that the government has always taken an active attitude on allowing Mainland tourists to travel independently to Taiwan and has vigorously promoted this policy. Both allowing Mainland tourists to travel independently to Taiwan (including Kinmen, Matsu, and Penghu) and allowing them to travel independently to Kinmen, Matsu and Penghu via the "Mini Three Links" are established policy objectives that the government hopes to promptly promote. However, the implementation of independent travel via the "Mini Three Links" still requires coordination from the Mainland side. Through communications between the Taiwan Strait Tourism Association and the Cross-Strait Tourism Exchange Association, and on various occasions, the government has been expressing fully Taiwan's hope that the Mainland side can give priority and adopt a more flexible position on independent travel via the "Mini Three Links," and that the related government agencies will continue to work hard to promote this policy.

April 1, 2010
During a meeting with a delegation from the Junior Chamber International Taiwan, President Ma Ying-jeou states that mainland China is one of the biggest trade entity in the world. If the two sides across the atraits can sign the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA), it could attract foreign investment to Taiwan, as well as expand the market share for Taiwan products in mainland China. The government plans to spend NT$95 billion over a 10-year period for "stimulus guidance," "structural adjustment," "loss relief" and other strategies to help certain competitively weaker industries enhance their competitiveness or transformation, according to various likely impacts on the industry and the workforce.

April 1, 2010
During a meeting with a homecoming delegation from the Taiwanese Association of Japan, President Ma Ying-jeou indicates that, Taiwan is promoting "flexible diplomacy" in the hope of improving relations with mainland China and other countries so that it can have more space for movement and survival. Several concrete achievements have been made to date, including U.S. military sales to Taiwan,Taiwan's acession in the Government Procurement Agreement (GPA) as well as participation in the World Health Assembly.

April 1, 2010
During a meeting with the Taiwan delegation to the "2010 Boao Forum for Asia," President Ma Ying-jeou states that the cross-strait Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) will not allow Mainland workers into Taiwan, nor will it further open Taiwan to Mainland agricultural products. At the same time, Taiwan will push the Mainland to further extend tariff-free treatment to Taiwan agricultural and fishery products. President Ma also states that the ECFA aims, on the one hand, to institutionalize cross-strait economic and trade relations, and, on the other hand, to advance our efforts to sign free trade agreements with other countries.

April 1, 2010
At the Global View Economic Forum, MAC Minister Lai Shin-yuan indicates that the early harvest list will not further open up Taiwan to Mainland agricultural products. It also will not cover vulnerable traditional industries, nor will it open up Taiwan to Mainland workers. In line with the consensus between the two sides, major Taiwan exports to the Mainland will be included on the list for reduced tariff treatment. The government is confident that the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) can be signed at the Fifth Chiang-Chen Talks. This also is the government's goal.

April 3, 2010
During a seminar on the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) in Yunlin, President Ma Ying-jeou states that the signing of the ECFA is aimed at preventing Taiwan's market from marginalization and institutionalizing cross-strait relations. It also will promote the further internationalization of Taiwan and help Taiwan become an Asia-Pacific economic and trade hub. He also states that 272 free trade agreements (FTAs) have been signed around the world. Apart from the FTAs signed by Costa Rico, none of these agreements has ever been submitted for decision by referendum. The Act Governing Relations Between People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area stipulates that all cross-strait agreements involving legal amendments must be submitted to the Legislative Yuan for deliberation.

April 3, 2010
The Ministry of Education issues a press release stating that it has made an overall plan for the recruitment of mainland Chinese students to study in Taiwan and the recognition of Mainland academic credentials. The plan will be implemented in a phased manner, with review and amendments and full accompanying measures, and according to the principles of the "three restrictions and six noes." The Ministry also is developing sound supporting measures. The matter of Mainland students coming to Taiwan for short-term study does not concern the issue of recognition of academic records. Domestic schools also cannot issue certificates of academic credits earned. Schools that invite Mainland students to study in Taiwan must strictly forbid these students from accepting part-time work or engaging in other activities against the permitted purpose.

April 6, 2010
During a video conference with Harvard University's Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies, President Ma Ying-jeou states that Taiwan needs to institutionalize its economic and trade relations with mainland China and diversify its export market as well as products to avoid being cut off from the global economy and also to enhance its international competitiveness. Therefore, the government has been pushing hard for an Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) with the Mainland to provide a structural platform for economic interactions between the two sides of the Strait.

April 6, 2010
Officials from the MAC and the Ministry of Economic Affairs and other ministries present a report to the Legislative Yuan on the second round of Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) negotiations. MAC Minister Lai Shin-yuan states that during the negotiations, a consensus was reached with the Mainland side that the Agreement will not demand that Taiwan further open up to Mainland agricultural imports, will not discuss the issue of admitting Mainland workers, and will not affect Taiwan's vulnerable traditional industries. It was also agreed that Taiwan would not reduce the tariff rate on the 1,415 Mainland agricultural products currently admitted in Taiwan.

April 6, 2010
The MAC issues a press release emphasizing that the cross-strait Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) does not involve the issue of opening Taiwan to Mainland laborers or white collar workers. It also indicates that, currently, Mainland companies in 117 service sectors are allowed to set up branches or subsidiaries in Taiwan, and that enterprises with an investment amount or operation capital of over US$200,000 may apply for two to seven persons-in-charge or specialists to come to Taiwan to handle business activities. Mainland businesspeople coming to Taiwan for training or other related activities are not permitted to work and can only stay in Taiwan for one to three months without extensions.

April 8, 2010
The MAC issues a press release emphasizing that the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) is purely about cross-strait economic exchange and cooperation affairs and does not concern sovereignty or political issues. In signing the ECFA, there cannot be political preconditions, and the Agreement will not contain any political language. This is the position the government will consistently adhere to. In line with the spirit of the World Trade Organization (WTO), the government also will properly handle issues related to the ECFA, as well as seek more beneficial conditions for Taiwan. The rights and interests enjoyed by Taiwan under the WTO will not be diminished because of the signing of the ECFA.

April 10, 2010
President Ma Ying-jeou leads a group of ministers of the Ministry of Economic Affairs, the MAC, the Council of Agriculture, and the Council of Labor Affairs to attend the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) Symposium. He states that the ECFA is rooted in the concept of a phased free trade agreement. Under the approach of a framework agreement, the negotiation period can be extended, giving Taiwan more time to respond. This is conducive to maintaining the status quo in the Taiwan Strait. It also fully conforms to Taiwan's mainstream public opinion. During negotiations, the government absolutely will demand reciprocity and dignity, and the content of the Agreement will not contain any political language. This is a purely economic and trade agreement. However, the Taiwan side also will pay attention to possible political effects, on the one hand maintaining Taiwan's identity, and on the other responding to future changes.

April 11, 2010
At the 2009-2010 Third Joint Annual Meeting of the Lions Club International Taiwan, Vice President Vincent Siew states that as the government promotes the signing of the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA), it also is strengthening efforts to sign economic cooperation agreements with the United States, Japan and other countries. It is especially working to sign free trade agreements with ASEAN countries. These are the focus of the government's active efforts, and also its strategy to promote ways for Taiwan to join the trend of regional economic integration and forge a better road to link with the world.

April 12, 2010
During a meeting with representatives from labor groups, President Ma Ying-jeou indicates that the goal of signing the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA)with mainland China is to integrate Taiwan with the Asia-Pacific economy. The main content is tariff reduction, investment protection, and intellectual property right protection. The Agreement will adhere to the principle of small and necessary and be entirely unrelated to labor issues. Its "framework agreement" approach will extend the time and reduce the impact upon implementation, while also increasing opportunities for adjustment. The Mainland side also has promised not to further open up Mainland agricultural exports to Taiwan and not to reduce tariffs on the 1,415 Mainland agricultural products currently admitted in Taiwan. Utmost efforts also will be made by the government to reduce the impact on Taiwan's vulnerable traditional industries.

April 15, 2010
The MAC issues a press release stating that after the major earthquake struck Yushu County in Qinghai, mainland China early in the morning on April 14, the Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) immediately sent two letters to the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS) expressing Taiwan's sincere concerns and sympathy. The letters also informed that related agencies of the Taiwan government have formed a search and rescue team that can be dispatched to provide emergency assistance. The Taiwan Red Cross also expressed willingness to send a team to help with the search and rescue effort.

April 17, 2010
At the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) Symposium, President Ma Ying-jeou states that a referendum is the right of the people. If the opposition parties intend to initiate a referendum, the government will not interfere so long as it is handled according to the law. However, around the world, free trade agreements and agreements similar to the ECFA are all first submitted to the nat=ional parliaments since legislative oversight is extremely important. After the ECFA is signed, it will not become effective until approved by the Legislative Yuan.

April 25, 2010
At the start of a debate on the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) with Democratic Progressive Party Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen, President Ma Ying-jeou states that if the ECFA negotiations cannot benefit Taiwan's overall economy, then he will have no hesitation in abandoning it. President Ma also announces that the government's FTA committee will be upgraded and led by him personally to accelerate the promotion of FTA signing between the Republic of China and its major trade partners. He also calls on the Mainland authorities to not obstruct this effort.

April 27, 2010
During a radio interview, MAC Minister Lai Shin-yuan states that the cross-strait Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) is a small but necessary agreement instead of a large and comprehensive free trade agreement (FTA). The World Trade Organization (WTO) does not require members to fully open their markets to each other within 10 years of signing an FTA. Actual cases show that some countries have not opened up by even 50% within this period of time.
Regardless of what approach the ECFA follows in the future, Taiwan will never fully open to Mainland imports. This is a major principle of the government in negotiations.

April 30, 2010
The Ministry of Education issues a press release stating that the "Measures Governing Study and Residence in Taiwan by Students from the Mainland Area (Draft)" clearly stipulates specific limits on period of study for each stage of study by Mainland students in Taiwan. After graduation, all Mainland students even those with admission qualifications for the next stage still need to leave first and re-enter Taiwan to continue their studies. Mainland students who have graduated or whose reasons for enrollment are eliminated are required under the rules to return to the Mainland. They cannot remain in Taiwan, therefore they will not be able to stay in Taiwan for employment. Students that subsequently have other reasons to visit Taiwan for work must submit an application according to the stipulations of the current Employment Services Act, Act Governing Relations Between People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area, and other related regulations.

April 30, 2010
During an interview with the U.S. Cable News Network (CNN), President Ma Ying-jeou states that he has no immediate plans to meet with the mainland Chinese leader. What is most important for the two sides is to begin the cooperation with economic agreements, cultural exchanges, and education exchanges so as to lay a solid foundation for closer cross-strait relations. The time is not yet ripe for the leaders of the two sides to meet. In addition, Taiwan still needs defensive weapons to safeguard its democracy. In fact, this is consistent not only with Taiwan's interests but also with the interests of the United States. Taiwan will continue to reduce risks and purchase military equipment from the U.S. However, Taiwan will not ask the U.S. to fight for Taiwan. This position is extremely clear.

May 3, 2011
While attending the opening ceremony for the Ministry of Economic Affairs' Joint Service Center for Overseas Taiwanese Businesses, President Ma Ying-jeou states that in recent years there has been a steady wave of global economic integration which has advanced especially fast in the Asia-Pacific region. The government will decide whether or not to sign free trade agreements or other types of economic cooperation pacts with other countries based on economic complementarity, and it will also actively protect the rights and interests of Taiwan businesses, as well as make efforts to improve the insufficiencies and overly expensive fares of cross-strait flights and other problems.

May 3, 2011
During a meeting with members of the Seventh Cross-Strait Economic, Trade, and Cultural Forum delegation, President Ma Ying-jeou states that though there are still many differences between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait and there is room for improvement especially in regards to international affairs, the past three years have shown that the improvement of cross-strait relations can expand Taiwan's international participation and strengthen the willingness and confidence of the people of Taiwan to deepen cross-strait relations in order to create a win-win outcome.

May 3, 2011
During a media interview, MAC Minister Lai Shin-yuan indicates that the people make their own decisions under the framework of the ROC Constitution and with accordance to the procedures of constitutional government. This is not ultimate unification, nor is it Taiwan independence; rather, it is a firmly rooted constitutional position. The great majority of the people of Taiwan rely on the fact of protecting the Republic of China as a sovereign and independent country on as the ROC promotes cross-strait relations. The prospects and future of Taiwan are in the hands of its 23 million people, and the people will decide for themselves based on the constitutional framework of the Republic of China.

May 4, 2011
During at interview with Japan's Asahi Shimbun, President Ma Ying-jeou states that the government's Mainland policy is to maintain the status quo of "no unification, no independence, and no use of force”in the Taiwan Strait under the framework of the ROC Constitution. Under its constitutional framework, the ROC will also promote cross-strait relations according to the consensus reached between the two sides in 1992, known as the "1992 Consensus." Furthermore, the two sides are carrying out exchanges and promoting cross-strait relations with reciprocity, dignity, and mutual benefit in the hope of "putting Taiwan first for the benefit of the people."

May 5, 2011
At a regular press conference, MAC Deputy Minister Johnnason Liu states that the institutionalized negotiations that the two sides are now carrying out are a "general" platform which can be applied to various models. Moreover, officials are sitting at the table for negotiations or talks on operational issues. It is a "mechanism to mechanism" approach subject to legislative oversight, making it stable, practical, and transparent. On the other hand, the "Macao Model" limits participation to private organizations and handles negotiations as "one organization per issue" on a case-by-case basis, with no officials of competent agencies participating. More importantly, there is no legislative oversight and the process is consequently not transparent.

May 10, 2011
President Ma Ying-jeou states at a press conference that the requirement of the World Health Organization (WHO) that all its affiliated institutions refer to the Republic of China as "Taiwan, Province of China" in internal documents dwarfs Taiwan's national dignity, and Taiwan absolutely rejects this unfair, unreasonable, and duplicitous treatment. The government has demanded that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs lodge a stern protest with the WHO. President Ma also protests strongly to the Mainland authorities, stating that using this approach to hurt Taiwanese people’s feeling is unacceptable and highly detrimental to the future development of the two sides.  

May 10, 2011
During a meeting with the president and officials of the 17th World Taiwanese Chambers of Commerce, President Ma Ying-jeou states that the World Health Organization's duplicitous use of "Taiwan, Province of China" for Taiwan on confidential internal documents and "Chinese Taipei" in public is extremely inappropriate. Taiwan has protested to mainland China. The government will always protect the sovereignty of the Republic of China, ensure Taiwan's security, and uphold the people's dignity.

May 12, 2011
During a videoconference with the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), a Washington, D.C. based think tank, President Ma Ying-jeou mentions institutionalizing cross-strait rapprochement, enhancing Taiwan's contribution to international development, and aligning national defense with diplomacy as the three lines of defense to strengthen the Republic of China's national security and ensure its longevity for many more centuries to come. Cross-strait rapprochement continues to bear fruit and increase regional peace and stability. For the sake of Taiwan's economic development and national security, Taiwan has maintained "no unification, no independence, and no use of force" under the ROC Constitution, creating a virtuous cycle between the two sides of the Strait. The development of cross-strait relations in the past three years reflects a comprehensive overhaul of Taiwan's strategic approach to the world, which integrates cross-strait relations, economic and trade relations, and foreign policy in such a way as to fully maximize Taiwan's potential value in the global community.

May 15, 2011
The MAC issues a press release to solemnly indicate that since President Ma Ying-jeou took office, the government has insisted in the process of improving cross-strait relations that the Republic of China is a sovereign and independent country. It has also positioned and developed cross-strait relations under the framework of the ROC Constitution as well as upheld the principle of "putting Taiwan first for the benefit of the people”in institutionalizing cross-strait negotiations and promoting various cross-strait exchanges, which has earned strong public support. The MAC emphasizes that the government's Mainland policy is to uphold Taiwan's sovereignty, protect Taiwan, and work for the benefit of the people. The government will not belittle itself and will absolutely not sacrifice national sovereignty and dignity.

May 17, 2011
During a meeting with Charles Tannock, Chairman of the European Parliament-Taiwan Friendship Group, President Ma Ying-jeou comments that over the past two years the Republic of China has participated in the World Health Assembly (WHA)—the most important conference of the World Health Organization (WHO) as an observer under the name "Chinese Taipei" and been represented by a minister-level official. This treatment is entirely different from that in the past, when the "Taiwan, China" name was used and no one above the rank of director generals could represent the nation at technical conferences. Upon learning that in September of last year the WHO secretly requested that the name "Taiwan, China" be used internally, Taiwan immediately lodged a strong protest, asking the WHA to respect the "Chinese Taipei" name which has been confirmed in an Exchange of Letters and used over the past three years.

May 19, 2011
During a press conference which marks the third anniversary of his inauguration, President Ma Ying-jeou states that over the past several decades, the two sides of the Taiwan Strait have been mired in conflict and confrontation. Mainland China not only threatened Taiwan's security but also intentionally sought to crowd Taiwan off the world stage. Over the past three years, the government has firmly adhered to the principles of “parity, dignity, and reciprocity”to actively improve cross-strait relations under the framework of the ROC Constitution and based on the 1992 Consensus. These efforts have helped transform the Taiwan Strait gradually from a military flashpoint into an avenue of peace. The objective of improving relations with mainland China is to pursue a peaceful and prosperous environment for Taiwan.

May 19, 2011
During an informal discussion with students of the National University of Tainan, President Ma Ying-jeou states that the basic principle in handling relations with the Mainland is that the development of cross-strait relations must lead to peace and prosperity. The so-called "Three Noes" policy—no unification, no independence, and no use of force—means maintaining the status quo. This has won the support of the overwhelming majority of the people of Taiwan. Moreover, cross-strait exchanges are based on the "1992 Consensus," under which the two sides both acknowledge the principle of "One China," but with different interpretations. Taiwan's "One China" is the "Republic of China," and there is no other possible interpretation. This is consistent with stipulations in the ROC Constitution.

May 29, 2011
While attending the 2011 Mainland Policy Workshop for Student Leaders, President Ma Ying-jeou states that in facing the complex cross-strait situation, the government holds the basic principle— the "New Three Noes," meaning maintaining the status quo of "no unification, no independence, and no use of force" in the Taiwan Strait under the framework of the ROC Constitution and developing cross-strait relations on the foundation of the "1992 Consensus—one China with respective interpretations." The goal is to find the best way for the two sides to resolve problems with the shared background of Chinese culture.

May 30, 2011
At the opening ceremony of the 2011 International Law Association Asia-Pacific Regional Conference, President Ma Ying-jeou states that under the framework of the ROC Constitution, the cross-strait relationship is not one between states, but a unique relationship. We cannot and do not recognize mainland China's sovereignty, nor should we or do we deny its authority to govern the Mainland. Therefore, "mutual non-recognition and mutual non-denial" is the best interpretation of the cross-strait status quo as well as the best approach to addressing realities, shelving controversies, and promoting peace. “Mutual non-recognition of sovereignty and mutual non-denial of authority to govern”has proved to be an effective approach to handling extremely complex and sensitive cross-strait relations.

May 31, 2011
During a meeting with a visiting delegation of parliamentarians from the United Kingdom led by Deputy Speaker of the UK House of Commons Nigel Evans, MAC Minister Lai Shin-yuan emphasizes that the government's current economic strategy is to "strengthen Taiwan, connect with the Asia-Pacific region, and adopt a global outlook." While improving relations with mainland China, Taiwan is also simultaneously promoting the negotiation and signing of free trade agreements with neighboring countries. The aim of this is to put Taiwan on a fairer footing in the competitive international environment, further linking with the world. In the future, the government will continue to negotiate with mainland China on economic issues pertinent to the well-being of the people. Until conditions are ripe, Taiwan will not begin negotiations with the Mainland on political issues.

June 1, 2011
During a meeting with scholars attending the 2011 International Law Association Asia-Pacific Regional Conference, President Ma Ying-jeou states that over the past three years, the government has made every effort to forge rapprochement in the Taiwan Strait. This has brought incipient signs of peace between the two sides of the Strait and gradually helped expand Taiwan's international participation. Cross-strait relations are unique in that the governments of the two sides can on the one hand sign agreements, but have overlapping sovereignty claims on the other. This is why the government advocates the concept of "mutual non-recognition of sovereignty and mutual non-denial of authority to govern" as the best interpretation of the cross-strait status quo, providing room for the development of relations between the two sides in the future.

June 2, 2011
While attending the ROC Centennial Forum held by National Chengchi University, President Ma Ying-jeou indicates that in facing the objective fact of mainland China's growing power, Taiwan holds a position of "mutual non-recognition of sovereignty and mutual non-denial of authority to govern." A way must be found for the two sides to get along within a mutually acceptable scope to maintain Taiwan's survival. The policy to allow Mainland students to study in Taiwan will move forward in a gradual and orderly manner, and conditions may be progressively opened in the future so young people on the two sides can soon come into contact as well as compete and cooperate.

June 4, 2011
In a statement on the Tiananmen Square Incident, President Ma Ying-jeou indicates that the current status of democracy and human rights in mainland China stands in stark contrast to its economic performance. Economic reform must be accompanied by political reform. Looking back upon the June 4th Incident, Taiwan urgently hopes that the mainland Chinese authorities will have the courage to undertake political reforms and promote the development of freedom, democracy, human rights, and rule of law. The first step toward political reform is to treat dissidents with leniency and to appreciate their value and contribution to the society. President Ma calls upon the Mainland authorities to do that by acting soon to release Liu Xiaobo, Ai Weiwei, and other dissidents, which would greatly enhance the Mainland's international image. More importantly, it would also help reduce the psychological distance between the people of the two sides.

June 4, 2011
The MAC issues a statement on the 22nd anniversary of the "Tiananmen Square Incident," emphasizing that the Mainland must squarely face and confront the important message sent by this historical incident for the development of democracy, freedom, and human rights. The MAC states that the ability to redress the Tiananmen Square Incident will be a significant yardstick of political reforms in the Mainland. The MAC hopes that as the Mainland develops its economy, it will also pay close attention to the reform of its political system as well as to the development of its civil society to ensure social fairness, judicial justice, and the protection of human rights, thereby enhancing the level of people's spiritual happiness. The MAC believes that only by cherishing universal values such as democracy, freedom, and human rights, can the two sides bridge the gap between them and jointly promote the people's well-being.

June 7, 2011
The MAC announces the results of its latest public opinion survey. The survey indicates that over 70 percent of the public support the handling of cross-strait exchange issues through institutionalized cross-strait negotiations, while 62 percent are satisfied with the results of negotiations on cross-strait agreements. Over half of the public believe that the government has upheld Taiwan's interests, while over 63 percent believe the improvement of cross-strait relations has helped expand Taiwan's international space.

June 13, 2011
The MAC issues a press release expressing hope that the policy to allow independent travel by Mainland tourists to Taiwan can be realized before the end of June. This is a direction that both sides of the Strait have steadily worked toward. After the Taiwan Strait Tourism Association (TSTA) and the Cross-Strait Tourism Exchange Association (CTEA) complete negotiations on independent travel, the SEF and the ARATS can exchange documents according to the conclusion reached between the TSTA and the CTEA and then report to the Executive Yuan for ratification.

June 14, 2011
During a meeting with Vice Chairman of the European Parliament-Taiwan Friendship Group Hans Van Baalen, MAC Minister Lai Shin-yuan states that the Mainland policy of the ROC government has always stuck to the right road. Through institutionalized cross-strait negotiations, Taiwan and mainland China have signed 15 agreements to date, all of which concern issues closely related to the livelihood of the people. Economic exchanges with mainland China can further consolidate Taiwan's economic strength and upgrade its overall competitiveness.

June 15, 2011
During an interview with the British Broadcasting Corporation's BBC World News, President Ma Ying-jeou states that mainland China is a risk as well as an opportunity for Taiwan, and it is necessary to "minimize the risk and maximize the opportunity." Taiwan's security should depend on three lines of defense: the first one is to institutionalize cross-strait relations, the second one is to heighten Taiwan's visibility and contribution on the world stage, and the last one is to enhance our national defense and diplomacy to give Taiwan a sufficient deterrent force. In facing the challenges posed by mainland China, Taiwan must develop a set of effective strategies that can truly make it secure and prosperous. With adherence to the framework of the ROC Constitution and the policy of maintaining "no unification, no independence, and no use of force," cross-strait relations will certainly be able to continue advancing on the road to peace and prosperity.

June 22, 2011
During a meeting with Richard Bush, Director of the Center for Northeast Asian Policy Studies at the Brookings Institution, President Ma Ying-jeou states that "mutual non-recognition of sovereignty and mutual non-denial of authority to govern" is an important concept which describes the current state of cross-strait relations. This position does not run counter to the ROC Constitution's stand on the relationship between the two sides. The ROC Constitution remains the supreme law of the land.

June 22, 2011
The MAC issues a paper indicating that the policy to allow Mainland tourists to travel independently to Taiwan which moves forward in a gradual and orderly manner can truly realize the policy principle of "maximizing opportunities and minimizing risks." After allowing independent travel, high-quality tour routes and in-depth travel will enable even more Mainland tourists to deeply experience Taiwan's cultural charm, while also increasing the influence of Taiwan's soft power in the process of cross-strait exchanges. According to a public opinion survey conducted by the MAC, the vast majority of the public support the government's policy to further allow Mainland tourists to travel independently to Taiwan, moving forward in a gradual, orderly manner.

June 23, 2011
During an interview with the Apple Daily, President Ma Ying-jeou states that"mutual non-recognition of sovereignty, mutual non-denial of authority to govern" between the two sides of the Strait is a model that can enable long-term interactions. The core issue of cross-strait relations is sovereignty, which is not easy to resolve in the short-term. Under the framework of the ROC Constitution, a way can be found for the two sides to peacefully settle their disputes.

June 24, 2011
While attending the "Developing Cross-Strait Relations and Positioning Globally" Symposium for Local Elite Leaders held jointly with the Kinmen County Government, MAC Minister Lai Shin-yuan emphasizes that the government has signed 15 cross-strait agreements with mainland China to establish explicit norms for the order of cross-strait exchanges and to work for the welfare of the people on both sides. The improvement of cross-strait relations not only provides key benefits for Taiwan's development and transforms cross-strait exchanges into a positive force for Taiwan's advance in the world, it also creates new opportunities for peace and stability in East Asia and develops new avenues for Taiwan's economy to link with the world.
The MAC states that the government's Mainland policy is to uphold the highest guiding principle of "putting Taiwan first for the benefit of the people," sequentially advancing cross-strait negotiations in "mature, steady, and cadenced" steps. On the other hand, it aims at "strengthening Taiwan, connecting with the Asia Pacific region, and adopting a global outlook" when promoting cross-strait economic and trade exchanges and interactions and maintains a grasp on the well-being, rights, and interests of Taiwan's 23 million people.

June 25, 2011
While inspecting the Liaoluo Port, the Shuitou Wharf, and other "Mini Three Links" passenger and shipping wharves, MAC Minister Lai Shin-yuan states that, with a steady and cadenced approach and based on sound risk management, the government has proposed many policy ideas and specific positions in a gradual and orderly manner to ease tensions in cross-strait relations and promote the normalized and institutionalized development of mutual relations. It has also broadly reviewed, adjusted, and eased the "Mini Three Links" and other cross-strait economic and trade and exchanges policies, laying a solid foundation for cross-strait relations condusive to peace and prosperity in East Asia. The MAC will also actively promote the early expansion of policy to allow Mainland visitors to travel independently to Kinmen, Matsu, and Penghu and promote a cross-strait policy that further accords with the public will.

June 28, 2011
The MAC issues a press release on the "ECFA's First Anniversary Outcome Review-Fulfilling the 'Three Noes' Pledge, Gradually Expanding Implementation Benefits," which indicates that the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) sets norms for cross-strait economic and trade exchanges and is conducive to improving Taiwan's overall investment environment. It also further motivates other countries to sign free trade agreements or agreements similar to economic cooperation ones with Taiwan. In the future, the government will continue to realize and implement the ECFA and sequentially promote negotiations on follow-up agreements and economic cooperation affairs to progressively expand the benefits of the ECFA.

June 29, 2011
During a meeting with a delegation from the Preventive Defense Project led by former U.S. Secretary of Defense William Perry, President Ma Ying-jeou states that the government has promoted the resumption of institutionalized cross-strait negotiations, making ties between Taiwan and mainland China the closest in 60 years. The President also expresses Taiwan's desire to participate in activities of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Taiwan hopes in the future to expand its participation in non-political international organizations that focus on the lives of ordinary people.

June 30, 2011
During a meeting with a delegation from the Preventive Defense Project led by former U.S. Secretary of Defense Dr. William Perry, MAC Minister Lai Shin-yuan states that the government adheres to the principle of "putting Taiwan first for the benefit of the people" in promoting cross-strait relations and that the 15 agreements signed with the other side concern the livelihood and welfare of the people. Facts have proven that the government's policy is on the right course.

July 4, 2011
MAC Minister Lai Shin-yuan announces that the government's office in Macao—the "Taipei Economic and Cultural Center," has been renamed as the "Taipei Economic and Cultural Office," whose functions and status have been upgraded at the same time. The Macao government has also agreed to provide the personnel of Taiwan's Macao office with preferential arrangements similar to those provided to the personnel of other foreign offices.

July 4, 2011
MAC Minister Lai Shin-yuan announces that the Taiwan government's representative office in Hong Kong, which had operated externally as the "Chung Hwa Travel Service" over the past 45 years, is to be renamed as the "Taipei Economic and Cultural Office." In the future, Taiwan's representative office in Hong Kong will be able to directly liaise with relevant agencies of the Hong Kong government according to operational needs. Therefore, its functions, service performance, and relations with the Hong Kong government will be upgraded. At the same time, Taiwan's Executive Yuan has also granted approval for the Hong Kong government to establish the "Hong Kong Economic, Trade and Cultural Office" in Taiwan.

July 6, 2011
The MAC issues a press release indicating that the 14 Taiwan persons deported from the Philippines to mainland China on suspicions of involvement in cross-border telecommunication fraud have been repatriated to Taiwan from the Mainland through mechanisms established under the Cross-Strait Agreement on Joint Crime-Fighting and Judicial Mutual Assistance to face relevant judicial procedures. In the future handling of criminal cases involving third countries, the law enforcement agencies of the two sides will discuss the treatment of involved persons according to the circumstances and based on the principles of mutual respect, protecting the innocent, and punishing the guilty, so as to protect the life and property rights and interests of the people on both sides.

July 7, 2011
At the 74th anniversary memorial day of the "Marco Polo Bridge Incident," President Ma Ying-jeou states that since the two sides of the Taiwan Strait are now gradually achieving political and military reconciliation, they should face the facts and speak the plain truth when it comes to the interpretation of history.

July 8, 2011
While presenting a keynote speech on "The Republic of China's Mainland Policy: Piloting Cross-Strait Relations to Create a Peaceful Environment for Benign Interactions between the Two Sides of the Taiwan Strait" at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington, D.C., MAC Minister Lai Shin-yuan emphasizes that a century of nation building by the Republic of China (ROC) has coalesced into the common values of "liberty" and "peace" that Taiwan treasures today. The institution safeguarding these values is the democratic constitution of the ROC, which is also Taiwan's unwavering and important core in developing cross-strait relations. In the course of cross-strait interactions, Taiwan has a responsibility to share with mainland China the experience it has gained from the last six decades of economic development as well as the process of democratization. Through contact, dialogue, cooperation, and mutual understanding, Taiwan's core values can be truly understood and even adopted by the people on the other side of the Strait as their own values to promote lasting peace across the Taiwan Strait. This is Taiwan's "piloting" power.

July 9, 2011
While explaining the government's cross-strait policy to overseas Chinese in Washington D.C., MAC Minister Lai Shin-yuan indicates that with the growing frequency of cross-strait interactions and personnel contacts, the influence of the "Taiwan experience" in mainland China will surpass Taiwan's influence on the economic and trade fronts, and it will help the Mainland people appreciate Taiwan's core values and promote the development of long-term peace across the Taiwan Strait. As the government improves cross-strait relations, it also bears responsibility to remind the Mainland authorities to tolerate and cherish the values and contributions of dissenting views in society and boldly undertake political reform, which would help reduce the psychological distance between the people of the two sides.

July 11, 2011
During a meeting with a visiting delegation of Canadian parliamentarian, President Ma Ying-jeou states that the primary objective in improving cross-strait relations is to create a peaceful and secure environment for Taiwan. Therefore, engaging in an arms race with mainland China is not in the interests of either Taiwan or the region, which will be best and most effectively served by rapprochement and institutionalization of relations between the two sides.

July 11, 2011
During an overseas Chinese symposium in New York, MAC Minister Lai Shin-yuan states that in promoting Mainland policy, the government treats the "1992 Consensus of one China with respective interpretations" as the foundation for resuming institutionalized cross-strait negotiations, and "one China is the Republic of China, and there is no second interpretation." She also emphasizes that there should be no political preconditions in a true reconciliation between the two sides. Up to now, the Mainland still has a targeted military deployment against Taiwan. It should proactively take concrete measures to eliminate unnecessary obstructions in cross-strait relations in order to establish complete mutual trust between the two sides and then move towards a new era of bona fide peace with reconciliation.   

July 16, 2011
The MAC announces the results of its latest public opinion survey, whose results show that nearly 70 percent (68.7 percent) of the public believe that the government's move to allow Mainland tourists to travel independently to Taiwan will help promote Taiwan's economic development, and over half (56.1 percent) of the public support the government's plan to implement the independent travel policy for Mainland tourists visiting Taiwan in a gradual and orderly manner. On the achievements of the 15 agreements signed by the two sides through institutionalized negotiations, nearly 60 percent (57.6 percent) of the public believe the agreements are conducive to Taiwan's overall development. Furthermore, 70 percent of the public support the government's continued negotiations with mainland China on the Cross-Strait Investment Protection Agreement, while over 50 percent (55.5 percent) approve cross-strait negotiations and the signing of an agreement on nuclear power safety cooperation.

July 22, 2011
During a joint interview by Japan's Yomiuri Shimbun and Nihon Keizai Shimbun, President Ma Ying-jeou states that the Diaoyu Islands are part of the inherent territory of Taiwan. Taiwan's basic position is, on the one hand, to insist that Taiwan has its sovereignty, and on the other hand, to be willing to resolve this matter peacefully and rationally. Moreover, in the process of resolving the problem, Taiwan will not join with mainland China. It is hoped that in the future it can be possible to "shelve disputes, develop together, and jointly share resources."

July 28, 2011
Responding to a statement made by Taiwan Affairs Office Director Wang Yi in the United States that "the Taiwan issue is mainland China's internal affair and must be resolved through negotiations between the Chinese people on both sides," the MAC reiterates that the Republic of China is a sovereign and independent country instead of the Mainland's internal issue. The basic principle of the ROC’s Mainland policy at this stage is to maintain the status quo of "no unification, no independence, and no use of force" in the Taiwan Strait under the framework of the ROC Constitution. The "1992 Consensus of one China with respective interpretations" is the foundation that has enabled the establishment and steady operation of institutionalized cross-strait negotiations. The institutionalized cross-strait negotiation mechanism is based on "shelving disputes and holding pragmatic negotiations," without touching on politics and other sensitive issues.

July 29, 2011
During an interview with the Asian Wall Street Journal, President Ma Ying-jeou states that regarding the South China Sea, the position of the Republic of China has always been that it claims the sovereignty and all sides should resolve disputes peacefully, ensure the freedom of navigation on the high seas, and jointly develop and share resources.

August 4, 2011
During a regular press conference, MAC Deputy Minister Johnnason Liu states that according to the Constitution of the Republic of China, the South China Sea is part of the inherent territory of the ROC. Related government ministries and departments will convey this position and reiterate sovereignty on occasions of international interactions. He also indicates that the South China Sea issue is not a product of cross-strait exchanges and will not be handled through the methods or negotiations between the SEF and the ARATS.

August 16, 2011
At the 2011 ROC Ambassadors and Taiwan Overseas Representatives Meeting, President Ma Ying-jeou states that the government's "flexible diplomacy" has achieved many substantive results in the process of advancing cross-strait peace and prosperity. He also emphasizes that the Republic of China (ROC) will maintain the status quo of "no unification, no independence, and no use of force" in the Taiwan Strait under the framework of the Constitution. Moreover, on the foundation of the "1992 Consensus of one China with respective interpretations," the government will promote the peaceful development of cross-strait relations. It will absolutely not return to engaging in "scorched earth diplomacy," "dollar diplomacy" or "checkbook diplomacy." Rather, the ROC must return to normal diplomacy.

August 16, 2011
While presiding at a rank and decoration conferral ceremony for armed forces officers, President Ma Ying-jeou states that "resolute defense and effective deterrence" remains the highest guiding principle in defense building. A rock solid military is the foundation and strength for sustained peace across the Taiwan Strait. He states that in the overall layout of national security, the first line of defense is to institutionalize cross-strait relations in order to greatly reduce the chance of the two sides resorting to force; the second line of defense is to enhance Taiwan's contributions to the international community through the economy and foreign relations; and the last line of defense is to strengthen Taiwan's military defense with diplomacy and national defense.

August 18, 2011
In a press release regarding the hope from the Mainland side to sign a cross-strait cultural agreement, the MAC states that since private exchanges between the two sides are currently close and smooth, there is no urgency or necessity for such an agreement. On the Mainland's continued pressuring of Taiwan's international space, the government has reiterated several times that the Republic of China is a sovereign and independent country and has the right and obligation to participate in various international organizations and activities, therefore it does not need mainland China's consent. Taiwan has not held negotiations with the Mainland on this issue.

August 23, 2011
While attending the ROC Centennial Peace Day activity in Kinmen, President Ma Ying-jeou emphasizes that under the framework of the ROC Constitution, the government seeks to maintain the status quo of "no unification, no independence, and no use of force" in the Taiwan Strait. In addition, the government has looked to the "1992 Consensus" as the basis from which to promote the development of peace between the two sides. The meaning of the "1992 Consensus" is "one China with respective interpretations." To the ROC side, "one China" means the Republic of China as defined in the Constitution. Therefore, the government's support for the "1992 Consensus" is support for the ROC as well as for the sovereignty, territory, and the status of the two sides of the Strait, as set forth in the Constitution. President Ma also states that "no unification, no independence, and no use of force" is the fundamental principle under which the government currently handles cross-strait relations. If the policies of "no unification, no independence, and no use of force" and the "1992 Consensus" are subverted, cross-strait relations will inevitably be of uncertainties, dealing a significant blow to both sides and having an especially serious impact on Taiwan.

August 23, 2011
The MAC issues a press release stating that the government promotes cross-strait economic and trade exchanges and cooperation based on the principle of "putting Taiwan first for the benefit of the people" and moves forward in a gradual, orderly manner. It also pays equal attention to opening up and risk control through cross-strait negotiations based on "reciprocity and dignity," in order to "maximize opportunities and minimize threats." The government's position is that cross-strait economic and trade relations should move forward in a gradual and orderly manner, and the main policy principle at this stage is to institutionalize cross-strait relations so as to promote the liberalization and internationalization of Taiwan's economy and strengthen Taiwan's links with the global market.

August 23, 2011
The MAC issues a press release stating that the government maintains the status quo of "no unification, no independence, and no use of force" in the Taiwan Strait under the framework of the Constitution of the Republic of China (ROC), insists that the ROC is a sovereign and independent country, and continues to upgrade Taiwan's self-defense force to safeguard national security. It also states that the "1992 Consensus" means "one China with respective interpretations" and that "one China" is the ROC as constitutionally defined. Support for the 1992 Consensus is support for the ROC as well as support for the constitutionally defined scope of sovereignty, territory, and position of cross-strait relations. On this foundation, the two sides held the "Koo-Wang Talks" in April, 1993, in Singapore, ushering in a new era in cross-strait negotiations. On March 26, 2008, Mainland Chinese leader Hu Jintao and U.S. President George Bush also mentioned this foundation during a phone call. Moreover, public opinion surveys indicate that over 70 percent of the public identify with the promotion of institutionalized cross-strait negotiations on the foundation of the "1992 Consensus of one China with respective interpretations."

August 24, 2011
In a speech presented at the opening ceremony of the 2011 World Vision International Asia Forum, President Ma Ying-jeou states that in recent years, the government has promoted the "three noes" policy of no unification, no independence, and no use of force and the goals of "building mutual trust, shelving controversies, seeking common ground, and jointly creating a win-win outcome." After many years of efforts, achievements can already be seen and contacts between the people on both sides are growing steadily closer. In particular, the signing of the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) is the first stride in creating the future cross-strait win-win situation.

August 27, 2011
While attending the commencement ceremony for the fifth-term of 2011 Executive Yuan National Policy Research Seminar, President Ma Ying-jeou states that the government has proposed maintaining the status quo of "no unification, no independence, and no use of force" in the Taiwan Strait under the framework of the ROC Constitution and basing the promotion of cross-strait relations on the "1992 Consensus of one China with respective interpretations." The current sovereignty issue "is not to solve the problem, but manage the problem," which is the only way not to affect cross-strait peace and prosperity. The two sides can absolutely enable the peaceful development of cross-strait relations on the premise of "respecting each other, building mutual trust, and jointly creating a win-win outcome." On the other hand, in order to make peace and prosperity their common objective, the two sides have also proposed the statement of "mutual non-recognition of sovereignty and mutual non-denial of authority to govern," with an aim to find a legitimate foundation for the current situation.

August 27, 2011
While attending a symposium at the Culture Center of Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Los Angeles, MAC Minister Lai Shin-yuan states that the government asserts that the future of the nation and cross-strait relations must be decided by the people of Taiwan under the framework of the ROC Constitution and in line with constitutional procedures. This is not ultimate unification, nor is it Taiwan independence. Rather, it is a position firmly rooted in the Constitution, which upholds the fact that the Republic of China is a sovereign and independent country as well as the common identity of the great majority of the people of Taiwan in the promotion of cross-strait relations.

August 28, 2011
At a press conference on the "1992 Consensus," President Ma Ying-jeou emphasizes that the significance of the "1992 Consensus" is "one China with respective interpretations," which is the consensus between the two sides. For Taiwan, the so-called "one China" of course means the Republic of China. As a result, applying the "1992 Consensus" as the basis for negotiations between the two sides of the Strait does not harm the sovereignty of the ROC. Rather, it in fact enables the sovereignty of the ROC to play an important role in the process of reaching agreements between the two sides, echoing the status set forth in the ROC Constitution. President Ma also states that the "1992 Consensus" has enabled the two sides of the Taiwan Strait to put aside their differences over the issue of sovereignty for the time being, and on which the two sides have been willing, despite the lack of consensus on the issue of sovereignty, to shelve controversies and move ahead with negotiations.

August 28, 2011
During a talk to the overseas Chinese community in San Francisco on the government's Mainland policy, MAC Minister Lai Shin-yuan indicates that the government has maintained the status quo of "no unification, no independence, and no use of force" in the Taiwan Strait under the framework of the ROC Constitution. It has also based institutionalized cross-strait negotiations on the "1992 Consensus of one China with respective interpretations" and started dialogues and exchanges under the principles of reciprocity and dignity. The "one China" advocated by the government is the Republic of China. Support for the "1992 Consensus" is support for the Republic of China as well as identification with the "ROC as a sovereign and independent country." The essential spirit of the 1992 Consensus is to shelve sovereignty controversies and provide a legitimate basis of mutual non-recognition of sovereignty to enter a substantive phase of mutual non-denial of authority to govern and equal official-to-official negotiations. Denying the "1992 Consensus" is denying the cross-strait shelving of the sovereignty controversies, substantive equal negotiations, and the results of institutionalized negotiations which resolve problems faced by the people. Denying the "1992 Consensus" is depriving Taiwan of an important basis for defending the sovereignty of the ROC in the course of cross-strait interactions.

September 1, 2011
During a meeting with guests visiting Taiwan to participate in the 2011 Defense Forum on Regional Security, MAC Minister Lai Shin-yuan states that President Ma Ying-jeou's Mainland policy advocates maintaining the status quo of "no unification, no independence, and no use of force" in the Taiwan Strait under the framework of the ROC Constitution. The "1992 Consensus of one China with respective interpretations" is the basis of institutionalized cross-strait negotiations, on which the two sides have jointly worked hard to express goodwill and steadily built up results and mutual trust, increasing the predictability of cross-strait relations.

September 2, 2011
In a congratulatory speech to strategic military units, President Ma Ying-jeou states that a dependable defense force provides strong backing for the government in consultations and negotiations to achieve the objectives of the nation's long-term security and a cross-strait win-win. He also states that since the Mainland authorities have not yet renounced the use of military force against Taiwan, strength is a necessary rear support for the pursuit of peace. Taiwan must "prepare for war to avoid war as well as to stop war" and work concertedly to build "three lines of defense" for national security: The first line of defense is institutionalizing cross-strait relations to reduce the chance of the use of force between the two sides; the second line of defense is effectively enhancing Taiwan's contributions to the international community to rebuild international trust in and support for the ROC; and the third line of defense is realizing the integrated power of diplomacy and defense to establish a solid bedrock for national defense and fulfill the mission of protecting the nation and its people.

September 8, 2011
MAC Minister Lai Shin-yuan presents a keynote speech at the United Kingdom's Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House) on the topic of "Taiwan's Cross-Strait Policy: Building an Irreversible Foundation for Peace." She emphasizes that if the principles and position of the government in promoting cross-strait relations are overturned, cross-strait relations will inevitably enter a state of uncertainty, which would have an enormous impact on cross-strait and regional development, especially on the Taiwan side. She also emphasizes that the government's Mainland policy is the correct road which conforms to the hopes of the people of Taiwan. The ROC government will resolutely continue to follow this path until an irreversible and solid foundation for cross-strait peace has been established.

September 8, 2011
During a regular press conference, MAC Deputy Minister Johnnason Liu states that the government's Mainland policy adheres to the cross-strait status quo of "no unification, no independence, and no use of force" in accordance with the ROC Constitution and with the aim to promote the development of peaceful and stable cross-strait relations. It is also hoped that in future interactions in the international arena and organizations, the Mainland side can extend the understanding of the foundation built by cross-strait negotiations to very pragmatically face up to the existence of the Republic of China.

September 9, 2011
During an inspection on a military base in northern Taiwan, President Ma Ying-jeou states that in response to regional integration and mainland China's economic rise, the government must adopt contingency and proactive plans to enable Taiwan to step out of the past dilemma of diplomatic and economic isolation. Taiwan therefore needs a set of relevant norms to maintain the status quo of "no unification, no independence, and no use of force" in the Taiwan Strait under the framework of the ROC Constitution, as well as to promote cross-strait peace and prosperity under the principle of "1992 Consensus of one China with respective interpretations." He also states that, without an effective defense force, Taiwan is bound to feel a lack of confidence when promoting cross-strait exchanges. Therefore, Taiwan needs to have sufficient strength to maintain national security in order to improve foreign relations.

September 10, 2011
During a briefing on Taiwan's Mainland policy to the overseas Chinese community in London, MAC Minister Lai Shin-yuan indicates that the two sides of the Taiwan Strait take the "1992 Consensus of one China with respective interpretations" as the basis for institutionalized cross-strait negotiations in developing reciprocal and dignified dialogues and exchanges. Taiwan's position is that "one China" stands for the Republic of China. Support for the "1992 Consensus" is support for the Republic of China as well as identification with the stance that the "Republic of China is a sovereign and independent country."

September 13, 2011
In a speech presented at the 2011 mid-Autumn gathering of the Taiwanese Businessmen Associations, President Ma Ying-jeou states that Taiwan and mainland China are geographically close and exchanges in multiple areas are inevitable. Such exchanges require a set of mechanisms and norms for order to be maintained and development promoted. Therefore, the government will maintain the status quo of "no unification, no independence, and no use of force" in the Taiwan Strait under the framework of the ROC Constitution and promote peaceful development across the Strait on the basis of the "1992 Consensus of one China with respective interpretations." Moreover, cross-strait exchanges will still uphold the principle of "putting Taiwan first for the benefit of the people." "Seeking common ground while preserving differences and jointly creating a win-win outcome" will remain the most basic guiding principle for cross-strait relations in the future.

September 13, 2011
A Presidential Office spokesperson quotes President Ma Ying-jeou as saying that the time is not yet ripe for the leaders of the two sides of the Taiwan Strait to meet; therefore, President Ma has no plans to visit mainland China. Cross-strait negotiations are still advancing in an orderly manner under the principle of "urgent matters before less-pressing ones, easy issues before difficult ones, and economic issues before political ones." There is no urgency for political negotiations at this time, nor is there any timetable for holding political talks with the Mainland side.

September 22, 2011
The MAC issues a press release stating that mainland China's armed forces expansion and military threat to Taiwan have not lessened but in fact increased– an indisputable fact that has long been an issue of concern in the international community. The Mainland should take the initiative to thoroughly eliminate its military menace to Taiwan. In order to maintain the relaxed climate for cross-strait relations as well as to protect regional peace and security, the government will not waver from its position of promoting peaceful and stable cross-strait relations. Furthermore, the Taiwan government is firmly resolved and prepared to maintain Taiwan's self-defense capability. Its military procurement from the United States and other countries is a basic need for safeguarding national security and interests, and also the government's consistent policy. The government welcomes and affirms the United States' firm position on keeping selling arms to Taiwan according to the Taiwan Relations Act and "six guarantees,” and it also hopes that the United States will maintain this policy position and continue to supply Taiwan with needed arms.

September 25, 2011
The MAC announces the results of its latest public opinion survey, which indicates that nearly 80 percent of the public support the handling of issues related to cross-strait exchanges through institutionalized negotiations between the two sides. Moreover, as high as 74.8 percent of the public support the government's Mainland policy of maintaining the status quo of "no unification, no independence, and no use of force" in the Taiwan Strait under the framework of the ROC Constitution, showing that the government's Mainland policy is on the right track. Furthermore, nearly 50 percent (49.4 percent) of the public identify with the government's position on "the '1992 Consensus of one China, respective interpretations,' with one China meaning the Republic of China." Additionally, 48.4 percent of the public approve the government's promotion of institutionalized cross-strait negotiations on the basis of the "1992 Consensus of one China with respective interpretations."

September 26, 2011
In a response to written questions by Professor Winston L. Y. Yang of Seton Hall University, President Ma Ying-jeou states that, under the framework of the ROC Constitution and based on the "1992 Consensus," the government has resumed negotiations and cooperation with mainland China to promote peace in the Taiwan Strait in firmly keeping with the policy of "no unification, no independence, and no use of force." The two sides still have many differences of view on political issues, and they need to put these differences aside and start with economic, trade, and cultural exchanges. The conditions are not yet ripe for cross-strait talks on political disputes and there is insufficient domestic consensus on cross-strait political issues, so it is of no urgency to deal with these issues now.

October 9, 2011
The MAC holds a "ROC Centennial National Day Celebration Party," which is attended by Taiwanese businessmen and persons residing in Hong Kong and Macao, persons from various circles in Hong Kong and Macao, and other important personages. At the event, Minister Lai Shin-yuan indicates in a speech that the government has resumed institutionalized cross-strait negotiations on the basis of the "1992 Consensus of one China with respective interpretations." While seeking to improve relations with the Mainland, the government has insisted on protecting the sovereignty of the ROC and safeguarding Taiwan's identity, which has created a stable situation of peaceful development in the Taiwan Strait.

October 10, 2011
In a speech delivered at the "ROC Centennial National Day Reception for Central Leaders and Other Parties," President Ma Ying-jeou states that the 1911 Xinhai Revolution is a shared memory and asset of both sides of the Taiwan Strait. In commemorating the Revolution, one cannot forget that the national founding principle of Dr. Sun Yat-sen was to establish a free, democratic, and equally prosperous country. The Mainland needs to boldly advance in this direction so that the gap between the two sides at present can be narrowed. Meanwhile, it cannot divorce itself from history, either. It must face up to the fact that the ROC does exist, not just in the past tense, but in the present continuous tense. Furthermore, the ROC Constitution has long been a foundation of national consensus. Over the past three years, the government has been promoting cross-strait relations under the framework of the ROC Constitution and on the basis of the "1992 Consensus of one China with respective interpretations." It has also maintained the status quo of "no unification, no independence, and no use of force" in the Taiwan Strait and succeeded in greatly reducing tension across the Strait, earning affirmation and support of the international community. President Ma also indicates that the people on the two sides are both ethic Chinese; therefore, he hopes that with the reality being addressed, the two sides can seek common ground while preserving differences, mutually assist and cooperate, and establish peaceful institutionalized relations.

October 12, 2011
During a meeting with a delegation from the Germany-Taiwan Parliamentary Friendship Group, President Ma Ying-jeou indicates that over the past three-plus years, the ROC has forged a new relationship with mainland China under the premise of "shelving controversies and pursuing a win-win solution" and on the foundation of "one China with respective interpretations,”creating peace in the Taiwan Strait while expanding Taiwan’s international participation. He also notes that signing the Cross-Strait Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) with the Mainland has not only increased cross-strait trade, but also enhanced many countries’ willingness to improve their trade and economic relationship with Taiwan, reintegrating Taiwan into the regional and global economy.

October 17, 2011
While hosting the fifth press conference of the "Golden Decade" series, President Ma Ying-jeou explains the policy prospects for "cross-strait peace," which includes "cross-strait relations" and "defence security." Over the next decade, the govermemt will continue lying the main policy focuses of cross-strait relations on "consolidating the sovereignty of the ROC," "building up the strength of Taiwan," "taking the development of cross-strait relations in a positive direction" and "establishing long-term peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait." The President also states that an important principle in promoting cross-strait relations is "to proceed step by step in an orderly fashion," which mean“address urgent issues before less pressing ones, easy issues before difficult ones, and economic matters before political ones.” During the next 10 years, the government should carefully consider signing a cross-strait peace agreement under this principle. Therefore, the government would never take the first step toward seeking such an agreement unless the following three preconditions were met: first, the agreement would have to be strongly supported by the public; second, it would have to be truly necessary to the ROC; and third, the entire process would have to be subject to legislative oversight.

October 17, 2011
During a meeting with a delegation visiting Taiwan for a closed-door forum on Taiwan-US-Japan security dialogue, President Ma Ying-jeou states that the government will adopt a prudent and resolute attitude with regard to the idea of signing a "cross-strait peace agreement," which acquires the following three preconditions: it must be 1) necessary to the ROC; 2) strongly supported by the public; and 3) subject to legislative oversight. President Ma also stresses that such an agreement is not tantamount to negotiating unification with mainland China but addressed in order to sustain the existing cross-strait peace.

October 18, 2011
During a press conference, MAC Minister Lai Shin-yuan states that the government has proactively proposed "to carefully consider the negotiation and signing of a cross-strait peace agreement under the premises of achieving a high degree of consensus in domestic public opinion and building up sufficient cross-strait mutual trust and based on the principles of "national need, public support, and legislative oversight." From the perspective of Taiwan, the government has consolidated the status quo of no unification, no independence, and no use of force in the Taiwan Strait. This is not ultimate unification. More importantly, Taiwan has let the world see that in facing the "peace agreement" issue, it holds its own national position and will set the premise for "promoting a peace agreement" according to its interests and needs.

October 19, 2011
While receiving a visiting delegation from the National Committee on American Foreign Policy (NCAFP), President Ma Ying-jeou states that in accordance with the three premises of "national need, high level of public support, and legislative oversight," Taiwan will give careful consideration to whether it should engage in negotiations with mainland China on a peace agreement in the next decade. The government will continue to embrace the principle of "putting Taiwan first for the benefit of the people" and also seek to establish a high degree of mutual trust between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait with "equality, dignity, and reciprocity" serving as the foundation. In addition, such an agreement would be discussed only when it is anticipated by the region and the international community.

October 19, 2011
During a meeting with a delegation from the National Committee on American Foreign Policy (NCAFP), MAC Minister Lai Shin-yuan states that the main objective in considering promoting the negotiation and signing of a cross-strait peace agreement is the hope that it can be based on Taiwan's perspective and position and institutionalize the status quo of "no unification, no independence, and no use of force" in the Taiwan Strait, which is supported by 90 percent of the people of Taiwan, creating lasting peace across the Strait.

October 20, 2011
At a press conference on the cross-strait peace agreement issue, President Ma Ying-jeou states that the government sets no timetable for signing a peace agreement with the Mainland. The three important premises for such an agreement are: "national need, public support, and legislative oversight." The methods of public support and legislative oversight will certainly not exclude public opinion surveys, Legislative Yuan resolutions, or referendums.

October 21, 2011
The MAC issues a press release entitled "Institutionalized Cross-Strait Negotiations are not Premised on the Mainland's ‘One China Principle,'" which states that the government has never accepted the Mainland's "one China principle." Moreover, there are no political preconditions to cross-strait negotiations at this time. The spirit of institutionalized negotiations is that the two sides shelve their dispute over sovereignty in order to pragmatically negotiate issues of deep concern to the people through the governments’mechanism-to-mechanism channels. In promoting cross-strait negotiations, our government has consistently upheld the principles of "putting Taiwan first for the benefit of the people" and "equality, dignity, and reciprocity." The 16 agreements signed between the two sides to date are entirely unrelated to the sovereignty dispute and none contains "the one China principle." The improvement and development of cross-strait relations over the past more than three years have been premised on "shelving controversies, pragmatically negotiating, and pursuing a win-win situation." The Mainland side has its set political views, and the government of Taiwan has also been unwavering in its firm position and repeatedly called on the Mainland to squarely face up to the reality of the existence of the Republic of China.

October 24, 2011
The Office of the President issues a press release explaining President Ma Ying-jeou's "ten guarantees" on the issue of "cross-strait negotiations,’ which indicates that the government would like to promote the signing of a "cross-strait peace accord" to institutionalize the status quo of cross-strait peace. There is no timetable for it, and the government will not promote the accord if the conditions are not mature and the preconditions not fully met. Only when there are full public support amd ample mutual trust between the two sides can the peace accord move forward It is also emphasized that the government has been very clear about its position of "no unification, no independence, and no use of force;”therefore, it will not discuss the issue of unification with the Mainland. However, it is hoped that the procedure of signing a "cross-strait peace accord" can ensure a large and enduring environment of peace for Taiwan so that its people can live and work in peace and happiness.

October 28, 2011
At the Taiwan-Japan Forum, MAC Minister Lai Shin-yuan states that the principle of the ROC government's Mainland policy is to "consolidate sovereignty, strengthen Taiwan, and achieve cross-strait peace." This was also emphasized by President Ma Ying-jeou in his recent announcement on the "Golden Decade" vision of cross-strait peace, namely: to consolidate the sovereignty of the ROC, to maintain the status quo of "no unification, no independence, and no use of force" in the Taiwan Strait under the framework of the ROC Constitution, and to establish long-term, stable, and institutionalized cross-strait relations in the course of cross-strait interactions based on "mutual non-recognition of sovereignty and mutual non-denial of authority to govern" and with adherence to the principle of "equality, dignity, and reciprocity." It is also emphasized that the government has no timetable for promoting a cross-strait peace accord and the future decision on whether or not to sign it will be made by the people of Taiwan through a referendum.

November 2, 2011
In a press release on the results of its latest public opinion survey, the MAC indicates that as high as over 80 percent (84.8 percent) of the public support the government's continued handling of cross-strait exchange issues through institutionalized negotiation mechanisms. Besides, over 70 percent (71.3 percent) of the public are satisfied with the results of negotiations on the Cross-Strait Nuclear Power Safety Cooperation Agreement. Nearly 80 percent (78.5 percent) approve the government's principle that "it is better to sign a good agreement than an early one" in promoting negotiations to ensure the rights, interests, and personal safety of more Taiwan people investing in the Mainland. The survey also indicates that over 60 percent (60.9 percent) of the public believe that the 16 agreements signed between the two sides through institutionalized negotiations have upheld Taiwan's interests, while 56.3 percent believe they have protected our national sovereignty.

November 3, 2011
During a meeting with foreign guests participating in the international academic symposium on "The Chinese Models of Development: Domestic and Global Aspects," President Ma Ying-jeou states that the ROC's development of relations with mainland China is following neither the "Hong Kong model" nor the "Tibet model," but rather a unique "cross-Strait model".This has enabled the two sides to maintain a peaceful environment and to carry out in-depth exchanges over the long term. The fundamental content of the cross-strait model is that the status quo of "no unification, no independence, and no use of force" shall be maintained under the framework of the ROC Constitution at the same time as the peaceful development of cross-Strait relations is promoted on the basis of the "1992 Consensus of one China with respective interpretations."

November 10, 2011
During a meeting with representatives of national county and city Hakka associations, President Ma Ying-jeou indicates that the government has not only defended the ROC’s sovereignty and upheld Taiwan's dignity internationally, but also continued to improve cross-strait relations and work for peace in the Taiwan Strait. The government established institutionalized mechanisms for cross-strait relations to enable peaceful negotiations. The two sides of the Taiwan Strait have become a "peace square" and Taiwan's foreign relations have also grown more peaceful. Taiwan has not only been able to participate in international organizations and activities for many times, but its status and title of participation have also been more dignified than in the past.

November 12, 2011
In reference to talks between former ROC Vice President Lien Chan and PRC President Hu Jintao at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting, the MAC states that the government insists on promoting its Mainland policy under the framework of the ROC Constitution and has developed cross-strait institutionalized negotiations based on the "1992 Consensus of one China with respective interpretations" and in the spirit of "shelving controversies and holding pragmatic negotiations." On the foundation of this consistent principle and position, the government has upheld the national sovereignty and the rights and interests of the people in the course of dialogues and exchanges.

November 13, 2011
During an interview with the U.S.-based Time magazine, President Ma Ying-jeou states that the conditions at present are not ripe at all for high-level exchanges or meetings between the two sides of the Strait, nor is there any timetable for such contacts. Cross-strait relations should be promoted based on the principles of dealing with "urgent matters before less pressing ones, easy issues before difficult ones, and economic issues before political ones." This is also the position that enjoys the greatest public support in Taiwan.

November 13, 2011
During a promotional activity in front of Ciji Temple in Xuejia Township, Tainan County, MAC Minister Lai Shin-yuan states that the 16 cross-strait agreements signed by the government with mainland China have established explicit norms for the order of cross-strait exchanges. Improved cross-strait relations not only provide key benefits for Taiwan's own development, but also create a new route for Taiwan's economy to link with the world.

November 14, 2011
When receiving members and supervisors of the boards of the Taipei Computer Association and the Association of Industries in Science Parks, President Ma Ying-jeou states that the government's cross-strait policy position starts from the Constitution of the Republic of China, focuses on cross-strait relations, and targets at peace and prosperity. He also reiterates that the "Peace Accord" proposal deals with an issue that will be unavoidable in the coming decade. The proposal attempts to further institutionalize the position of "no use of force" and achieve the goal of ensuring the first line of defense in Taiwan's security-"institutionalization of the cross-strait reconciluation."

November 21, 2011
In a speech presented at the "2011 Ministry of National Defense Symposium for High-Ranking Officers," President Ma Ying-jeou states that Taiwan's strategy in the face of mainland China's growing military might is to create a "small but powerful, elite, and skilled" military and to establish an innovative and asymmetric military strategy to deter any potential use of force against Taiwan. Over the past three years, the government has achieved substantive results in improving cross-strait relations, including rays of hope for peace across the Taiwan Strait, economic and social benefits brought by the opening of cross-strait contacts, participation in regional economic integration, and the resumption of high-level mutual trust with the United States. In this process, the government has never sacrificed in any way the sovereignty of the ROC, Taiwan's dignity, or the well-being of the people.

November 22, 2011
In a speech presented at the 2011 Annual General Meeting of the American Chamber of Commerce in Taipei, President Ma Ying-jeou states that the government will continue to uphold the principle of "no unification, no independence, and no use of force" under the framework of the ROC Constitution to maintain the status quo in the Taiwan Strait, as well as to develop relations with the Mainland and promote the institutionalization of cross-strait reconciliation on the basis of the "1992 Consensus of one China with respective interpretations." Up to now, Taiwan has signed 16 agreements with the Mainland. The improvement of cross-strait relations has also given shape to a "virtuous cycle" in international relations. There is no timetable for the cross-strait deliberation, negotiations, and signing of a peace agreement. The first step in such negotiations would only be taken after a referendum of the people of Taiwan showed a high level of public support.

November 25, 2011
In an interview with the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), President Ma Ying-jeou states that cross-strait relations must handle "easy issues first and difficult ones later, urgent matters before less pressing ones, and economic issues before political ones." This pace will not change. A meeting between the leaders of the two sides of the Strait is not the most urgent matter. He also states that Taiwan will adhere to the position of "no unification, no independence, and no use of force" under the framework of the ROC Constitution. "No unification" means that no negotiations will be held on the issue of unification, "No independence" means that Taiwan will not seek independence. "No use of force" meaning that Taiwan opposes any use of military force. This approach and principle is highly effective for the two sides at this time. Moreover, the "1992 Consensus" refers to "one China with respective interpretations." Though the two sides have different definitions, they have shelved this issue so that other more urgent matters can be promoted. This framework has served as an important foundation for the many achievements made in the course of cross-strait relations in the past three years.

December 9, 2011
The MAC issues a press release on the "1992 Consensus," indicating that when the two sides held a meeting in Hong Kong in October 1992, the Mainland side proposed the "one China" political issue and to which Taiwan suggested that each side make an oral statement. Taiwan bases the substance of this oral statement on the "meaning of one China" as decided by the resolution of the National Unification Council Meeting presided by former President Lee Teng-hui on August 1, 1992. The resolution mentions that "the two sides of the Taiwan Strait will adhere to the 'one China' principle," though they give different meanings to this. The mainland Chinese authorities believe that 'one China' refers to the 'People's Republic of China,' while Taiwan believes that it refers to the 'Republic of China' established in 1912. In November 1992, the ARATS stated that it "fully respected and accepted" the proposal of Taiwan that "each side expresses its position orally." In other words, each side has a different means that each side orally expresses its different position of the meanibg of "one China". The consensus of "one China with respective interpretations."
The MAC states that the government bases its position of the "1992 Consensus" on the policy decision of the government at that time, namely: to comply with constitutional framework of the Republic of China as well as to take into account the reality on the two sides. Although the terminology of the "1992 Consensus" did not exist in 1992, the two sides had reached a consensus of "one China with respective interpretations." Taiwan's position is that "one China" of course refers to the Republic of China. The spirit of the "1992 Consensus" is "shelving controversies and carrying out pragmatic negotiations." This is also an important basis for the resumption of institutionalized cross-strait negotiations.

December 13, 2011
During a meeting with a delegation of lawyers from Hong Kong's China Human Rights Lawyers Concern Group, MAC Minister Lai Shin-yuan states that the development of freedom, democracy, and human rights in the Mainland is a yardstick in observing whether or not the relations between the two sides can be drawn closer. This is also the view of the people of Taiwan on the development of cross-strait relations. Therefore, the government has repeatedly called on the Mainland, as its economic power rapidly grows, to pay priority attention to political reforms aimed at social equality, justice, and the protection of human rights, as well as to the development of a civil society, in order to improve the spiritual well-being of the people.

December 22, 2011
Regarding an incident in Wukan Village, Guangdong, MAC Deputy Minister Johnnason Liu calls on Mainland officials to face up very rationally to the people's rights to existence, property, freedom, and democracy. The Mainland should rationally, respectfully, and forthrightly consider the needs of the people.

December 24, 2011
During a speech in front of Shuntian Fushun General Temple in Taichung, MAC Minister Lai Shin-yuan states that the 16 agreements signed and one consensus reached between the SEF and the ARATS over the past three or so years have pragmatically resolved cross-strait issues arising from cross-strait exchanges, established order in cross-strait exchanges, and safeguarded the rights and interests of the people. Take the Cross-Strait Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) for example, it was negotiated and signed through institutionalized negotiations in the manner of "mechanism-to-mechanism" and "official-to-official" cross-strait talks.

December 27, 2011
The results of the latest MAC public opinion survey indicate that over 70 percent of the public are satisfied with the government's policy to open direct cross-strait transportation links and continue to increase the number of flights and flight points. Additionally, 72 percent of the public believe that the government's policy to allow Mainland tourist visits to Taiwan is helpful to Taiwan's economy. Regarding the current pace of cross-strait exchanges, a plurality (48.1 percent) still believes it is "just right," higher than the ratio believing it is either"too fast" (25.7 percent) or "too slow (12.9 percent)."

December 28, 2011
The MAC issues a press release stating that the Republic of China (ROC) has been a sovereign and independent country since its founding in 1912. This is an objective fact. President Ma has also repeatedly expressed that the ROC is our country and Taiwan is our homeland. Taiwan calls on the Mainland side to pragmatically face up to the existence of the ROC in the long-term development of cross-strait relations.