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Mainland Affairs Council

I. Mainland Policy and Work

2010

January 1, 2010
President Ma Ying-jeou states in his 2010 New Year's Day Message that the government is pushing to sign an Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) with mainland China to help Taiwan maintain its export competitiveness and avoid being marginalized in its export markets. The government will draw up relief measures to assist the industries and workers most likely to be harmed by the signing of the ECFA. President Ma also emphasizes that cross-strait policy must be subject to both supervision by the Legislature and to public opinion. As to cross-strait agreements that concern the people's welfare, the government must be responsive to public opinion and increase communication with opposition parties and the people to seek out consensus and gain support.

January 2, 2010
The Ministry of Economic Affairs issues a press release stating that in future negotiations on the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA), industries with weak competitiveness or which are focused on domestic demand will not be included in the early harvest list for early tariff reduction. The government also will try to open not up currently restricted Mainland import categories. In addition, the government will try to negotiate terms favorable to Taiwan for industries with weak competitiveness or which are focused on domestic demand, such as non-application, delaying the timetable for tariff reduction, or retaining certain tax rates or tariff quotas.

January 5, 2010
The Council of Agriculture (COA) states that President Ma has long ago pledged not to allow the import of 830 items of currently restricted Mainland agricultural products into Taiwan. It also notes that the cancellation of inspections for cross-strait trade via the "Mini-Three-Links" route is unrelated to the government's policy on these 830 product items. The control and disease prevention quarantine measures for Mainland agricultural exports to the Kinmen and Matsu areas are identical to the related regulations for exports to the main island of Taiwan. In addition, the government will continue to strengthen offshore island export and import quarantine and arrange pest and epidemic control supervision and inspection to safeguard Taiwan's agricultural production.

January 7, 2010
MAC Deputy Minister Johnnason Liu states that using the Chinese term for "Cross-Strait Economic Agreement" is preferable to using the English acronym "ECFA" in terms of helping the people of Taiwan to understand the contents of the Cross-Strait Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA). This is not intended to change the substantive significance of the agreement. He hopes that government agencies will in the future discontinue using the name "ECFA" and promote the agreement under the Chinese name familiar to the public.

January 7, 2010
MAC Deputy Minister Johnnason Liu states that, with regard to the policy of allowing Mainland tourists to visit Taiwan, there are a few issues related to restrictions from the Mainland side at present, such as restrictions on the forming of cross-area tour groups. He expresses hope that the two sides can strengthen negotiations through the mechanism of the Taiwan Strait Tourism Association and Cross-Strait Tourism Exchange Association to resolve these issues. He also notes that the SEF and the ARATS are now in contact over the policy to allow free independent travel to Taiwan by mainlanders.

January 8, 2010
During a year-end press conference, Premier Wu Den-yih states that it would be best if the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) could be signed in May, though only if the three major premises of national need, public support and legislative supervision are met and the two sides are in agreement. If there is truly a need to sign the ECFA, some pressing issues need to be urgently resolved. There is a fair amount of public support for the agreement at present, but there is still room for more efforts. As for legislative oversight, the agreement signing must conform to the highest constitutional theory and bring the full supervisory function of the legislature into play.

January 11, 2010
While attending an Executive Yuan and Legislative Yuan reception, President Ma Ying-jeou states that signing the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) is a major task of the central government in the first half of this year. In late January, the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) will begin phased negotiations with mainland China on the ECFA. The MOEA and the MAC will report the key points of the negotiations to the various party caucuses of the Legislative Yuan and ensure that the legislature, businesses and related parties can have access to accurate information as soon as possible without affecting the negotiations. In addition, before signing the ECFA, the government will report the final key points of the agreement to the various party caucuses of the Legislative Yuan and submit the signed agreement to the Legislative Yuan for review.

January 12, 2010
The Bureau of Foreign Trade (BOFT) issues a press release stating that the "Cross-Strait Economic Cooperation Agreement" is a bilateral agreement. Therefore, the two signatories can negotiate the terms of market opening according to international customary practices and determine their respective preferential items through negotiations. In conducting future negotiations, the government will adhere to the principle of "maximizing interests and minimizing the cost" and carefully negotiate the agreement.

January 13, 2010
The MAC issues a press release indicating that Taiwan's defense preparations and arms purchases from the US are aimed at defending Taiwan's security and building Taiwan's confidence and strength in the process of reconciliation, negotiations and exchanges with mainland China. The ROC government thanks the US for its long-term support of Taiwan. The recent developments in cross-strait relations have been hard won. Mainland China should remove its military and missile deployment targeting Taiwan, so as to facilitate the further improvement of cross-strait relations and create an environment for peace and prosperity.

January 13, 2010
While attending the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' "East Asian Regional Affairs Meeting," President Ma Ying-jeou states that the government's cross-strait policy is based on the framework of the Constitution of the Republic of China. It adopts the position of "no unification, no independence, and no use of force," which is consistent with Taiwan's mainstream public opinion that insists on putting Taiwan first for the benefit of the people. At the same time, the development of cross-strait relations is based on the "1992 Consensus," which is "one China, with respective interpretations." Under this kind of framework, the Mainland has no reason to apply the label of Taiwan independence. During his term, President Ma will not discuss the issue of cross-strait unification with the Mainland. This will enable the Mainland's position of "peaceful development" and Taiwan's position of "peace and co-prosperity" to have the greatest common denominator, which is "peace."

January 13, 2010
The MAC states that from initial observations, Mainland procurement delegations to Taiwan generated US$8.37 billion in exports in 2009, down from US$15.87 billion in 2008, raising suspicions of exaggeration in the Mainland's claims that US$14 billion in such procurement has spurred exports from Taiwan. It notes that the statements of mainland China's Taiwan Affairs Office regarding the benefits of Mainland procurement for Taiwan exports, industrial production, employment, enterprises and general public "fall short of the actual circumstances." Furthermore, the Mainland procurement delegations are commercial actions representing economic and trade exchanges between companies and meet the interests of the supply and demand sides in a complementary and mutually beneficial way. Such exchanges do not just benefit Taiwan alone.

January 15, 2010
The Bureau of Foreign Trade (BOFT) issues a press release stating that the negotiations for the signing of a cross-strait economic cooperation agreement will be continued. Some traditional industries in Taiwan are likely to feel an impact once the agreement is signed. In order to help these industries to develop overseas market, the BOFT has planned the following specific measures: 1) Participation in overseas exhibition and sales promotion groups; 2) Participation in international trade shows in Taipei; 3) Establishment of product showcase areas at Taiwan trade fairs; 4) Provision of business and market intelligence; 5) Online promotion; and 6) Fostering marketing competitiveness.

January 18, 2010
At the opening ceremony for the CommonWealth Economic Forum, President Ma Ying-jeou states in a speech that the government will formulate a sound mechanism to increase trade volume. This mechanism cannot just benefit large companies but must also care for the small and medium enterprises that make up 98% of all businesses in Taiwan, as well as central and southern Taiwan and low- to mid-income households. He hopes that this year Taiwan and mainland China can sign the Cross-Strait Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA). With this agreement, Taiwan should face less pressure and resistance in talks with other countries.

January 21, 2010
Minister of Economic Affairs Shih Yen-shiang states that the main agenda for the first formal negotiations on the cross-strait economic cooperation agreement will focus on general procedural issues and overall views. The talks will not touch on the early harvest list or other substantive negotiation issues.

January 22, 2010
During a year-end press conference, MAC Minister Lai Shin-yuan states that 2009 was a year of continued steady development for cross-strait relations. In keeping with President Ma's Mainland policy position of "putting Taiwan first for the benefit of the people," the MAC gradually established a system and regulated order for cross-strait exchanges. While defending "Taiwan-centric identity," the council worked for the benefit of the people. In the year ahead, the government will continue to promote institutionalized negotiations and cross-strait exchanges under the principle 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." Exchanges must be orderly, measured and move forward in a gradual manner to build up experience, lay a firm foundation of mutual trust, and pave the way for follow-up negotiations on more complex issues. The Cross-Strait Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) promoted by the government is designed to develop Taiwan's economy, promote Taiwan's participation in regional economic integration, and expand Taiwan's development space.

January 25, 2010
MAC Deputy Minister Johnnason Liu states at a press conference that the issue of restricting Mainland agricultural imports to Taiwan will not be addressed by the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) and therefore does not need to be regulated under such a framework. He also emphasizes that the ECFA is a framework agreement. In the future, the two sides must move forward in a gradual and orderly manner. Apart from certain priority and urgent items included in the early harvest list, there is no need to set a timetable for other areas, including the trade in goods and services, investment agreements and dispute resolution mechanisms. Through this negotiation platform, the two sides can carry out negotiations and communication as needed without a timetable.

January 26, 2010
The MAC issues a press release stating that, over the past 20 months, the government has consistently emphasized that the Republic of China is an independent sovereign country. Since May 20, 2008, 12 agreements have been signed through four negotiations under the SEF-ARATS framework as well as under the principle of "equality and dignity." There absolutely has been no self-downgrading of national dignity or self-belittlement. The Cross-Strait Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) like the 12 agreements signed before it, is an economic agreement concluded via the SEF-ARATS framework and will not involve any self-reduction of national dignity or self-belittlement.

January 26, 2010
The Council of Agriculture states that President Ma has clearly announced that Taiwan will continue to control imports of 830 Mainland agricultural products. This is the basic position of the ROC in signing the cross-strait economic agreement. The government will not compromise on this point. After the agreement is signed, the government will only discuss agricultural issues that are beneficial to farmers in Taiwan.

January 27, 2010
During a meeting with Taiwan's Cross-Strait Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) delegation led by SEF Vice Chairman Kao Koong-lian, MAC Minister Lai Shin-yuan states that the ECFA is a part of the government's overall economic, trade, and industrial policy. It is designed as a stepping-stone for internationalizing Taiwan's economy. Taiwan's overall development strategy is "to position itself globally" and "to put Taiwan first." The ECFA will make the cross-strait economic and trade development a support for Taiwan's further advance into world markets. While promoting the ECFA, the government will also heed the three principles of "national need, public support, and legislative supervision" to fulfill its responsibilities to the Legislative Yuan and gain public support. The executive agencies will be subject to a "high degree of legislative supervision," and will also continue to communicate with various sectors of society in line with the principle of transparency so that everyone will further understand the likely advantages and disadvantages of the ECFA, as well as the response measures to be taken by the government, in order to win the support of the majority of the public.

January 27, 2010
MAC Deputy Minister Johnnason Liu announces the completion of the first negotiation on the Cross-Strait Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA). The future negotiation period will last for two to four months. During that time, the MAC will report once monthly to the Legislative Yuan on the progress of the negotiations, with the frequency of reporting likely to increase to twice per month starting from the fifth month.

February 1, 2010
At a meeting of the International Democratic Union's Executive Committee, President Ma Ying-jeou states that Taiwan must improve relations with mainland China, and also hopes to extend this peace to the entire world. That is the reason for adopting a "flexible diplomacy" policy and ceasing the destructive tug of war with the Mainland for diplomatic allies. President Ma indicates that in May last year, Taiwan attended the 62nd session of the World Health Assembly as an observer in the name of "Chinese Taipei"; and in July last year, Taiwan acceded to the WTO Agreement on Government Procurement. These developments demonstrate that in the process of improving relations between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait, Taiwan has bolstered its relations with Japan, Australia, and European countries.

February 2, 2010
At the National Conference of Taiwan's University Presidents, President Ma Ying-jeou states that allowing Mainland students to study in Taiwan, recognizing Mainland-issued academic credentials, and encouraging cross-strait young students to engage in exchanges at the earliest possible time will present opportunities for mutual understanding, competition, and expanding horizons. Moreover, this will help enhance the future competitiveness of Taiwan students.

February 2, 2010
The MAC states that Article 95 of the Act Governing Relations Between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area (thereafter referred to as the Act) stipulates that the implementation of cross-strait direct transportation links should be decided by the Legislative Yuan. If the Legislative Yuan fails to adopt any resolution within one month, the consent is deemed granted. Therefore, since the Legislative Yuan did not complete within one month the resolution procedure for the cross-strait agreements on cross-strait sea and air transport signed in November 2008, this effectively constitutes consent and these agreements therefore have legal force. Since the other 10 agreements signed do not involve any legal amendments in Taiwan, these agreements shall be submitted to the Legislative Yuan for record once they have been legally approved by the Executive Yuan, according to Article 5 of the said Act. The MAC emphasizes that if there is any content of the Cross-Strait Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) that requires legal amendment, such content must, according to Article 5 of the said Act, be reviewed and approved by the Legislative Yuan before coming into effect. Without legislative approval, the agreement may not be implemented.

February 3, 2010
In a report to the Legislative Yuan on the progress of the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA), MAC Minister Lai Shin-yuan states that the government will strengthen communication on the ECFA to the "three middles" indicated by President Ma Ying-jeou: "central and southern Taiwan, mid- to low-income families, and small and medium enterprises." Executive agencies have arranged procedures for close legislative supervision and will present monthly reports to a joint session of the Legislative Yuan's Internal Administration Committee, Economics Committee, Finance Committee, and Social Welfare and Environmental Hygiene Committee, as well as to the president of the Legislative Yuan and the various party caucuses.

February 3, 2010
The Council of Agriculture issues a press release reiterating that the Cross-Strait Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) absolutely will not remove restrictions on the 830 mainland Chinese agricultural imports currently not allowed into Taiwan. Therefore, the agreement will not impact Taiwan's farm industry. In signing free trade agreements (FTAs) with other countries in the future, the government will also cite exceptional treatment and flexible measures from other FTAs now in force, as well as formulate special defensive mechanisms and origin rules. Furthermore, the government will negotiate terms favorable to Taiwan's agricultural sector and promote active and effective industry adjustment measures, strengthen industrial competitiveness, and deploy appropriate advance emergency response and relief measures to safeguard farmers' rights and interests.

February 9, 2010
During a press conference on the "Presidential Report: Cross-Strait Economic Agreement," President Ma Ying-jeou emphasizes that the government will adhere to the principles of "putting Taiwan first for the benefit of the people" and "national need, public support, and legislative supervision." Under the overall strategy of "strengthening Taiwan, facilitating cross-strait integration, and enabling Taiwanese enterprises to extend their reach world," the government will work to improve Taiwan's competitiveness so that it can stand firmly in the complex international climate. The main objective of a "cross-strait economic agreement" is to "help Taiwan's people do business and boost Taiwan's competitiveness." President Ma also states that, the "cross-strait economic agreement" has three major components: 1) tariff reductions and exemption; 2) investment protection; and 3) intellectual property rights protection. All three of these components will make Taiwan businesses more profitable.

February 9, 2010
The MAC issues a press release indicating that, since the new government came into office two years ago, the related government agencies have fully respected and accepted the supervisory authority exercised by Legislature in promoting cross-strait institutionalized negotiations and adjusting mainland China policy measures. The Legislative Yuan has a sound mechanism for supervising cross-strait affairs. Legislative supervision is legally codified under the constitution and the Act Governing Relations Between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area. In the future, executive agencies will continue to closely liaise with the legislature, in keeping with constitutional and legal procedures and in carrying out the instructions of President Ma and Premier Wu Den-yih. They also will continue to strengthen communication and interactions with the legislature and various political parties.

February 17, 2010
During a meeting with a delegation led by US Congressman James Sensenbrenner, Jr., ranking Republican on the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, President Ma Ying-jeou states that over the past 20 months, there has been a warming of ties between the two sides and the number of contacts between the two sides has also increased significantly. This shows that the Taiwan Strait is gradually casting off the shadow of war. In addition, reconciliation between the two sides is also beneficial with regard to Taiwan's international relations. This year, Taiwan and mainland China will negotiate the signing of a cross-strait Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA). The agreement will help to institutionalize the over NT$100 billion of trade between the two sides, protect the interests of Taiwan companies, and safeguard intellectual property rights. At the same time, the government will carefully maintain the sovereignty of the Republic of China and protect the interests of the people of Taiwan, especially workers and farmers.

February 18, 2010
The MAC issues a press release indicating that, regarding the mutual establishment of tourism offices between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait, the Taiwan Strait Tourism Association and Cross-Strait Tourism Exchange Association have simultaneously submitted applications and the two sides are now intensively proceeding with follow-up preparations to begin operations. The MAC is optimistic that the offices will enable faster and more beneficial and effective services to cross-strait travelers.

February 22, 2010
During the 2010 Lunar New Year gathering and tea party for Taiwanese businesspeople in the Mainland, President Ma Ying-jeou states that the main contents of the "cross-strait economic agreement" will be "one help, two noes and three yeses." "One help" means helping the people do business and upgrading Taiwan competitiveness"; the "two noes" refer to "no opening of Taiwan to Mainland laborers and no increase in Mainland agricultural imports to Taiwan"; and the "three yeses" are "tariff reduction and exemption, investment protection, and intellectual property rights protection." These are all important strategies to support Taiwan's development. They also represent the major significance of the "cross-strait economic agreement."

February 22, 2010
During the 2010 Lunar New Year gathering of Taiwanese businesspeople in the Mainland, MAC Minister Lai Shin-yuan states that the main negotiation issues at the fifth Chiang-Chen Talks in the first half of this year will be the Cross-Strait Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) and intellectual property rights protection. In addition, related agencies will continue to negotiate with the Mainland on the avoidance of double taxation and strengthening of tax cooperation and other issues closely related to the rights and interests of Taiwan businesses, under the premise of maximizing Taiwan's interests. Minister Lai also emphasizes that the overall strategy of the government in promoting the cross-strait economic agreement is aimed at "strengthening Taiwan, facilitating cross-strait integration, and enabling Taiwanese enterprises to extend their reach world." The purpose is to "help the people do business and enhance Taiwan's competitiveness." This is fully consistent with the principle of "putting Taiwan first for the benefit of the people." In order to smoothly promote related work, the government will continue to strengthen communication with the public and legislature based on the principles of "national need, public support, and legislative supervision."

February 23, 2010
In a policy report to the Legislative Yuan, Premier Wu Den-yih states that under the highest principle of "putting Taiwan first for the benefit of the people," the government has pragmatically handled cross-strait relations and resumed institutionalized negotiations. This is aimed at reaching the goal of "mutual benefit and a win-win solution." In order to eliminate the crisis of marginalization, the government is also actively promoting cross-strait economic and trade normalization and the internationalization of Taiwan's economy through the signing of a Cross-Strait Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA). The main contents of this agreement will include the cross-strait tariff reduction and exemption, investment protection and intellectual property rights protection. If the agreement can be signed, it will facilitate Taiwan's access to mainland China, ASEAN and other large markets and expand exports. The cross-strait economic agreement also will represent major progress in "helping the people do business and upgrading Taiwan's competitiveness." Premier Wu also emphasizes that the cross-strait economic agreement will be signed under the three principles of "national need, public support, and legislative supervision." Moreover, there absolutely will be no dwarfing of Taiwan's sovereignty, no further opening of Taiwan to Mainland agricultural products, and no opening of Taiwan to Mainland laborers.

February 24, 2010
At the 2010 Spring Festival party hosted for the Diplomatic Corps by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, President Ma Ying-jeou expresses hope that Taiwan and mainland China can sign an Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA). This agreement will increase bilateral trade, protect Taiwan investments and intellectual property rights, and boost the willingness of foreign companies to invest in Taiwan. Besides discussing the ECFA with mainland China, Taiwan will negotiate and sign free trade agreements with other major trading partners, thereby preventing Taiwan from being shut out of the process of economic integration within the Asia-Pacific region. President Ma also states that cross-strait relations and foreign relations are mutually complementary. He hopes that in the future when it comes to the ROC's international space, mainland China can express more goodwill toward the ROC government and the private sector. If the people of Taiwan feel the Mainland's goodwill, they will be more willing to support the government in deepening relations with the Mainland.

March 1, 2010
At a tea reception for the 60th anniversary of the labor insurance system, President Ma Ying-jeou states that the basic goal of the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) is to help the people do business and improve Taiwan's competitiveness. The main contents of the agreement include three areas: tariff concessions and exemptions, protection of Taiwan business investment, and protection of the intellectual property rights of the people of Taiwan. It is entirely unrelated to the issue of opening up Taiwan to Mainland workers.

March 5, 2010
At a presidential town hall meeting on the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA), President Ma Ying-jeou states that the signing of the ECFA is aimed at strengthening Taiwan, forging cross-strait links, and supporting global expansion to make Taiwan a global innovation center, Asia-Pacific economic and trade hub, global operation headquarters for Taiwan businesses, and Asia-Pacific operation headquarters for foreign enterprises. He also emphasizes that the ECFA will not contain any political clauses, such as "one country, two systems" or "unification of China." The content will be as open as possible and will be submitted to the Legislative Yuan for review. The government will carry out this matter consistent with three conditions: national need, public support and legislative oversight.

March 7, 2010
The MAC issues a press release indicating that the repatriation of Pai Hung-shen was handled by related agencies on both sides across the Strait through the liaison platform established according to the "Agreement on Cross-Strait Joint Crime-Fighting and Judicial Mutual Assistance." The significant mission was jointly completed through close and active cooperation between the two sides. This indicates that since the Agreement came into effect, it has gradually shown its important functions of upholding public security, protecting the rights and interests of the people, and maintaining social justice.

March 7, 2010
At a seminar on the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA), MAC Deputy Minister Kao Charng states that the ECFA will only regulate cross-strait economic cooperation affairs, and absolutely will not touch unification or independence and political issues. The Agreement will contain no political clauses, such as "one country, two systems" or the "one China principle." In promoting Mainland policy, the MAC will fully serve its roles both as promoter as well as watchdog. Our government will only sign the ECFA with the Mainland under the conditions that it safeguards Taiwan's identity, benefits the people, and accords with the principles of cross-strait reciprocity and dignity.

March 13, 2010
In a keynote speech presented at the 26th Region Rotary Club International Annual Meeting, Vice President Vincent Siew states that the main goals of the government in signing the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) are to strengthen Taiwan, forge cross-strait links, and promote global expansion in order to make Taiwan a global innovative center, Asia-Pacific economic and trade hub, operation headquarters for Taiwan businesses and foreign enterprises.
Vice President Siew emphasizes that the ECFA will not contain any political language and will only deal with economic issues. The government will adhere to the principles of "one help, two noes, and three yeses": help for people to do business to improve Taiwan's competitiveness; yes to tariffs and quarantine inspections, investment protections, and intellectual property right protection; and absolutely no opening of Taiwan to Mainland agricultural products and workers.

March 14, 2010
During the "Seminar on the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA)," President Ma Ying-jeou states that not signing the ECFA would lead to "difficultues in doing business and competing" and "economic isolation," making it very hard for Taiwan to survive. Since Taiwan has not signed free trade agreements with other Asian countries, it is unable to enjoy the lowest tariff rates. As a result, Taiwan's exports to the U.S., Japan, Korea, mainland China and Southeast Asia are shrinking. It is a very serious matter that requires an urgent response. After signing the ECFA, Taiwan's foreign enterprises will increase their investments and more foreign enterprises also will be attracted Taiwan.

March 16, 2010
At the 2010 "Hsieh Nien Fan" banquet held by the American Chamber of Commerce in Taipei, President Ma Ying-jeou says that the ROC hopes to participate in regional economic integration and sign the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) with mainland China. This will constitute a very important part while Taiwan’s facing global challenges. To become a regional springboard for Northeast Asia, Taiwan needs not only to increase its links to other markets, but also to strengthen its relationships with the United States, Japan, ASEAN, and other important trading partners. The ECFA with mainland China will be a highly important step for Taiwan in the ongoing and growing regional economic integration.

March 16, 2010
While attending the "2010 Taiwan Investment Briefing," Vice President Vincent Siew states that the Cross-strait Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) is the first step in integrating Taiwan with East Asia. This is the only way for Taiwan to fully leverage its geographical advantages in East Asia, become a regional collection point for the flow of goods, people and capital in this area, and develop as a key innovations and entrepreneurial in East Asia.

March 16, 2010
MAC Minister Lai Shin-yuan and leading officials of related agencies brief the Legislative Yuan on preparations for negotiations of the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA). She states that:
1.The ECFA will only regulate cross-strait economic cooperation affairs and absolutely will not involve political issues such as unification or independence, or "one China, one Taiwan, or "one country, two systems." In promoting the ECFA negotiations, the government absolutely will follow carefully under the principle of safeguarding Taiwan's identity, benefiting the people, and ensure reciprocity and dignity.
2.Since cross-strait negotiations resumed in 2008, the related government ministries and agencies have fully respected and been under the Legislative Yuan’s supervision in promoting institutionalized cross-strait negotiations and adjusting various Mainland policy measures. Under its current praxis and procedures, the Legislative Yuan supervises administrative cross-strait affairs by resolution of related committees or joint committee meetings, policy reports, interpellation and other methods. The legislature has sound mechanisms and its oversight of cross-strait agreements is stipulated by the Constitution and the Act Governing Relations between People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area.

March 16, 2010
The Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) states that the Executive Yuan has approved cross-strait contacts in the financial, securities and futures, and insurance industries, as well as related draft of investment permission and management measures. The FSC has procedurally promulgated and enacted these measures.

March 20, 2010
During a celebration event for members of the Society for Strategic Studies, R.O.C., Premier Wu Den-yih states that the nation has an urgent need to sign the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA). Furthermore, in the course of peaceful cross-strait development, the government also has to uphold national sovereignty and dignity and protect the security and prosperity of Taiwan.

March 21, 2010
During a public discussuon on the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) at the central office of the Executive Yuan, Premier Wu Den-yih states that the ECFA negotiated by the government will be subject to supervision by the Legislative Yuan. If the Agreement is not beneficial to the people, it will be rejected by the legislature. If the benefits of the Agreement are not as anticipated after implementation, or if the mainland side fails to act in good faith, there also will be a termination clause to safeguard the greatest interests of our country. The government will actively negotiate the Agreement true to the principle of "putting Taiwan first for the benefit of the people." The premier expresses hope that the people will give more support to the government in negotiating and signing the ECFA.

March 23, 2010
In the Republic of Nauru, President Ma Ying-jeou states that the improvement of cross-strait relations absolutely will help Taiwan expand its international relations and also build willingness and confidence in deepening cross-strait relations. Furthermore, benign cross-strait relations also can gradually remove the threat of war and steadily institutionalize exchanges in culture, economic, trade and other areas.

March 23, 2010
The Government Information Office (GIO) announces approval for Xiamen Star TV and Hunan Television to base reporters in Taiwan.

March 27, 2010
At a seminar on "Taiwan's Economic Strategy" held by I-Shou University in Kaohsiung County, Vice President Vincent Siew states that the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) is an agreement aimed at cross-strait economic and trade issues and affairs. Economic agreements will certainly help the economy, therefore the two sides need to protect their interests by means of an agreement. In negotiating the Agreement, Taiwan absolutely will not consent to further open up to any new agricultural imports from mainland China, nor will it admit Mainland workers. Therefore, the Agreement will not affect the employment opportunities of workers in Taiwan. Taiwan also will not open up service sectors involving political ideology and professional ability, such as legal and accounting services or the media industry.
Vice President Siew states that the signing of the ECFA is aimed at giving Taiwan's industries more room for development and enabling Taiwan to use the Mainland market to enhance our economic strength. By utilizing the development opportunities in mainland China, Taiwan can rise to a new economic peak. The ECFA represents a key choice for Taiwan at a critical moment. The government will adhere to the principle of "putting Taiwan first for the benefit of the people" and work hard for Taiwan.

March 27, 2010
While attending a briefing on the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA), MAC Deputy Minister Johnnason Liu states that the ECFA is a framework dialogue mechanism established through institutionalized negotiation channels to resolve issues originating from cross-strait economic and trade exchanges over the past many years. The government absolutely will not further open up Taiwan to Mainland agricultural imports or labor.

March 29, 2010
MAC Deputy Minister Johnnason Liu announces that the second round of formal negotiations on the cross-strait Economic Cooperation Agreement (ECFA) will be held over two days in Taipei, starting on March 31. In the negotiation process, the Taiwan negotiation team will adhere to the position of "putting Taiwan first for the benefit of the people" and work for the greatest interests of Taiwan.

March 30, 2010
During an interview with EBC Financial News, Premier Wu Den-yih states that the principle in signing the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) is "national need, public support, and legislative oversight." The Agreement will help enterprises maintain their advantage in the Mainland market, as well as increase the willingness of neighboring countries to sign free trade agreements with Taiwan.
Premier Wu Den-yih also states that the government definitely will ensure that, once the ECFA is signed, Taiwan will not further open up if it is detrimental to the interests of the people of Taiwan, including no further opening to Mainland agricultural goods. Taiwan also will not allow Mainland workers to Taiwan so as to prevent making the job market even more difficult.

March 31, 2010
In response to Wang Yi's five directions for the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) as related by Taiwan Affairs Office Spokesperson Yang Yi, the MAC states that Wang Yi's formulation closely echoes the MAC’s long proposed opinions and position. The MAC is delighted to see the other side has such realization after the negotiations and communication between the two sides.

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 1, 2010
At the 2010 Elite Joint Recruitment Fair, President Ma Ying-jeou states that the signing of the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) will increase Taiwan's exports to mainland China and create job opportunities. More importantly, foreign investors in Taiwan have widely stated that, after the ECFA is signed, they will be willing to increase their stakes in Taiwan and that other foreign enterprises also will invest in Taiwan. At that time, Taiwan will become an Asia-Pacific economic and trade hub since investing in Taiwan will help these companies export products to the world's second-largest export market—mainland China.

May 4, 2010
While attending the "Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) Policy Briefing" of the Taiwan Certified Public Accountants Association, Premier Wu Den-yih states that President Ma Ying-jeou's economic strategy is to "strengthen Taiwan, connect with the Asia-Pacific region, and adopt a global outlook." The signing of the ECFA will link Taiwan to the Asia-Pacific region and help Taiwan to maintain good management in the Mainland market. In signing the ECFA, the government will adhere to the "one help, two noes, and three musts"—help the people do business and upgrade Taiwan’s competitiveness; no further opening to Mainland agricultural products and no opening of Taiwan to Mainland workers; it also must secure tariff concessions, protect investment rights, and safeguard intellectual property rights.

May 5, 2010
During an informal discussion meeting in Tainan on the signing of the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA), President Ma Ying-jeou states that the government has always advocated the principle of "putting Taiwan first for the benefit of the people." The signing of the ECFA also will accord with this method. Taiwan is represented by the Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) and mainland China is represented by the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS); nothing will be changed. After signing the ECFA with mainland China, Taiwan will promptly launch a free trade agreement (FTA) committee to begin talks with major trade partners on signing FTAs.
However, in signing FTAs with other countries, Taiwan also will face the problem of opening up to the imports from these countries. Therefore, the planning of the Ministry of Economic Affairs aims not just at the ECFA, but also at preparation for trade liberalization overall.

May 7, 2010
In an interview with the Washington Post, President Ma Ying-jeou states that although he does not exclude the possibility of meeting with the Chinese leader in the future, the focus at present is on the progress of cross-strait trade, travel, and government-to-government cooperation. The two sides are already in an operationally good "status quo," with the Mainland putting aside its demand for unification and Taiwan removing the position of independence so that both sides can first work fully to maintain peace.

May 7, 2010
While attending the Assembly of the Members of the General Chamber of Commerce of the ROC, President Ma Ying-jeou states that in his debate with Democratic Progressive Party Chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen he openly called on mainland China not to obstruct Taiwan's free trade agreement talks with major trade partners since trade is Taiwan's lifeblood. Without trade, Taiwan will not survive, especially when exports account for over 65% of our gross domestic product.

May 7, 2010
The MAC announces the results of its latest public opinion survey. Up to nearly 70% (69%) of the people affirm that cross-strait institutionalized negotiations are conducive to the peace and stability of cross-strait relations. Moreover, nearly 60% (57.4%) of the people agree that cross-strait economic and trade exchanges and negotiations will help Taiwan's economy further develop in Asia and the world. As for the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA), nearly 60% (58.9%) of the people believe that signing of the ECFA is conducive to Taiwan's economic development, and over 50% (53.1%) of the people support the government in negotiating and signing the EFCA with mainland China.

May 8, 2010
While attending a symposium on the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) in Hualien, President Ma Ying-jeou states that the Ministry of Economic Affairs has drawn up a budget of NT$95 billion over 10 years for "remedies," "structure adjustment," "revitalization counseling, " based on the degree of impact, to help companies that will potentially be harmed by the signing of the ECFA.

May 12, 2010
During an interview with the Nihon Keizai Shimbun (Nikkei), President Ma Ying-jeou states that Taiwan and mainland China aim to sign the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) in June. As for establishing a mutual military trust mechanism and signing a peace agreement with mainland China, the President states that "economic and cultural agreements currently have the priority at present," and that "in the current phase there is no negotiation on these subjects, nor any specific timetable."

May 14, 2010
At the 2010 Europe Day Dinner, President Ma Ying-jeou states that the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) will cover three major subjects: first is tariff concessions; secondly, the protection of intellectual property rights; and thirdly, investment protection. The first step of the ECFA is the "Early Harvest List," which involves negotiations on tariff items beneficial to Taiwan. The IPR protection will be included as an item for negotiation as well, while the investment protection issue will first be included in name with the specific content to be negotiated after the ECFA is signed. After the ECFA is signed, it will be sent to the Legislative Yuan for approval.

May 15, 2010
At the founding ceremony for the Alumni Association of the Executive MBA Program at the College of International Affairs, National Chengchi University, President Ma Ying-jeou states that the cross-strait relationship is not international relationship. It is a special relationship because, in legal principle, the two sides do not recognize each other mutually; in fact, however, the two sides cannot avoid mutual non-denial. Besides, current negotiations between Taiwan and the Mainland have to be carried out by related governmental agencies. Therefore, the two sides have adopted a pragmatic attitude in handling cross-strait issues.

May 15, 2010
During an interview with Super Radio Station, MAC Minister Lai Shin-yuan indicates that the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) is not a comprehensive free trade agreement. As for gradually eliminating tariffs on Mainland products to zero within 10 years, the World Trade Organization (WT O) has no compulsory stipulations requiring members to open up their markets to over 90% of import products.

May 16, 2010
Presidential Office Spokesperson Luo Chih-chiang states that cross-strait communication methods include direct official formal channels as well as indirect non-governmental informal channels. All matters concerning government authority must be handled through the Straits Exchange Foundation and the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits and carried out with legislative oversight and full transparency.

May 19, 2010
During a press conference to mark the second anniversary of his inauguration, President Ma Ying-jeou states that peaceful means should be used to establish order in the Taiwan Strait. Reconciliation between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait can be expanded to the diplomatic arena, giving Taiwan a peaceful external environment. The government adheres to the principle of "no unification, no independence, and no use of force" under the framework of the ROC Constitution. In addition, the President notes that the 1992 Consensus with mainland China serves as the foundation for the development of the cross-strait. Taiwan will first promote reconciliation, followed by cooperation, and lastly the establishment of peace.

May 19, 2010
The MAC issues a press release emphasizing that, under the overall national strategy of "strengthening Taiwan, connecting with the Asia-Pacific region, and adopting a global outlook," the government will promote cross-strait economic and trade exchanges as well as the signing of the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA). The ECFA will enable Taiwan to upgrade its international competitiveness at the situation of regional economic integration. The ECFA is about handling special economic issues and discussing the matter on how to "work for the benefit of the people." It is entirely unrelated to the issues of unification, independence, or sovereignty.

May 19, 2010
At a forum on "Meeting the Challenges of the ECFA, Creating Taiwan's Future" held by the Association for Strategic Development of Chinese Economic Region, Premier Wu Den-yih states that the signing of the cross-strait Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) will create more opportunities to sign free trade agreements (FTA) with other countries, while protecting the jobs of Taiwan workers and attracting foreign enterprises to invest in Taiwan.

May 22, 2010
At a symposium on the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA), President Ma Ying-jeou states that the ECFA is very similar to a free trade agreement. The most important aspect is that the two sides have to reduce tariffs. The immediate result is the increase in two-way trade, making companies willing to invest more, and the investment willingness of foreign enterprises will also rise. This is why the U.S., European and Japanese business associations in Taiwan all strongly support the signing of the ECFA.

May 23, 2010
At the forum titled "ECFA: Tomorrow's Energy for Your Prosperity" in Taichung County, MAC Minister Lai Shin-yuan states that at the second round of formal negotiations, the two sides reached a consensus on not to further open up Taiwan to Mainland agricultural imports. President Ma Ying-jeou has emphasized that, during his term in office, he will not allow the import of any new items of Mainland agricultural products to Taiwan so as not to affect the livelihood of the farmers.

May 24, 2010
During a meeting with the 17th Asia Taiwanese Chambers of Commerce visiting mission, Premier Wu Den-yih states that mainland China is the world's most important factory. The government must first take good care of this biggest basket that holds the most eggs, so that Taiwan's industries will have hope. The government, therefore, will certainly do everything in its power to sign the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA).

May 25, 2010
During a meeting with the 17th Asia Taiwanese Chambers of Commerce visiting mission, President Ma Ying-jeou states that the increase in cross-strait interactions is the most evident effect of the government's achievements on the improvement of cross-strait relations. This can reduce cross-strait tensions and also greatly lower the chance of military conflicts.

May 25, 2010
The MAC issues a press release stating that the pursuit of peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait enjoys the greatest consensus among the people of Taiwan. It is also the core significance of the government's Mainland policy. President Ma has repeatedly and openly called on the Mainland side to remove its missiles deployed against Taiwan so that it would be possible for the two sides to negotiate and sign a peace agreement. This is the position that the government has long stood firmly by and will continue to convey to the Mainland side.

May 26, 2010
During a meeting with students of the Ministry of National Defense's "Retraining Class of High-level Friends from Far" and their family members, President Ma Ying-jeou states that for the past two years, the government has dedicated its efforts to improving cross-strait relations, with the main goal of reducing tensions in the Taiwan Strait and thereby maintaining regional peace and stability. The improving relations with mainland China absolutely will not affect Taiwan's amicable and long friendship with diplomatic allies. Current cooperation plans will continue to be carried out and even be extended and broadened if there is consensus between the two sides.

May 26, 2010
During a meeting with a European Parliament delegation headed by Michael Gahler, President Ma Ying-jeou states that Taiwan adopts the principle of shifting from confrontation to negotiation and from conflict to reconciliation. He says his administration is working diligently to improve cross-strait relations. This has greatly reduced tensions in the Taiwan Strait, thereby defusing tension in one of the two so-called flashpoints in East Asia.

May 27, 2010
The MAC issues a press release stating that the government respects the people's democratic rights and will not interfere with the a referendum guided by law. But it does not approve of submitting the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) to a referendum, since the ECFA will only come into effect after being reviewed and approved by the Legislative Yuan according to law.

May 28, 2010
In a meeting with representatives of enterprises winning the 2010 Job Creation Awards, President Ma Ying-jeou states that the government is currently active in talks with mainland China on signing the cross-strait Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA). It has also reached an initial consensus with the Mainland side to make the utmost effort not to affect Taiwan's vulnerable traditional industries. Negotiations are currently still underway. The government hopes that progress can be achieved as soon as possible so that Taiwan's foreign trade, especially with major trading nations, can promptly be institutionalized.

May 28, 2010
The Legislative Yuan approves draft revisions to Article 29-1 of the Act Governing Relations between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area. Under the revised aAct, air and sea transport companies in the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area that engage in cross-strait sea shipping and air transport may enjoy mutual reduction of business tax and income tax on transportation income earned from the other side according to the cross-strait sea transport and air transport agreement and on the principle of mutual benefit.

May 28, 2010
At a "Briefing on the Impact of the Cross-Strait Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) on Processing Zone Industries and Labor Rights and Interests," Premier Wu Den-yih emphasizes that, President Ma Ying-jeou has announced several times that negotiations with mainland China on signing the ECFA will certainly take into account the interests of the people of Taiwan and abide the principle of "putting Taiwan first for the benefit of the people." If the Agreement harms Taiwan's interests, it will be better not to sign it.

May 29, 2010
In a speech at the Induction Ceremony for the President of the Changhua County Association, President Ma Ying-jeou states that the government is now in negotiations with mainland China over the signing of the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA). The aim is to give Taiwan an opportunity to participate in international economic integration. After the Agreement is signed, Taiwan’s exports to the Mainland will enjoy tariff concessions. In the future, the government will pay close attention to the import of cheap Mainland products to Taiwan. President Ma also reiterates that while signing the ECFA with the Mainland, the government will certainly uphold the sovereignty of the Republic of China and protect Taiwan's dignity. Taiwan will not rashly hurt itself. If situations emerge in a way that Taiwan cannot secure its due interests, the government will have no qualms in calling the whole thing off.

June 1, 2010
The MAC issues a press release stating that trade is Taiwan's lifeblood. The two sides across the Taiwan Strait are World Trade Organization (WTO) members. The signing of free trade agreements (FTAs) is the right of WTO members and an opportunity for economic and trade development in Taiwan. The point of this is to develop economic and trade exchanges between Taiwan and other countries or areas and to advance Taiwan's economic interests. The government has always asked the Mainland authorities not to obstruct Taiwan in signing FTAs with its trading partners.

June 3, 2010
During a meeting with a delegation from the Mainland Taiwan Businessmen's Association, President Ma Ying-jeou states that the government's overall economic strategy is to "strengthen Taiwan, connect with the Asian Pacific region, and adopt a global outlook." Therefore, after signing an economic agreement with the Mainland, Taiwan still hopes to negotiate similar agreements with its major trading partners and openly asks the Mainland authorities not to obstruct this.

June 3, 2010
During a meeting with a party led by Raymond F. Burghardt, Chairman of American Institute in Taiwan, Vice President Vincent Siew states that the main content of the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) that Taiwan is actively negotiating with mainland China includes tariff concessions, protection of intellectual property right, and investment protection. The early harvest list is aimed at negotiating tariffs on items favorable to Taiwan. The most important thing is not to increase imports of agricultural products from mainland China and not to allow Mainland laborers to work in Taiwan.

June 3, 2010
In a statement on the 21st anniversary of the Tiananmen Square Incident, the MAC indicates that democracy, freedom and human rights are universal values expected by humankind. Taiwan sincerely hopes that on the path to economic prosperity and progress, the authorities of the Mainland can more quickly promote democracy, freedom and a pluralistic, open society, so as to create a happier and more dignified living environment for the Mainland people. The MAC Minister Lai Shin-Yuan states that a re-examination of the causes, course and results of the Tiananmen Incident is the key to developing a harmonious society in the Mainland, and achieving long-term peace and prosperity across the Taiwan Strait.

June 4, 2010
In a comment on the Tiananmen Square Incident, President Ma Ying-jeou expresses hope that the Mainland authorities can show new thinking on human rights, gradually resolve issues left by major human rights incidents, and treat dissidents with greater tolerance. This not only will help increase the trust of the Mainland people toward the Mainland authorities, but also is bound to substantially narrow the human rights gap between the two sides. It also will impress the world that mainland China's rise is not only peaceful, but also a manifestation of the universal values of freedom and democracy.

June 4, 2010
During a gathering with the leaders of major Taiwanese business associations in Hong Kong, MAC Minister Lai Shin-Yuan states that the new government will transform cross-strait economic and trade relations into a supporting force to lead Taiwan's economy toward the world market. At the same time, the improvement of cross-strait relations also has an active and positive demonstration effect on peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region overall. Furthermore, the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) promoted by the government is a small but necessary economic pact. It is not a free trade agreement (FTA) involving full-blown opening-up. The main content of the ECFA is to provide a catalog of economic cooperation affairs to be promoted between the two sides in the future. "Advancing gradually in a step-by-step manner" is absolutely the most important factor to take into account when it comes to promoting the ECFA.

June 5, 2010
During a meeting with U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Dianne Feinstein, President Ma Ying-jeou points out that the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) is being negotiated by Taiwan and mainland China, hoping that it can be signed soon. After the pact is approved by the legislature, it will further institutionalize cross-strait economic and trade relations. Moreover, at the same time that cross-strait relations are strengthening, Taiwan's relations with the United States, Japan, the European Union, Southeast Asia, New Zealand, and Australia has also improved. Taiwan also hopes to see progress in talks under the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) between Taiwan and the United States, which would benefit bilateral investment and trade.

June 9, 2010
During a meeting with directors and supervisors of the Northern Region Industrial Zone Association, President Ma Ying-jeou emphasizes that the government will uphold the guiding principle of "putting Taiwan first for the benefit of the people", creating a high-quality competitive environment for Taiwan's industries. The government is currently negotiating the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) with mainland China. It hopes the Agreement can be signed this month to institutionalize cross-strait trade and investment relations. When most of the products exported by Taiwan to the Mainland enjoy duty-free treatment, foreign enterprises will be more willing to invest in Taiwan. Domestic firms will also be more willing to increase investment. As a result, the attitude of other countries might change, and the resistance to signing free trade agreements with Taiwan will be reduced accordingly.

June 17, 2010
While attending the 2010 Dragon Boat Festival gathering of Taiwanese business associations, Premier Wu Den-yih states that the government will absolutely adopt an overall strategy based on President Ma's principle of "strengthening Taiwan, connecting with the Asian Pacific region, and adopting a global outlook" and begin taking a series of concrete actions. The two sides rely on the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) to link each other. The signing of the Agreement will make enterprises more competitive and gain access to the Mainland market. However, Taiwan must consider not only the Mainland market, but ASEAN and other markets as well.

June 18, 2010
The MAC issues a press release stating that only when mainland China removes its military deployment against Taiwan, will it be possible for the two sides to establish a real basis for mutual trust and truly peaceful and stable cross-strait relations. The government welcomes and affirms that the U.S. government has taken a staunch position to continue arms sales to Taiwan according to the Taiwan Relations Act. It also hopes that the U.S. will maintain this policy position and continue to supply Taiwan with needed arms.

June 24, 2010
At a Legislative Yuan press meeting, the MAC Minister Lai Shin-Yuan states that it is clearely stated in the preamble to the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) that the Agreement is " based on the basic principles of the World Trade Organization (WTO)". Therefore, the two sides are signing the Agreement in their capacity as WTO members, which differs from the Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA) signed between mainland China and Hong Kong. She also emphasizes that in signing the ECFA, the government will adhere to the position of not opening Taiwan to Mainland laborers. It also will not allow certified Mainland professional to practice in Taiwan, and it will protect blue collar and white collar employment opportunities in Taiwan.

June 25, 2010
While attending the "Symposium on Taiwan Businesses and Economic Development in China," Vice President Vincent Siew indicates that the signing of the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) will provide Taiwan's businessesmen with opportunities to reposition in the Mainland market, and adopt new strategies. He expresses confidence that Taiwan's business can be well prepared to meet new challenges and new opportunities. In addition, the government also has changed its thinking on economic strategy and will assist Taiwan's businesses in transforming from an original equipment manufacturer to a marketing model.

June 25, 2010
While attending the "ECFA Negotiation Progress Industry Briefing," Vice President Vincent Siew states that Taiwan and mainland China must adhere to three major principles in carrying out negotiations on the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA): First, reciprocity: the negotiations must be reciprocal, dignified, mutually beneficial, and free of political factors and language. Second, negotiations must be based on the spirit and principles of the WTO: the ECFA follows the WTO model. After it is signed, it will be submitted to the WTO Secretariat for reference. However, the Agreement will not entirely follow the WTO model because the economic conditions on both sides must be considered. In other words, the economic scale, levels of economic development, and economic environments are different. Therefore, in the process of negotiations, Taiwan is demanding a little more. It is not that the Mainland is giving more than they take. Rather, it is reciprocity and it aims at long-term mutual benefit. Third, the negotiations must adhere to the principle of "one help, two noes, and three yeses. "One help" means helping people do business to improve Taiwan's competitiveness; "two noes" are no easing of restrictions on Mainland agricultural imports and no allowing Mainland laborers to Taiwan; and "three yeses" are yes to tariff concessions, yes to investment protection, and yes to intellectual property right protection.

June 29, 2010
At the members meeting of the Chinese National Association of Industry and Commerce, Taiwan (CNAIC), President Ma Ying-jeou states that the economic agreement to be signed by the two sides may be a vitamin, but it certainly is not a panacea that solves every problem. The government will continue to innovate and create an investment environment conducive to enterprise development. He also emphasizes that the signing of the ECFA can put Taiwan on an equal footing with other major trade competitors. It also can encourage foreign enterprises to increase investment and set up operation headquarters in Taiwan, so that Taiwan can become an Asia-Pacific trade hub. At the same time, the agreement will help domestic industries more effectively gain access to mainland China's market and other emerging markets in the Asia-Pacific region, establish operation headquarters in Taiwan, and keep industries rooted in Taiwan.

June 29, 2010
While attending a promotion and rank presentation ceremony for army, navy and air force officers, President Ma Ying-jeou indicates that the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) signed by the two sides will have major significance for institutionalizing cross-strait economic and trade relations, promoting the further internationalization of Taiwan, and preventing the marginalization of Taiwan in the trend of economic integration in Asia. It will, moreover, advance the peace between Taiwan and mainland China. At the same time, the army still needs to be prepared for danger in times of safety, grasp the changes of situation at home and abroad, carry out defense preparation work, and promote military preparation by adopting a concept of asymmetry, meaning purchasing needed weapons and equipments where the national financial resources allows, achieving the greatest effect to deter war with the minimal resources.

June 29, 2010
The MAC issues a press release emphasizing that the government will take fixed steps to participate in the world trend of regional economic integration. The signing of FTAs with major trading partners is the right of World Trade Organization members and the ardent hope of the people of Taiwan.

June 29, 2010
The MAC issues a press release stating that paragraph 1 of Article 16 under the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) states that: "this Agreement shall be terminated by either party upon a written notification to the other party. The two Parties shall begin negotiations within 30 days after the notice of termination is issued. If negotiations fail, this Agreement shall be terminated on the 180th days after the day the notifying Party issues the notice of termination." This provision concerns conditions of termination, where negotiations will first be carried out. However, if the negotiations fail, the agreement can be terminated unilaterally on the 180th days after the day that the notice of termination is issued, without the consent of the other side. This is consistent in spirit with the provisions of termination clauses in related international Agreements. It also is the ultimate economic and trade safety valve between the two sides.

June 30, 2010
During discussions with Taiwanese political scientists residing in the United States, President Ma Ying-jeou states that, even though mainland China poses a threat to Taiwan, it also presents an opportunity. The key is that the government needs to carefully design and implement policies to minimize the threat while maximizing the opportunity. He also expresses hope that the signing of the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) with mainland China will help to establish a level playing field for Taiwan and will generate more opportunities to engage in multilateral trade negotiations. This would boost Taiwan's exports. As to whether or not Taiwan is to sign free trade agreements with its major trading partners in the future, it will be carried out from economic perspective, depending on the economic complementary nature of one another.

June 30, 2010
During a Government Information Office press conference, MAC Minister Lai Shin-Yuan states that many provisions apply mutatis mutandis to foreign affairs statutes in the Act Governing Relations Between Peoples of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area, including Article 36 and 38. Many provisions also relate to foreign affairs. Because the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) is a cross-strait pact that will be signed by the SEF and the ARATS, and the SEF has been authorized by the executive authority to hold talks with the Mainland on agreements that concern government authority, as a result, the ECFA is more like a foreign treaty in nature. Moreover, after the ECFA comes into effect, the two sides will still need to report to the World Trade Organization. Therefore, the administration will treat the ECFA as a treaty and submit it to the Legislative Yuan for deliberation.

June 30, 2010
During a Government Information Office press conference, MAC Minister Lai Shin-Yuan states that, the Fifth Chiang-Chen Talks again show that Taiwan's economic subjectivity not only has not been harmed in the process of cross-strait exchanges, but in fact has been further established by institutionalized negotiations. The two sides also have entered a phase of substantially mutual non-denial. The sovereignty of the Republic of China has been substantially strengthened accordingly. These are the results of everyone's efforts.

July 1, 2010
During a press conference on "New Opportunities for Taiwan, New Era for Asia: Making the Right Choice at a Critical Moment," President Ma Ying-jeou states that the signing of the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) has major significance for Taiwan, for the two sides of the Taiwan Strait, for the Asia-Pacific region, and even for the whole world. First, the ECFA is a major step for Taiwan to break through its economic isolation. Second, it is a major step towards mutually beneficial cross-strait economic and trade cooperation. Third, it is a major step in accelerating Asian economic integration. The President also stresses the importance of using this opportunity to quickly boost the economy, enabling "the world to come to Taiwan and Taiwan to go out into the world" and changing Taiwan's role on the Asia-Pacific economic stage. Today, the Executive Yuan formed a Global Investment Taskforce to attract investment from the United States, Europe, Japan and other countries and also to encourage Mainland-based Taiwan businesses to invest back in Taiwan. The Executive Yuan also established a Global Economic Strategy Taskforce under the National Security Council to supervise and track work including innovation, business attraction and investment. Related ministries and departments of the Executive Yuan will first be consulted and once a decision is made, the Executive Yuan will be asked to propose specific plans and gradually promote them.

July 1, 2010
The Executive Yuan resolved to approve the Cross-Strait Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) and the Cross-Strait Agreement on Intellectual Property Right Protection and Cooperation signed at the Fifth Chiang-Chen Talks. It also requested by letter that the Legislative Yuan deliberate the agreements according to Paragraph 2, Article 5 of the Act Governing Relations between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area. Premier Wu Den-yih emphasizes that the signing of the ECFA is promoted under the principles of reciprocity, mutual benefit, and moving forward in a gradual, orderly manner. It not only demonstrates that the government has truly acted on its pledge of "putting Taiwan first for the benefit of the people" in order to protect the interests of Taiwan’s agriculture, traditional industries and small and medium enterprises, but also shows win-win achievements of cross-strait mutual benefit. It is also a key for Taiwan to link with the Asia-Pacific and world economies and to move towards internationalization.

July 2, 2010
At the "Summit on New Situation of the ECFA Era " held by the 21st Century Foundation, President Ma Ying-jeou states that the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) is not a treaty because the two sides are not in state-to-state relations. Although the ECFA is not an international written agreement between two states, it can be handled in manners comparable to a treaty. The President hopes that the Agreement can be approved through a two-reading method so the procedures can accord with international practice. The legislature can oppose or veto the ECFA, but it cannot amend the Agreement.

July 2, 2010
The MAC issues a press release stating that, according to provisions of Article 7 of the Law Governing the Legislative Yuan’s Power, cross-strait agreements are not bills, nor are they budget drafts. The position of the executive branch is that the deliberation of the Cross-Strait Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) by the Legislative Yuan should be handled with a two-reading procedure, where a vote is taken on the Agreement as a whole. This means rendering a decision only on whether or not to approve the Agreement, without making any amendments to its text.

July 5, 2010
The MAC issues a statement indicating that: 1) The Cross-Strait Economic Cooperation Committee is neither an agency nor an institution. It is instead a negotiation platform to be formed by designated representatives from the SEF and the ARATS. Its main functions include: completing consultations necessary to the realization of the objectives of the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA), supervising and evaluating the implementation of the Agreement, and resolving disputes over the interpretation, implementation and application of the Agreement; 2) The Cross-Strait Economic Cooperation Committee is an economic and trade negotiation and communication mechanism established under the SEF-ARATS framework and according to the ECFA. The two sides are essentially building a platform for the relevant agencies of the governments of both sides, not to serve a specific ruling party; 3) As for the follow-up agreements signed according to the ECFA, the government will still follow the provisions of Article 5 of the Act Governing Relations Between Peoples of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area. Any agreement concerning legislative amendment or new legislation should be submitted to the Legislative Yuan for deliberation. If the agreement does not concern legislative amendment or new legislation, then it should be submitted to the Legislative Yuan for reference. Everything is to be handled in accordance with law without undermining in any way the right of legislative oversight.

July 6, 2010
The MAC releases its latest public opinion survey. The survey indicates that 79.3% of the respondents support the handling of cross-strait exchange issues through institutionalized cross-strait negotiations, while 61.1% of the respondents feel satisfied with the overall results of the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) negotiations. In addition, 73.1% of the respondents feel satisfied with the Cross-Strait Agreement on Intellectual Property Right Protection and Cooperation.

July 8, 2010
During a meeting with members of the delegation to the Sixth Cross-Strait Economic, Trade and Cultural Forum, President Ma Ying-jeou states that there are many challenges which still need to be gradually resolved between the two sides. The people on the two sides are both part of the Chinese race and descents who should have the wisdom to resolve common problems. He expresses hope that the two sides can use the wisdom and the experience accumulated over the past two years to promote cross-strait relations under the guiding principles of "facing up to the reality, building mutual trust, seeking common ground, and continuing to create a win-win situation."

July 8, 2010
After listening to a Ministry of Economic Affairs report on "Guiding Measures for Traditional Industries and SMEs after the Signing of the ECFA," Premier Wu Den-yih states that although mainland China and Taiwan have agreed to exclude sensitive and less competitive traditional industries in Taiwan from mainland China's early harvest list under the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA), the related agencies should still closely watch and follow up on the impact of the Agreement on domestic industries. They should also apply budget drawn up for the "Supporting Program to Assist Industrial Adjustments in Response to Trade Liberalization" or mobilizable resources of various ministries to provide assistance and guidance to less competitive industries vulnerable to the effects of trade liberalization. The government should also continue to improve the domestic business environment in order to help manufacturers stay rooted in Taiwan.

July 11, 2010
During the "President's Report to the Folks: A Symposium on the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement," President Ma Ying-jeou states that the ECFA signed with mainland China represents three major steps and proves four things. The three major steps are: 1) Avoiding marginalization; 2) Strengthening institutionalization; and 3) Promoting internationalization. The four things proven include: 1) Absolutely not allowing Mainland laborers into Taiwan; 2) Absolutely not further opening up Taiwan to Mainland agricultural products; 3) Approving 18 new agricultural products for export to the Mainland; and 4) Excluding 17 vulnerable industries, such as clothing, tiles, and bedding, from the list of Mainland products allowed into Taiwan.

July 14, 2010
The MAC and related agencies conduct a "Mini Three Links" policy review and amend portions of the Regulations Governing the Trial Operation of Transportation Links Between Kinmen/Matsu/Penghu and the Mainland Area. The Executive Yuan approves the amended regulations and announces the implementation on July 15 this year (2010).

July 19, 2010
The MAC issues a press release emphasizing that the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) refers to existing models of international economic and trade agreements, creating a new model for "putting Taiwan first for the benefit of the people." At the same time, the ECFA provisions maintain the right to handle cross-strait economic and trade disputes through World Trade Organization dispute settlement mechanisms.

July 26, 2010
The MAC indicates in a statement that the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) is based on the principle of benefiting Taiwan. It refers to the related provisions of ASEAN Plus One with considerations of Taiwan's interests and cross-strait characteristics. The government will not fully adopt the provisions of ASEAN Plus One, but will rather make appropriate adjustments considering the special characteristics of cross-strait relations, the material disparity between the two sides, and other factors. The ECFA is not a one-stop free trade agreement (FTA). The MAC also emphasizes that the ECFA is rooted in the basic principles of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and upholds Taiwan's rights as a WTO member. The preamble of the Agreement specifies that “the ECFA is in line with the basic principles of the WTO." WTO-related provisions are cited in many parts of the Agreement to uphold all of Taiwan's beneficial interests as a WTO member (including national security protections). This has the same effect as the relevant provisions of ASEAN Plus One.

July 30, 2010
During a routine press conference, MAC Vice Minister Johnnason Liu states that economic and trade issues arising from cross-strait exchanges still need to be handled through the SEF-ARATS negotiation mechanisms and platform. The two sides are actively carrying out institutionalized negotiations to achieve orderly economic and trade contact and exchanges. Through this process, the two sides can accumulate more mutual trust and lay a foundation for dialogue and talks in the future on a military mutual trust mechanism.

July 31, 2010
Premier Wu Den-yih states that, on the basis of the 1992 Consensus, the Mainland must face up to the unswerving fact of the sovereignty of the Republic of China and Taiwan's achievements of prosperity and progress. This is the only way to create a win-win situation, as well as the only principle that can be followed for peaceful cross-strait development.

August 1, 2010
At the "Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement Forum," President Ma Ying-jeou states that the signing of the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) has enabled Taiwan to take three major steps: "avoid marginalization," "institutionalize cross-strait economic and trade relations," and "accelerate internationalization." Moreover, it also realizes the four promises of "no opening to mainland labor or agricultural products," "protecting products in 17 vulnerable industries," "protecting services and intellectual property," and "not undermining sovereign dignity." He also reiterates that the "ECFA will not sacrifice the sovereignty of the Republic of China and will never harm Taiwan's dignity and subjectivity."

August 2, 2010
The MAC issues a press release indicating that through negotiations, dialogue and exchange, the two sides can establish peaceful, stable, and prosperous cross-strait relations. This has always been the core thinking and objective of the government's Mainland policy. The Mainland should renounce the use of force against Taiwan and lift its missile deployment against Taiwan. The government has long held firmly to this position and will continue to express such views to the Mainland side. As for the issue of cross-strait military trust, the MAC reiterates that, cross-strait negotiations should follow the principle of "economic issues first and political issues later," "urgent issues first and less pressing issues later," and "easy issues first and difficult issues later. At present, issues related to the order of economic and trade contact and exchanges should be made priorities to lay a foundation of cross-strait mutual trust.

August 4, 2010
During a meeting with a delegation of experts in cross-strait relations from the University of Tokyo's Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia, President Ma Ying-jeou emphasizes that although the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) is not a treaty, it is similar in many respects to one. He hopes that the Legislative Yuan can complete its review by "discussing artucles one by one, holding a simple up-or-down vote on the Agreement as a whole, or attaching auxiliary resolutions." The president also indicates that the ECFA is just the beginning. In the future, the two sides will need to hold negotiations on dispute settlement and other mechanisms. Efforts must be made to "maximize opportunities and minimize risk," eliminate external risks, and give Taiwan a more peaceful external environment.

August 4, 2010
At the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) in Washington, D.C., MAC Minister Lai Shin-yuan delivers a speech and fields questions, during which she states that mainland China never should have used military force as a way to handle cross-strait issues. Withdrawing the missiles is the right course of action for China to take. This is not a negotiable issue, nor should it have any political preconditions. Minister Lai clearly states that the Mainland must respect and face up to the fact that the Republic of China exists and renounce the policy and thinking of using military force against Taiwan. Only then will it be possible for the two sides to establish a complete basis of mutual trust and further develop long-term peaceful cross-strait relations. Minister Lai also emphasizes that Taiwan's soft power and the "Taiwan experience" are important bargaining chips in promoting cross-strait negotiations. They also are key factors in promoting mainland China's economic, trade, and social transformation. In future, this positive influence will increase as cross-strait interactions deepen and expand.

August 5, 2010
Regarding the fact that China doesn't obstruct the signing of an economic cooperation agreement between Taiwan and Singapore, Presidential Spokesperson Luo Chih-chiang indicates in a statement that mainland China has taken concrete actions to show its respect and sincerity during the process of the Agreement negotiations. This certainly will help the development of peaceful and co-prosperous cross-strait relations.

August 6, 2010
During a meeting with a delegation from the US Center for Strategic and International Studies focusing on cross-strait confidence building measures (CBMs), President Ma Ying-jeou states that the scope of the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) covers everything that needs to be present in normal trade and economic relations between the two economic entities, including: direct cross-strait postal, transportation, and trade links; food safety; the hiring of fishing crews; judicial cooperation; financial supervision; reduction and elimination of tariffs; protection of intellectual property rights; liberalization of the service sector; and product testing and certification. In working toward the signing of the ECFA, negotiations and talks between Taiwan and mainland China also serves as a kind of CBM in the broadest sense of the term, enabling both sides to have more far-reaching and deeper contact than in the past. He adds that the improvement in relations between Taiwan and mainland China also has brought positive changes in Taiwan's ties with the United States, Japan, the European Union, ASEAN, New Zealand, and Australia, all of whom are now more willing to enhance ties or boost the level of contacts with Taiwan. This is in the interest of both parties.

August 12, 2010
In a speech delivered at the closing ceremony of the "Cross-strait Peace and Wealth Creation Forum," Vice President Vincent Siew states that, based on the principle of "economics first, politics later," "easy issues first and difficult issues later," and "urgent issues first and less pressing issues later," the government will actively promote institutionalized cross-strait negotiations and lay a foundation for the institutionalization of cross-strait economic and trade relations and normalized cooperation. The signing of the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) represents a milestone in the further normalization and institutionalization of cross-strait exchanges and cooperation—one that will enable Taiwan to join the wave of regional economic integration.

August 12, 2010
During a routine press conference, MAC Vice Minister Johnnason Liu states that the basic idea of the Mainland policy presented lately by President Ma Ying-jeou is, under the framework of the Constitution of the Republic of China (ROC), to maintain the status quo of "no unification, no independence, and no use of force." The foundation for resuming cross-strait talks is the "1992 Consensus," which is the consensus of "one China with each side free to make its own interpretation." According to this formulation, "one China" of course refers to the ROC. Since June 2008, the SEF and the ARATS have held negotiations and signed 14 agreements on this foundation. This is the realization of the government's policy of "putting Taiwan first for the benefit of the people."

August 18, 2010
During an interview with Japan's Sankei Shimbun, President Ma Ying-jeou expresses hope that after signing the "Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA)," Taiwan can accelerate negotiations with other countries on signing economic and trade cooperation agreements. It is still premature for political negotiations on the signing of the cross-strait peace agreement, as well as other political issues, which the Mainland is likely to advance, and no timetable has been set.

August 18, 2010
The MAC issues a press release stating that, in order to promptly realize the full benefits of the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA), the executive branch will work hard to promote the implementation and related follow-up work for the Agreement after it comes into effect. Focal work areas to be promoted include: 1) confirming the effective date of the ECFA; 2) ensuring that the related agencies promptly complete preparations for implementing the Early Harvest List for Trade in Goods in conjunction with the implementation of the ECFA; 3) handling preparatory work for the Cross-strait Economic Cooperation Committee through negotiations between the SEF and the ARATS; 4) producing an English version of the ECFA, though with the Chinese version still prevailing in effecting the Agreement; and 5) holding cross-strait negotiations on the trade in goods, trade in services, investment, and dispute resolution Agreements within six months of the ECFA coming into effect, as stipulated under the ECFA.

August 19, 2010
At the opening ceremony of the "Seventh National Industrial Development Conference," President Ma Ying-jeou states that the "ECFA is not a panacea." Taiwan inevitably will have to deal with China, but the engagement must be handled in a way that is in Taiwan's best interests. Therefore the program proposed by the government is to negotiate and sign free trade agreements or economic cooperation agreements with major trading partner and economically complementary countries. Taiwan hopes to gradually sign related agreements with other trading partners.

August 21, 2010
In a speech to the Chinese-American Academic and Professional Association in Eastern United States, MAC Vice-chairman Kao Charng states that institutionalized cross-strait negotiations mechanism is gradually laying a foundation of mutual trust and enabling the sustained development of cross-strait relations. The Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) is an important indicator of cross-strait relations. In the future, the government also will actively negotiate with other countries over the signing of free trade agreements to fully prepare for further market liberalization.

August 23, 2010
While attending the "Invest in Taiwan Conference," President Ma Ying-jeou states that Taiwan must actively participate in global economic integration. The ECFA signed with mainland China is the first step. Moreover, after the two sides signed the economic Agreement, Taiwan and Singapore jointly announce that it would discuss the feasibility of signing an economic cooperation agreement with Taiwan. The two sides expect to begin negotiations in the second half of the year. In the future, Taiwan is also willing to hold negotiations with other countries that have complementary trade relations with it, so as to further promote the goal of linking with the world.

August 28, 2010
At the opening ceremony of the "Eighth National Education Conference," President Ma Ying-jeou states that the Legislative Yuan has approved revisions to sections of three laws governing Mainland students (the Act Governing Relations between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area, University Act and Junior College Law). This has three objectives: first, to help young people establish friendships at an early stage to create permanent cross-strait peace; second, to promote campus diversity and give students from around the world a change to develop mutual understanding and empathy for different ways of thinking, as well as a balanced international outlook; third, to fully utilize Taiwan's education resources through overseas students.

September 1, 2010
During a meeting with speakers at the Seventh World Technopolis Association University Presidents Forum, President Ma Ying-jeou indicates that the signing of the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) between Taiwan and mainland China can not only help Taiwan to accelerate its internationalization and avoid marginalization, but also institutionalize cross-strait economic and trade relations.

September 2, 2010
In a meeting with Israeli Knesset's Israel-Taiwan Parliamentary Friendship Group Chair Nachman Shai, President Ma Ying-jeou states that the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) signed between Taiwan and mainland China has an important role to play in efforts to reduce tension in the Taiwan Strait and place trade between the two sides on a systematic footing. In addition, at the same time that cross-strait relations are improving, Taiwan hopes to further build its relations with other countries and avoid putting friends in the dilemma of having to take sides between Taiwan and mainland China.

September 2, 2010
During a routine press conference, MAC Vice Minister Johnnason Liu states that a Cross-strait Economic Cooperation Committee will be formed under the SEF-ARATS framework after the Cross-strait Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) comes into effect. It will be in charge of follow-up negotiations related to the ECFA and will not be able to sign agreements. The committee also will assess and supervise the implementation status of the ECFA and serve as a platform for the communication of views on the ECFA and the reporting of important economic and trade information. The negotiation and signing of the four follow-up agreements will still need to be handled through the SEF-ARATS framework. The agreements also will be submitted to the Legislative Yuan for review as stipulated by the Act Governing Relations between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area.

September 4, 2010
At the "2010 Fourth Quarter Closing Ceremony for the National Political Affairs Research Class," President Ma Ying-jeou states that the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) signed with mainland China can "help people do business to improve Taiwan's competitiveness." However, the ECFA is not a panacea. The government will continue to work hard to improve the economic structure, upgrade industrial competitiveness, and reduce the impact of trade liberalization on vulnerable industries in Taiwan.

September 4, 2010
During a discussion with Kaohsiung area textile businesses, President Ma Ying-jeou states that the government will actively negotiate free trade agreements with other countries and work hard to include more advantageous industries on the list in the next phrase of ECFA negotiations.

September 9, 2010
At the "2010 Celebration of Armed Forces Day and the 65th Anniversary of Victory in the War of Resistance," President Ma Ying-jeou indicates that mainland China still has over 1,000 missiles deployed in coastal areas posing a threat to Taiwan. Therefore, Taiwan must actively seek to purchase defensive weapons and comprehensively strengthen its fighting capability to gain a strategic advantage.

September 9, 2010
During a meeting with a commercial development association formed by former chairpersons of Tainan City trade associations, President Ma Ying-jeou states that the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) is not a panacea. The government still needs to work hard to improve the economic structure and encourage industry innovation. It also needs to reduce the impact of trade liberalization on vulnerable industries through revitalization and support, structural adjustment, and damage relief measures.

September 10, 2010
In an article entitled "Seizing Opportunity, Steadily Progressing, and Creating a Golden Decade" on the anniversary of his first year in office, Premier Wu Den-yih states that a review of the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) shows that the executive team not only has secured many items that are beneficial to Taiwan's industries, but also acted on its pledge to the people to truly protect Taiwan's agricultural sector, traditional industries, and small and medium enterprises. Looking to the future, with the ECFA coming into effect, Taiwan is now presented with another opportunity for robust growth. The executive team will be proactive in its determination, seize policy key points and redouble efforts to create a golden decade and new peak for the country.

September 10, 2010
During a speech at the European Institute for Asia Studies (EIAS) in Europe, MAC Minister Lai Shin-yuan states that President Ma Ying-jeou mentioned in his inaugural address that Taiwan and mainland China should adhere to the principle of "facing reality, pioneering a new future, shelving controversies, and pursuing a win-win solution." They should seek to balance their common interests and thereby make stable cross-strait relations a positive force for promoting peace in the Asia-Pacific region.

September 11, 2010
The MAC announces that it authorized the SEF this morning (September 11) to inform the ARATS that the Taiwan has completed related statutory procedures and preparations to bring into effect the two agreements signed at the fifth Chiang-Chen Talks (the Cross-strait Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement and the Cross-Strait Agreement on Intellectual Property Right Protection and Cooperation). The ARATS has sent a reply letter confirming that the Mainland side also has completed related procedures. In accordance with stipulations regarding the agreements' entry into force (after signing the agreements, the two sides should complete related procedures and send written notification to the other side. The agreements will come into effect on the next day after both parties have received notification from the other party), the ECFA and Agreement on Intellectual Property Right Protection and Cooperation will come into effect on September 12.

September 12, 2010
MAC Minister Lai Shin-yuan presents a speech entitled "A New Era of Cross-strait Negotiations, New Opportunities for Peace and Prosperity" at a cross-strait policy statement dinner attended by overseas Taiwanese in Brussels. In the speech, Minister Lai states that the object of the ROC government's mainland policy is to maintain cross-strait peace and regional stability, enable the ROC on Taiwan to maintain a free and democratic system, facilitate Taiwan's economic prosperity and security, and highlight Taiwan's identity. Furthermore, the signing of the ECFA establishes a framework for long-term and stable economic cooperation across the Taiwan Strait, setting basic rules for the order of cross-strait economic exchanges and cooperation, and is conducive to the institutionalization of cross-strait economic and trade relations. After the two sides sign the ECFA, Taiwan will be able to further link its economy with the world and set the goal of global deployment, hoping to "bring the world to Taiwan and Taiwan to the world."

September 14, 2010
At the invitation of the European Parliament-Taiwan Friendship Group, MAC Minister Lai Shin-yuan presents to the European Parliament a speech entitled "Peace, Democracy and Prosperity: The Utmost Conjunctions of ROC Mainland Policy and EU Development Experience." She emphasizes that Taiwan is a democratic society, and that the direction and cadence of cross-strait relations development requires public support. Currently, nearly 90% of the people in Taiwan want to "maintain the status quo," meaning the status quo in which the Republic of China is a sovereign and independent country. This is an established fact and the majority consensus in Taiwan. Under this status quo, the future of Taiwan will be freely and democratically decided by the 23 million people of Taiwan.

September 15, 2010
In a speech at the National Academy of Civil Service, Premier Wu Den-yih states that, in the future, the government will allow mainland tourists from certain trial areas to travel independently to Taiwan and gradually open up such travel under careful planning and measures to ensure social stability and security.

September 15, 2010
Premier Wu Den-yih delivers a speech entitled the "Contribution of the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) to Taiwan's Industries" at a banquet for the joint regular meeting of Rotary International. He states that the signing of the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) will benefit Taiwan's industrial, commercial and agricultural sectors. Tariff concessions will increase competitiveness, which not only reassures domestic investors, but also makes foreign companies more willing to cooperate with Taiwan.

September 15, 2010
MAC Deputy Minister Johnnason Liu states that, regarding the operations and formation of the Cross-strait Economic Cooperation Committee, the MAC has authorized the SEF to begin talks with the Mainland side. The SEF will promptly contact and communicate with its mainland counterpart. The ECFA stipulates that, under the Economic Cooperation Committee framework, the two sides must hold negotiations within six months on agreements related to goods, trade, the service industry, and dispute resolution.

September 21, 2010
The MAC announces the results of its latest public opinion survey. Over half of the public (51.9%) believes that cross-strait relations have become "more relaxed" overall under the Ma administration. Moreover, a plurality continues to believe the pace of cross-strait exchanges at present is "just right." The great majority of the public (86.2%) support "maintaining the status quo defined in a broader sense," a ratio that has been highly stable.

September 23, 2010
In a speech at the "2010 Mid-Autumn Festival gathering of Taiwanese businesspeople in the Mainland," Vice President Vincent Siew states that the government is promoting the signing the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) with an eye on the big picture. It aims to upgrade Taiwan's economic status under an overall strategy of "strengthening Taiwan, connecting with the Asian Pacific region, and adopting a global outlook." Taiwan's businesses need to adopt the "height" of internationalization and take a sincere, diligent and professional attitude to win the respect of the mainland officials and private sector and strive for an unshakeable position for Taiwan's businesses in mainland China. This is Taiwan's soft power.

September 24, 2010
Responding to a statement by the mainland Chinese leader Wen Jiabao that the "Removal of missiles deployed against Taiwan will ultimately be realized," the Office of the President issues a press release saying it feels this is a pragmatic approach. It also approves the goodwill shown by the Mainland side from the perspective of peace in the Taiwan Strait and regional security. The press release further emphasizes that, in the current phase, the government will maintain the cross-strait status quo of "no unification, no independence, and no use of force" under the framework of the Constitution of the Republic of China. Furthermore, on the foundation of the "1992 Consensus," it will adhere to the principle of "putting Taiwan first for the benefit of the people" and promote the development of cross-strait mutual benefit and co-prosperity.

September 28, 2010
During a policy interpellation at the Legislative Yuan, Premier Wu Den-yih states that the Mainland's missile removal cannot be attached to the "one China premise." If the Mainland does not set limits or premises, Taiwan basically welcomes the missile removal, the sooner the better. He also emphasizes that the time is not yet right for the two sides to begin military mutual trust and political agreements or negotiations and that more mutual trust must be built up.

September 29, 2010
During a meeting with directors and supervisors of the Association of Kaohsiung City and Tainan County, as well as the Liugui Clansmen Association of Kaohsiung, President Ma Ying-jeou emphasizes that the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) signed with mainland China, will increase exports and reduce costs. More importantly, though, it will increase the willingness of other countries to sign economic and trade agreements with Taiwan and help the people of Taiwan do business with the world. At the same time, allowing students from mainland China and Southeast Asian countries to study in Taiwan will help Taiwan students broaden their international perspective.

October 2, 2010
In a speech presented at the symposium on "Continuity and Change: Cross-Strait Relations from 2008 to 2010" at National Taipei University, MAC Minister Lai Shin-yuan states that "putting Taiwan first for the benefit of the people" is the highest guiding principle of President Ma Ying-jeou's mainland policy. Since the new government came into power and resumed institutionalized cross-strait negotiations on May 20, 2008, the two sides have signed 14 agreements and reached one consensus. These agreements concretely realize the guiding principle of "putting Taiwan first for the benefit of the people." The core interests of the people of Taiwan are the right for them to survive, which the government is obligated to protect. The core interests of the people of Taiwan must be understood and respected for cross-strait relations to continue to develop healthily and to lay a lasting foundation for cross-strait peace. The core interests of the people of Taiwan are exactly the important foundation for the development of cross-strait relations.

October 4, 2010
During a meeting with leaders of the Kaohsiung City (Region 300E1) chapter of Lions Club International, President Ma Ying-jeou states that the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) officially came into effect on September 12. Over the next six months, the government will continue to hold negotiations with mainland China on trade in goods, trade in services, investment protection, and dispute resolution to find mutually balanced and beneficial niches. The government has prepared response measures for vulnerable domestic industrieswhich will potentially affected, including an NT$95 billion 10-year program to help industries, according to the degree of impact, through "revitalization guidance," "structural adjustment," "damage relief" and other methods.

October 5, 2010
In a speech presented to the joint meeting of directors and supervisors of the World Taiwanese Chambers of Commerce, President Ma Ying-jeou states that the main goal of improving cross-strait relations is to reduce tension in the Taiwan Strait and create more peace and business opportunities. Therefore the government will continue to promote financial supervision, product testing and certification, accreditation of agricultural products, tariff concessions, and protection of intellectual property rights so as to institutionalize cross-strait economic and trade relations.

October 5, 2010
The Office of the President issues a declaration on the Diaoyu Islands, stating that the Republic of China has sovereignty over the Diaoyu Islands. The ROC has never wavered in its determination or position to defend that sovereignty. In the future, the government will continue to safeguard the sovereignty of the Diaoyu Islands and protect the security of Taiwan’s fishermen. Dispute over the sovereignty of the sea area of the Diaoyu Islands currently exists only between Taiwan and Japan and between the Mainland and Japan. It does not exist between Taiwan and mainland China. Since the issue of the sovereignty of the Diaoyutai Islands cannot be satisfactorily resolved in the short-term, the position of the ROC government is that this dispute should not be resolved by military force but should be handled by peaceful methods.

October 6, 2010
While attending the closing ceremony of the 16th Annual Meeting of the World Taiwanese Chambers of Commerce, Premier Wu Den-yih states that, in promoting cross-strait policy, President Ma has always adhered to the basic guiding principles of "putting Taiwan first for the benefit of the people" and "no unification, no independence, and no use of force" to ensure that the democracy and rule of law of the Republic of China stand firm so as to defend Taiwan's sovereignty and advance the prosperity of Taiwan.

October 7, 2010
At the opening ceremony for the Third Term Executive Yuan High-level Leadership Research Class, Premier Wu Den-yih states that the cross-strait Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) came into effect on September 12. The Agreement realizes President Ma Ying-jeou's pledge to "help the people do business and enhance Taiwan's competitiveness." As to the three laws regarding mainland students, initially only 2,000 mainland students will be allowed to come to Taiwan. Furthermore, the government will only advance step-by-step until there is full consensus in Taiwan and all doubts have been put to rest.

October 7, 2010
During a meeting with the fifth term students of the Friends from Afar High Level Retraining Class of the Ministry of National Defense, President Ma Ying-jeou states that over the past two years, the government has actively improved relations with mainland China, with the purpose of easing cross-strait tensions so the two sides can carry out economic and cultural exchanges in a peaceful environment. Furthermore, the improvement of relations with mainland China will not affect relations with other allied countries. Taiwan will continue to develop existing cooperation plans and further expand or extend such plans based on consensus reached between the two sides.

October 8, 2010
Regarding the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to mainlander Liu Xiaobo, President Ma Ying-jeou states that mainland China's economic development has impressed the world. If mainland China can make progress and breakthroughs on human rights issues, it will be consistent with mainland China's goal of a "peaceful rise" and will also win the approval of the people of Taiwan and the international community.

October 8, 2010
During a speech presented at a welcome banquet for Hong Kong and Macao residents visiting Taiwan for the 2010 National Day celebrations, MAC Minister Lai Shin-yuan states that the Republic of China (ROC) is a sovereign and independent country. Upholding the sovereignty of the ROC is a premise for developing cross-strait relations and expanding Taiwan's participation in the international community. The sovereignty of the ROC is the core interests of the people of Taiwan, therefore, is the right of the people of Taiwan to survive. The core interests of the people of Taiwan must be understood and respected for cross-strait relations to continue to healthily develop and to lay a lasting foundation for cross-strait peace.

October 9, 2010
While attending a celebration in honor of 2010 National Day hosted by ROC compatriots living overseas, President Ma Ying-jeou expresses belief that the two sides can achieve true harmony by handling their mutual relations with benevolence and wisdom. He hopes that the two sides can shorten the distance between them in regard to freedom, democracy, human rights, and the rule of law. He also hopes that, through in-depth exchanges, the two sides can seek common ground identified in the long-term historic period, finding ways to resolve cross-strait disputes with the guidance of Chinese culture.

October 10, 2010
While attending the 2010 Republic of China National Day celebration, President Ma Ying-jeou indicates that the recent statement by the Mainland authorities on withdrawing missiles has positive meaning for cross-strait relations. He hopes that this can be realized at an early date. However, Taiwan's security cannot rely only on the hope for improvements in cross-strait relations. Therefore, developing a self-defense force is a necessary and unchanging policy for Taiwan.

October 13, 2010
Regarding a proposal by the Mainland side that, at a suitable time, the two sides arrange contacts and exchanges on cross-strait military deployment issues and discuss the establishment of a cross-strait military and security mutual trust, the MAC states that the major improvement in cross-strait relations has been achieved by the government through the promotion of "no unification, no independence, and no use of force" under the Constitutional framework and based on the "1992 Consensus." The government will not change its position of promoting peaceful and stable cross-strait relations. On the one hand, it will continue, through negotiations and exchanges to establish a benign and relaxed external environment across the Taiwan Strait. At the same time, Taiwan also must maintain a self-defense capability and continue to soundly develop cross-strait relations without threatening its security. The two sides should also continue to build mutual trust and develop positive interaction based on the spirit of "facing up to practical realities and shelving controversies."

October 15, 2010
During a meeting with International Political Science Association (IPSA), President Dr. Leonardo Morlino, President Ma Ying-jeou states that the government has consistently upheld the principle of "no unification, no independence, and no use of force." It has improved relations with mainland China, and the two sides have signed 14 agreements. Each of these agreements can be viewed as a "confidence building measure" in that they are helping gradually build mutual trust, reduce conflict, and pave the way for peaceful relations between the two sides. President Ma expresses hope that these efforts will not only bring peace to the Taiwan Strait and prosperity to Taiwan, but will also extend the reconciliation in the Taiwan Strait into the international arena, thereby reducing cross-strait confrontation.

October 18, 2010
In a speech presented at the opening ceremony of the "Eighth Global Views Monthly Global Chinese Business Leader Summit," President Ma Ying-jeou states that the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) signed with mainland China will not only accelerate Taiwan's internationalization and avoid marginalization, but also institutionalize cross-strait economic and trade relations. The ECFA is a vitamin, but it is definitely not a panacea. Taiwan must foster its soft power and strengthen its economic health to serve as a foundation for establishing its place in the world in the future.

October 19, 2010
During a meeting with an invited delegation of 2010 Outstanding Overseas Chinese Entrepreneurs, President Ma Ying-jeou states that the government has consistently upheld principles such as handling "economic issues first and political issues later," "easy issues first and difficult issues later," and "urgent issues first and less pressing issues later." Cross-strait interactions are already gradually establishing a foundation of mutual trust. For example, negotiations on the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) and the joint fighting of fraud syndicates are both confidence building measures. In the future, the government will steadily establish cross-strait mutual trust.

October 19, 2010
In a supplement to the content of an interview with the Associated Press, President Ma Ying-jeou emphasizes that, since the two sides are currently discussing many economic issues, political issues will not be included for discussion nor will there be any timetable for such talks. Currently, the overwhelming majority of the people of Taiwan support the position of maintaining the status quo. In cross-strait negotiations, the government has always adopted the policy position of handling "economic issues first and political issues later," "easy issues first and difficult issues later," and "urgent issues first and less pressing issues later." Therefore, the government will not accelerate the pace of cross-strait relations. All Mainland policies in the future will also adhere to the procedure of "national need, public support,and legislative oversight" so as to meet the expectations of the people.

October 20, 2010
During a meeting with a delegation from the Committee of 100, a Chinese American organization, President Ma Ying-jeou states that throughout his term in office, he has been committed to improving relations with mainland China, the United States and other countries. The main purpose of this is to create a peaceful and stable environment for Taiwan and to reduce barriers. Since cross-strait relations have improved, Taiwan has made significant progress in its relations with the United States because the United States no longer needs to choose between the two sides. This also holds true for relations with Japan, the European Union, New Zealand and Australia.

October 20, 2010
During a meeting with a delegation from the U.S.-based Committee of 100, Premier Wu Den-yih states that a meeting between Ma Ying-jeou and Hu Jintao must be premised on two conditions. One is that Taiwan must build a stronger internal consensus and unanimous view. The other is that the two sides must build up more goodwill and establish stronger mutual trust. Both of these conditions are necessary. At this time, he can see neither the cause nor the opportunity for a "Ma-Hu Meeting."

October 25, 2010
At the opening ceremony for the Exhibition Commemorating the 65th Anniversary of Victory in the War of Resistance Against Japan and the Retrocession of Taiwan, President Ma Ying-jeou states that Taiwan is the Taiwan of the people of Taiwan and the Taiwan of the Republic of China (ROC). All of the people of Taiwan should jointly strive for the future of Taiwan and the ROC.

October 26, 2010
During a meeting with a delegation of Taiwan Strait policy experts from the U.S.-based Center for Strategic and International Studies, President Ma Ying-jeou states that, in the past two and a half years, the two sides have jointly signed 14 agreements covering trade, investment and other aspects, resulting in the closest relations between the two sides in 60 years. The government is extremely careful to make sure that each agreement is signed under the principle of "dignity, equality, and reciprocity," which ensures that Taiwan's sovereignty and dignity remain intact. Moreover, even as it improves ties with mainland China, his administration is also developing relations with the United States, Japan, ASEAN nations, Australia, New Zealand, and member states of the European Union.

October 27, 2010
In response to a statement by the Taiwan Affairs Office over an incident at the Tokyo International Film Festival (TIFF), the MAC emphasizes that, over the past more than two years, the two sides have, through joint efforts, established a model for positive and active benign interactions. They should mutually cherish this hard-won achievement, cooperate, avoid confrontation, and turn this goodwill into action. Regrettably, the TIFF incident has seriously injured the feelings of the people of Taiwan and is detrimental to the peaceful development of cross-strait relations. The mainland authorities should promptly remedy the situation and avoid making things worse. The two sides should respect each other, mutually assist and cooperate with each other, and avoid causing unnecessary harm. The Mainland authorities should realize that cross-strait relations can only move forward if Taiwan is not isolated from or downgraded in the international community.

October 28, 2010
During a meeting with international scholars and experts participating in the 2010 International Conference on PLA Affairs, President Ma Ying-jeou reiterates that Taiwan must shore up its national defense, but it will not engage in an arms race with mainland China. He notes that he will act within the framework of the Constitution of the Republic of China to maintain the status quo of "no unification, no independence, and no use of force," and that he will conduct cross-strait relations on the basis of the "1992 Consensus." On this basis, the two sides have concluded 14 agreements over the past more than two years covering such matters as: direct postal, transportation, and trade links; visits to Taiwan by Mainland tourists; hiring of mainland Chinese crews by Taiwan fishing vessels; mutual judicial assistance; financial supervisory cooperation; reduction and elimination of tariffs; and protection of intellectual property rights. Such a positive development has seldom been seen after the 60 years of separation.

October 28, 2010
In a speech presented at a school celebration for National Taipei University, President Ma Ying-jeou states that, following revisions to the University Act and other related laws, Mainland graduate and undergraduate students will begin to study in Taiwan next spring and next fall, respectively. The establishment of cooperative and competitive relations between young people on the two sides will positively help long-term cross-strait relations.

November 3, 2010
While attending the 2010 Research and Training Program for Senior Military Elites, President Ma Ying-jeou states that progress in cross-strait economic and trade relations will not affect Taiwan's due political and military alertness to mainland China. Taiwan also will not engage in an arms race with the mainland, but rather use asymmetric and innovative tactics to deter the mainland from a military attack against Taiwan. This can best be accomplished through more exchanges in areas such as tourism, as well as by allowing mainland students to come to Taiwan, so that the other side will not consider using military force.

November 5, 2010
At the opening ceremony of the 2010 convention of the World Taiwan Benevolent Association, President Ma Ying-jeou stresses that relations between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait will be carried out under the framework of the ROC Constitution and that the status quo of "no unification, no independence, and no use of force" will be maintained. The president also says that the 1992 Consensus will serve as the basis for promoting the peaceful development of cross-strait relations. At the same time, however, the government is upgrading Taiwan's relations in the international community. For example, Taiwan now participates in the World Health Assembly, has become a party to the Agreement on Government Procurement, and enjoys a higher level of representation in APEC, all of which represent a virtuous circle.

November 6, 2010
While attending the closing ceremony for the third term of the Executive Yuan's High-level Leaders Research Class, President Ma Ying-jeou states that the government has adopted a strategy to "strengthen Taiwan, connect with the Asia-Pacific region, and adopt a global outlook," as well as to accelerate integration with the global economy with an aim to build Taiwan into a "global innovation center," "Asia-Pacific trade hub," "operation headquarters for Taiwan businesses" and "regional headquarters for foreign enterprises."

November 10, 2010
After the Cross-Strait Agreement on Intellectual Property Right Protection and Cooperation comes into effect, the competent authorities have completed adjustments to related internal operations. As a result, the two sides decide to begin accepting priority applications on November 22 this year. The base date of the applications claiming the right of priority is set at September 12 this year (2010) (the date that the agreement came into effect).

November 12, 2010
The MAC releases a short promotional video entitled, "Defending National Sovereignty—The National Flag." The video conveys the policy position that "no undermining of national sovereignty will be allowed in the course of cross-strait exchanges." MAC Minister Lai Shin-yuan states that wherever the national flag is customarily located, [it should] remain there. This is a basic principle that domestic agencies and schools must faithfully abide to when holding exchange activities. It also is the consistent position of the government.

November 14, 2010
In response to a statement in Yokohama, Japan, by PRC President Hu Jintao that China will continue to deepen cross-strait relations according to the thinking of "easy issues first and difficult issues later, economic issues first and political issues later" and moving forward in a gradual, orderly manner, Presidential spokesperson Luo Chih-chiang states that, the two sides should continue to develop relations under the principle of "facing up to practical realities, building mutual trust, shelving controversies, and continuing to create a win-win situation." The government will continue to promote cross-strait relations and strive for international space on the premise of upholding the sovereignty of the ROC and Taiwan's dignity, as well as adhering to the principle of "putting Taiwan first for the benefit of the people."

November 23, 2010
During a meeting with a delegation led by Vice-President of the Belgian Chamber of Representatives Corinne De Permentier, President Ma Ying-jeou indicates that the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) signed between Taiwan and mainland China has helped facilitate cross-strait trade. He hopes that more European firms will invest in Taiwan and establish strategic alliances with their Taiwan counterparts to jointly develop markets in East Asia.

December 2, 2010
At the 2010 ASOCIO ICT Summit, President Ma Ying-jeou emphasizes that the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) will not only accelerate Taiwan's internationalization, but also institutionalize cross-strait economic and trade relations. He hopes that such exchanges will further provide Taiwan's information and communication industry with the best opportunity to integrate with the region, connect with the Asian Pacific area, and advance globally.

December 6, 2010
In a speech delivered at a seminar on Changes of Cross-Strait Interactions and Power Relations in East Asia, MAC Minister Lai Shin-yuan states that since President Ma Ying-jeou came into office, the government has resumed institutionalized cross-strait negotiations under the framework of the ROC Constitution, with firm adherence to the principle of "no unification, no independence, and no use of force," and based on the "1992 Consensus." The gradual building of cross-strait mutual trust not only lays a solid foundation for peace in the Taiwan Strait, but also contributes greatly to constructing a solid base for regional security, stability and prosperity. It is also emphasized that the future of Taiwan and the further development of cross-strait relations must respect the free will of the people of Taiwan.

December 8, 2010
During a meeting with Harvard University Professor Dr. Joseph S. Nye, Jr., the "Father of Soft Power," President Ma Ying-jeou indicates that incipient signs of peace have emerged in cross-strait relations, while Taiwan has won broader room for itself in the international arena. As a result, the people of Taiwan have gained more confidence and willingness in deepening cross-strait relations. The two sides should now work as hard as possible to pursue peace, avoid war, and enhance the depth of exchanges through economic and cultural interactions.

December 16, 2010
In response to doubts over the establishment of the Cross-Strait Economic Cooperation Committee, the MAC issues a press release clarifying that the establishment of the Committee is authorized under Article 11 of the Cross-Strait Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA), so there is no question of the Committee's overriding government authority. The Committee's function, position and operations are all authorized under the ECFA with full openness, transparency, and legality. Moreover, all signed agreements will be submitted to the Legislative Yuan for record or deliberation, as required by law. There will be no overriding of executive, legislative or judicial powers.

December 20, 2010
The MAC releases the results of its latest public opinion survey. The survey indicates that the majority of the public support the government's firm adherence to the principles of "no allowing Mainland medical professionals to practice in Taiwan," "no allowing Mainland investment to establish hospitals in Taiwan" (75.2%), and "no allowing Taiwan's national health insurance program to make payments to Mainland medical facilities" (71.7%) in the process of cross-strait negotiations on the Agreement on Medical and Health Cooperation. Moreover, over 70% (73.0%) of the public support dealing with cross-strait exchange issues through institutionalized cross-strait negotiations, which are believed to be conducive to peace and stability in cross-strait relations.

December 21, 2010
When receiving leading cadres of "District 300-D1 Lions Clubs International", President Ma Ying-jeou indicates that all agreements we signed with mainland China are being processed based on the principles of "putting Taiwan first for the benefit of the people" and "safeguarding the sovereignty and dignity of the Republic of China."

December 21, 2010
During a meeting with the negotiation delegation led by ARATS Chairman Chen Yunlin, MAC Minister Lai Shin-yuan states that institutionalized cross-strait negotiations must be rooted in the interests of the people, pragmatically face up to the needs of the people, empathetically confront issues, and patiently resolve problems. She expresses belief that by following this course, institutionalized negotiations can continue and cross-strait relations can keep developing benignly. She also emphasizes that the Mainland side must understand and face up to the fact that the people of Taiwan hold high expectations for dignified participation in international activities. At the same time, the Mainland military threat arouses suspicion and uneasiness among the people of Taiwan, so it is hoped that the Mainland side can take more active actions and show more concrete goodwill in this regard.

December 22, 2010
The Sixth Chiang-Chen Talks come to a successful conclusion. MAC Minister Lai Shin-yuan states that the Cross-Strait Agreement on Medical and Health Cooperation signed this time contains detailed and specific rules for protecting the people's health rights and interests and promoting the development of Taiwan's medical and biotech industry, which is a measure that will directly benefit the people on both sides. The two sides have agreed to hold a Review Meeting on Cross-Strait Agreements' Results at an appropriate time, with the competent authorities of the two sides gathering to assess the actual implementation status on issues of deep concern to the two sides. This is another major result of the Talks this time.

December 23, 2010
During an interview with the United Evening News, President Ma Ying-jeou states that the "1992 Consensus" is the cornerstone of cross-strait relations, without which cross-strait relations would be adrift. He also states that the Mainland's acknowledgement of the "1992 Consensus" was verified in a call between PRC President Hu Jintao and the then U.S. President George W. Bush on March 26 two years ago and in an open statement by ARATS Vice Chairman Li Yafei on August 10 this year. Despite their different definitions of "one China"— known as "one China, respective interpretations," the two sides can still hold talks.

December 28, 2010
During a year-end tea gathering for the press, President Ma Ying-jeou states that cross-strait negotiations must proceed mainly according to their level of importance and urgency with "economic issues first and political issues later," "easy issues first and difficult issues later," and "urgent issues first and less pressing issues later." He also indicates that cross-strait negotiations could not have been resumed without the "1992 Consensus."

December 28, 2010
Speaking at the National Defense Meeting, President Ma Ying-jeou indicates that in developing cross-strait relations, the government pursues the goal of "putting Taiwan first for the benefit of the people" while attaching importance to security threats and security management. In addition, in line with the main policy principle of cross-strait opening, the government seeks to positively, actively, and effectively manage the order of exchanges. Moreover, the government will actively review and strengthen its security management measures in all aspects to provide the country with an environment for peaceful, stable, and beneficial development.

December 28, 2010
In a speech delivered at the Ninth Meeting for the National Defense Work Report, Premier Wu Den-yih indicates that, with opening direct cross-strait transportation links and allowing Mainland tourists to Taiwan, cross-strait exchanges have entered into a new phase, which could result in numerous security issues in the future. On the precondition of upholding national sovereignty and Taiwan's security, agencies should face up to the new cross-strait situation and accept new challenges in order to safeguard national and social prosperity, as well as the security of all citizens.

December 29, 2010
The MAC issues a press release stating that, under the framework of the ROC Constitution, the government firmly adheres to the cross-strait status quo of "no unification, no independence, and no use of force." It also treats the "1992 Consensus" as an important cornerstone for the development of cross-strait relations, on which the stable operation of institutionalized cross-strait negotiation mechanism is being promoted. It is a fact that various circles should pragmatically and rationally face up to. Both sides of the Strait, as well as other countries, have now affirmed this consensus for its pragmatism and feasibility.

December 30, 2010
During an interpellation at the Legislative Yuan, MAC Minister Lai Shin-yuan indicates that the "1992 Consensus" puts aside the dispute of cross-strait sovereignty and seeks to resolve problems facing the people through institutionalized negotiations. The "1992 Consensus" is "one China, respective interpretations." Taiwan believes that "one China" is the Republic of China and does not agree with the "one China" believed by the other side. According to the Constitution, the Republic of China is a sovereign and independent state. It is the status quo that Taiwan and mainland China have no jurisdiction over each other, and it is also a fact that the two sides have a dispute over sovereignty. Therefore, the two sides have now put aside disputes that cannot be dealt with or resolved so that issues related to exchanges can be resolved through institutionalized negotiations.