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January 1, 1998
Premier Vincent Siew reiterates that the cross-strait discussions should resume where they were broken off, and advance step by step. SEF-ARATS functional negotiations should be resumed first, and when contacts between the two sides normalize, they will not exclude the possibility of entering into talks on other issues.

January 13, 1998
MAC Chairman Chang King-yuh says that the ROC government has a consistent policy on resuming the Koo-Wang Talks and establishing negotiations on functional and practical issues with no preconditions. The two sides should abide by the understanding that "the definition of one China should be subject to each's interpretation" in order to remove the uncertainty over advancing cross-strait economic and trade exchanges.

January 19, 1998
SEF writes to ARATS to request a response on SEF's letter of November 7, 1997.

February 24, 1998
ARATS replies expressing its willingness to discuss arrangements for SEF-ARATS exchanges.

March 5, 1998
SEF replies to the ARATS letter dated February 24, saying that SEF will send a responsible representative in the near future to visit the mainland and meet with ARATS officials on exchanges for the two associations and to discuss SEF Chairman Koo's visits and other subsequent exchange programs. SEF also welcomes ARATS to send officials at a proper level to visit Taiwan.

March 11, 1998
ARATS writes to invite SEF officials at a proper level to lead a delegation of trade, academic or cultural representatives to visit the mainland.

March 17, 1998
SEF replies to ARATS, saying a delegation will be sent in mid-April to have an extensive exchange of views on SEF-ARATS contacts and matters of mutual concern.

March 26, 1998
ARATS welcomes visits by SEF delegations, but hopes SEF specifies the areas for visits and discussions.

April 3, 1998
SEF replies that it will send an official at the deputy secretary general level to visit the mainland in mid-April.

April 13, 1998
ARATS replies that it welcomes the visit by a SEF delegation led by its deputy secretary-general, and suggests the visit take place on on April 21 or 22.

April 17, 1998
SEF writes to ARATS that SEF deputy Secretary-general Jan Jyh-horng will lead the delegation to visit Beijing April 22 to 24 to exchange opinions on SEF-ARATS visits and other exchange programs.

April 20, 1998
ARATS replies to approve the visits by SEF deputy secretary-general Jan Jyh-horng .

May 5, 1998
"National People's Congress Preparatory Committee for the Macau Special Administration Region" is established in Beijing.

May 11, 1998
The PRC holds the "National Meeting on Works Related to Taiwan" in Beijing for three days.

May 12, 1998
SEF, in a letter to ARATS, says that for the purposes of promoting SEF-ARATS exchanges, SEF Deputy Secretary-general Jan Jyh-horng on April 23 invited ARATS Deputy Secretary-general Li Yafei to visit Taipei to exchange opinions in late May.

June 1, 1998
ARATS replies in a letter that it will choose a proper exchange program for Li to lead a delegation to visit to Taiwan at a proper time and that he will use the opportunity to exchange opinions on SEF Chairman Koo's visit to the Mainland.

June 19, 1998
In a letter to ARATS, SEF suggests that Chairman Koo visit the Mainland in autumn, and SEF Deputy Secretary-general January and Vice Chairman Shi Hwei-yow lead separate delegations to the Mainland to settle the details for Chairman Koo's visit.

June 24, 1998
The Bureau of Entry and Exit, Ministry of the Interior, promulgates "Measures Governing Mainland Professionals Entering Taiwan for Professional Activities", which stipulate simple requirements that take effect on July 1 for entry applications by Mainland professionals.

June 25, 1998
In a reply, ARATS agrees that SEF Chairman Koo visit the Mainland in mid-September or October. Moreover, ARATS will send Deputy Secretary-general Li to lead a delegation to observe education in Taiwan in late July. ARATS, however, delays the Mainland visit by SEF Deputy Secretary-general January and indirectly rejects Vice Chairman Shi's visit to the Mainland.

June 25-July 3, 1998
U.S. President Bill Clinton flies from Andrews Airbase in Washington for a nine-day visit to the PRC, stopping in five Mainland cities.

June 26, 1998
Mainland China sets up the "Center for Legal Services on Taiwan Affairs" in Fuzhou to provide comprehensive legal services to Taiwan people, relatives and Taiwan enterprises.

June 30, 1998
In Shanghai, the third city on his trip to Mainland China, U.S. President Bill Clinton participates in a round table seminar on "Constructing China for the 21st Century," sponsored by the Shanghai Library. He talks about the three nos policy on Taiwan (no support for Taiwan's independence, no support for "two Chinas" or "one China, one Taiwan," and no support for Taiwan to enter international organizations that require statehood). He reiterates the U.S. position to see cross-strait issues resolved in a peaceful manner.

July 6, 1998
ARATS says in a letter that Deputy Secretary-general Li Yafei will lead the Beijing City Middle and Elementary School Delegation on a visit to Taiwan from July 24-31.

July 9, 1998
In a reply, SEF agrees that ARATS Deputy Secretary-general Li visit Taiwan. SEF also expresses the hope to finalize SEF Chairman Koo's visit to the Mainland as soon as possible and suggests SEF and ARATS deputy secretary-generals exchange opinions first, with SEF Vice Chairman Shi and ARATS Vice Chairman Tang Shubei meeting later to finalize the details.

July 14, 1998
SEF acknowledges that ARATS Deputy Secretary-general Li will lead a delegation to visit Taiwan, adding that arrangements for the delegation's visit will be handled in line with the related measures of SEF and ARATS. SEF says it hopes that other delegates can file applications for entry to Taiwan through due process. However, other delegates fail to apply to enter Taiwan through due process.

July 17, 1998
ARATS sends a letter requesting two journalists be added to the delegation to visit Taiwan and asks SEF to arrange the necessary procedures.

July 22, 1998
ROC President Lee Teng-hui proposes "democratic unification" at the National Unification Council meeting, urging the two sides to negotiate and reach a peace treaty under the principle that China has separate jurisdictions.

July 24-31, 1998
ARATS Deputy Secretary-general Li Yafei leads the 22-member Beijing City Middle and Elementary School Delegation to visit Taiwan from July 24-31.

July 27, 1998
The Information Office of the State Council issues a PRC Defense White Paper. In reference to cross-strait relations, the White Paper says that the PRC will not renounce the use of force against Taiwan. It emphasizes that each sovereign state has the right to adopt any means necessary, including military force, to safeguard the integrity of its sovereignty and territory.

July 31, 1998
SEF writes to ARATS, expressing the wish for the two associations to promptly enter into discussions on the protection of tourists, Taiwan investments in the Mainland and on a joint campaign against crime.

August 8, 1998
The Women's Club of Taiwan-invested Enterprise Association is established in Dongguan, Guangdong Province.

August 12, 1998
MAC Chairman Chang King-yuh says that cross-strait negotiations should start with practical issues first and later move to political ones. He urges Mainland authorities to stop excessive political obstruction of cross-strait exchanges. Chang also promotes the new three direct links -- exchanges of information, culture and thoughts.

August 19, 1998
In a letter, ARATS suggests that in the upcoming meeting, SEF Chairman Koo and ARATS Chairman Wang can exchange opinions on issues of mutual concern freely in an unofficial manner. ARATS suggests two alternative itineraries for Chairman Koo's trip to the Mainland, either September 15 to 21 or October 12 to 18.

August 21, 1998
The ROC Ministry of Economic Affairs holds the Economic and Trade Affairs Task Force Meeting and decides to establish a Taiwan Businessmen's Service Window for Taiwan investors in the Mainland.

August 21, 1998
In a letter to SEF, ARATS deletes the issue of legal jurisdiction from the agenda for practical talks, and put it on the agenda for political talks that shall be conducted under the principle of "one China."

September 3, 1998
In a letter to ARATS, SEF suggests that Chairman Koo visit the Mainland from October 14-19 and have two meetings with ARATS Chairman Wang. To make Koo's visit more significant, SEF suggests Vice Chairman Shi and related staff members visit Beijing in mid-September to directly finalize preparations for Koo's visit with ARATS Vice Chairman Tang.

September 7, 1998
The Center of Legal Services on Taiwan Affairs is established in Fuzhou with the support of the Fujian Province Taiwan Affairs Office. Chen Zidong, former director of the Fujian Province Taiwan Affairs Office, is named president of the center.

September 8, 1998
In a letter, ARATS invites Liang Su-long, president of the Peaceful Reunification Promotion Association Across the Taiwan Strait, to lead a delegation to visit Beijing, Shanghai, and other cities in Northeast China from September 12-24.

September 14, 1998
Fujian Vice Governor Zhang Jiakun, leading the Economic and Trade Delegation of Fujian-Taiwan Exchanges Association, arrives Taiwan for a 10-day visit.

September 14, 1998
In a letter, ARATS quotes remarks of the CCP Taiwan Affairs Office spokesman and the person-in-charge of the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council as saying that the two sides of the Taiwan Strait should enter into political dialogue as soon as possible to prepare for the procedural discussions for cross-strait political talks.

September 15, 1998
In a letter, ARATS says it has taken into consideration SEF's change of Chairman Koo's itinerary for his Mainland visit. ARATS appoints Deputy Secretary-general Li to discuss with SEF deputy secretary general to finalize detailed arrangements for Koo's visit. ARATS also agrees that SEF Vice Chairman Shi visit Beijing prior to Koo's trip.

The Laws and Regulations Committee of the Ministry of the Interior adopts Revisions to Measures Governing Hong Kong and Macau People's Entry and Residence in Taiwan.

September 19, 1998
In a letter to ARATS, SEF says that Vice Chairman Shi will lead a delegation to meet ARATS Vice Chairman Tang in Beijing from September 22-24.

September 21, 1998
ARATS Chairman Wang meets with former legislator Liang Shu-long and other delegates of the Peaceful Reunification Promotion Association Across the Taiwan Strait. Wang expresses his hope to see "a resumption of negotiations and peaceful unification".

September 23, 1998
SEF Vice Chairman Shi meets ARATS Secretary-general Zhang Jincheng in Beijing and discusses Chairman Koo's visit.

September 22-24, 1998
SEF Vice Chairman Shi arrives in Beijing and meets with ARATS Vice Chairman Tang and Secretary-general Zhang to finalize preparations for the Koo-Wang Meeting in mid-October.

September 24, 1998
The Ministry of the Interior adopts the Revisions of Measures Governing the Approval for Mainland People to Enter Taiwan.

September 24, 1998
The U.S. House of Representatives adopts the Defense Authorization Act, empowering the Department of Defense to study the establishment of a Theater Missile Defense (TMD) that covers the Asia-Pacific region to protect Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, and other allies.

September 27-29, 1998
PRC Minister of Foreign Affairs Tang Jiaxuan arrives in Washington for a three-day visit. On September 29, Tang meets U.S. President Bill Clinton and Secretary of State Madeleine Albright separately. At meetings, Tang says he hopes the Taiwan issue will not affect the U.S.-PRC relationship. Tang also rules out the possibility that ROC President Lee visit the Mainland in his capacity as president.

September 30, 1998
The Ministry of Economic Affairs set up "Service Center for Taiwan Businessmen on the Mainland", with a 24-hour service line to offer assistance.

October 1, 1998
U.S. Senate adopted the joint report on Defense Authorization Act, with stipulations that the Department of Defense should complete the feasibility study of a TMD within a specific time and include U.S. allies -- Taiwan, Japan, and South Korea -- under the shield.

October 6, 1998
ARATS has a major personnel reshuffle, adding three vice chairmen -- Zhang Jincheng, Sun Yafu and Liu Zhentao - and a few advisors and board members.

October 7-11, 1998
The Taiwan Affairs Office of the PRC State Council holds the Seminar on News Programs Related to Taiwan Affairs in Huairou, Beijing. All Mainland China's central-level news directors attend the seminar.

October 12-14, 1998
The Third Plenary Meeting of the 15th CCP Central Committee takes place in Beijing for three days.

October 12-14, 1998
Fujian Vice Governor Zhang Jiakun, leading a 10-member trade delegation, arrives in Taiwan for a visit.

October 14-19, 1998
SEF Chairman Koo, leading a delegation, arrives in Mainland China to meet with ARATS Chairman Wang. Later, Koo meets with PRC leaders Qian Qichen and Jiang Zemin.

October 14, 1998
While meeting with SEF Chairman Koo at the Peace Hotel, ARATS Chairman Wang says that the two sides should promptly enter into political talks and related procedural meetings for them. He repeats the substance of the "one China" principle.

October 15, 1998
During the second meeting between SEF Chairman Koo Chen-fu and ARATS Chairman Wang Daohan at the Qinjiang Hotel in Shanghai, the two reach four agreements: (1) Enhance the dialogue to resume systematic discussions. (2) Promote exchanges of visits between SEF-ARATS staff at various levels. (3) Actively provide mutual assistance on cases arising from exchanges. (4) Arrange a Taiwan visit for Mr. Wang at an appropriate time.

October 18, 1998
Several SEF delegates meet with Jiang Zemin. During the meeting, SEF Chairman Koo mentions Taiwan's achievements in political democratization and economic development and adds that Taiwan would be willing to share its experiences with Mainland China. Koo emphasizes that Mainland China's democratization is the key to reunification. Having a meeting between top leaders of the two sides could help find a way acceptable to the both sides in order to elevate the level of dialogue for eventual unification.

October 18, 1998
The Hong Kong Institute of International Affairs announces the establishment of the Research Center for Cross-strait Relations. The director of the institute, Huang Xuehai, doubles as the director of the center. The center will focus on three fields - China's (PRC) foreign policy, U.S.-China relations and the Taiwan issue, and the triangular relations among the Mainland, Hong Kong and Taiwan. The center is a private institution and provides consultancy to SEF and ARATS.

October 21-22, 1998
Taiwan Affairs Office of the PRC State Council, Ministry of Foreign Economic Relations and Trade, and Ministry of Justice jointly held in Jiangsu "Seminar of the Theory and Implementation of Jurisprudence to Protect Taiwan Investments on the Mainland."

October 22, 1998
While meeting with foreign dignitaries, President Lee Teng-hui pointed out that during the recent Koo-Wang Meeting, the ROC's position had been clearly and fully expressed. He said democracy is the only way to carry out national reforms and development, and that the ROC would be willing to use its democratic development experiences to assist the PRC's reforms.

October 26, 1998
SEF Deputy Secretary-general Chang Liang-jen leads a delegation of college students to visit Beijing.

October 26, 1998
SEF Chairman Koo Cheng-fu reports on his Mainland trip at a joint meeting of the Home and Border Affairs Committee, Foreign and Overseas Chinese Affairs Committee, Economics Committee, and Transportation and Communications Committee of the Legislative Yuan.

October 27, 1998
The PRC Ministry of Public Security announces it will simplify entry procedures for Taiwan businessmen, including reducing the time for applying and extending multiple entry visas for Taiwan businessmen and temporary residents in the Mainland. Procedures for application and the review processes are simplified.

October 30, 1998
Regarding Mainland China's continuing pressure on the ROC's diplomatic space, Premier Vincent Siew says that depriving Taiwan of its international space and diplomatic status is an attempt to suffocate the ROC, which is by no means acceptable.

October 31, 1998
Lee Kuan Yew, former premier of Singapore, meets Premier Vincent Siew briefly while transiting Taiwan. Lee says the recent Koo-Wang meeting marked a breakthrough in the long-term stalemate in cross-strait relations, which deserves confirmation. Lee says he hopes to see continued exchanges like these. Siew responds that the government is sincere in using this meeting to turn a page in cross-strait relations and promote positive interaction across the strait.

November 2, 1998
The Executive Yuan holds the 1998 Mainland Affairs Working Meeting in Taipei to conduct extensive discussions under the theme of "Unfolding a New Era and Promoting Friendly Interaction" between the two sides.

November 2, 1998
The PRC establishes formal relations with Tonga, which had maintained diplomatic ties with the ROC.

November 5, 1998
The Executive Yuan adopts Revisions to Article 21 of the Statute Governing Relations between the People of the Taiwan Area and the People of the Mainland Area. Mainland people who have entered Taiwan legally and have a registered residency for more than two years in Taiwan and who have lived in free areas (Taiwan included) for more than 10 years can teach in colleges pursuant to other laws.

November 5-6, 1998
The Taiwan Affairs Office of the PRC State Council sponsors "Training Session for Officials Handling Taiwan Affairs" with the participation of all directors in charge of Taiwan affairs on the Mainland.

November 6, 1998
At the Fourth Plenary Meeting of the Preparation Committee for the Macau Special Administrative Region in Zhuhai, PRC Vice Premier Qian Qichen says that after Macau reverts to Chinese rule, the Taiwan side may continue its presence in Macau, but is required to strictly observe the "one China" principle.

November 11, 1998
In an interview with Asahi Shimbun of Japan, PRC President Jiang Zemin mentions that as long as under the principle of "one China", the two sides could touch on the post-unification issues such as the nation's name, national flag and anthem.

November 14, 1998
The Taiwan Affairs Office and the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office, both under the PRC Ministry of Foreign Affairs, are merged into the Department of Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan Affairs. Zhu Zushou, former director of the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office, serves as the director.

November 17, 1998
At a press conference after the Asian Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting in Malaysia, PRC Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesman Zhu Bangzao publicly states that Taiwan may not accede to the World Trade Organization (WTO) ahead of the PRC. He claims that Taiwan, as a regional economy, "has no right to participate in any negotiations between sovereign states."

November 20, 1998
The ROC establishes diplomatic ties with the Marshall Islands.

November 22-25, 1998
PRC President Jiang Zemin visits Russia at the invitation of Russian President Boris Yeltsin. The two issue a joint announcement "Sino-Russian Relations at the Turn of the Century" on November 23. They say that their bilateral strategic partnership will not be used as an alliance to take any stand against a third nation.

November 23, 1998
Mainland authorities complete the draft of Statutes for the Protection of Taiwan Investments.

November 26-30, 1998
PRC President Jiang Zemin visits Japan and holds a summit meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi. The two issue the "Joint Announcement on Promoting Peace and Developing Friendly Partnership". The two sides do not hold a signature ceremony or a joint press conference. The announcement is made public separately by each side.

November 30, 1998
The MAC Council Meeting adopts revisions to Article 16 of the Statute Governing Relations between Peoples in the Taiwan Area and in the Mainland area. Direct relatives and spouses of Mainland people who used to be Taiwan people but were stranded in the Mainland from 1945 to 1949 due to military service or family visits and later resided in Taiwan are allowed to reside in Taiwan.
While meeting with a delegation of the Taiwan's Industrial and Business Association, PRC Vice Premier Qian Qichen says that after Macau's sovereignty is reverted to the PRC in 1999, "one China" policy is applicable to handle Macau-Taiwan relations.

December 7-10, 1998
The Taiwan Compatriots Federation convenes the second plenary meeting of its Sixth Congress in Beijing.

December 8, 1998
At the third convention of the Third National Assembly, ROC President Lee Teng-hui, after listening all the suggestions, speaks in the general session and defines the "new Taiwanism" as an identification with this piece of land, a common goal to flight for the Republic of China, and a sense of general community, regardless of the time of arrival in Taiwan, language spoken, or native province.

December 11, 1998
At the National Assembly general session on national affairs, ROC President Lee criticizes Mainland China's bullying of the ROC in the international community as "hegemony." Such a move demonstrates the PRC's lack of ethnic compassion and its violation of the prevalent principles of peaceful co-existence and equal treatment in the global village. He vows to promote pragmatic diplomacy and urges Taiwan people to join together to support the government's reforms to greet the advent of the new century and create a second Taiwan miracle.

December 15, 1998
While replying to legislator Fu Kun-chen's interpellation at the Legislative Yuan, Premier Vincent Siew says the government is very concerned about the issues of stowaways, smuggling and criminal activities arising from cross-strait exchanges. He calls on SEF and ARATS to promptly resume institutional negotiations and give priority to the joint campaign against crime.

December 16, 1998
MAC Vice Chairman Lin Chong-pin emphasizes that the ROC government's insistence that the Mainland's democratization must take place prior to unification was out of four considerations: regional stability, humanitarian considerations, legal considerations and domestic reality.

December 17, 1998
The Xinhua News Agency and China News Service carry the same article with a byline by Tao Zhenghua, titled "The German Model is not suitable for Chinese Unification".

December 18, 1998
In an interview with Yomiuri Shimbun of Japan, ROC President Lee Teng-hui points out that Mainland China immorally used "three-completeness policy" to completely squeeze, smash and strangle the ROC's diplomatic space. The ROC will not give up fighting for a role in the international community, and must make other countries aware of its existence instead.

December 18, 1998
The Xinhua News Agency and China News Service carry the same article to accuse the ROC's views on cross-strait relations. Commenting on SEF Chairman Koo Cheng-fu's reference to the "Cairo Proclamation" and "Potsdam Proclamation" during his October visit to Beijing, the article says that the two proclamations were a complete denial of the split and separate nation. The two proclamations proved that there is only one China in the world, Taiwan is part of China, and China's sovereignty and territory can not be divided.

December 21, 1998
Four Chinese pro-democracy activists -- Wei Jingsheng, Wan Runnan, Qi Lu and Sheng Qi -- visit Taiwan to observe the Taiwan people's achievements in democratic development. They express a hope to work with the government here to promote Taiwan's democratic development on Mainland China and in other Asian countries.

December 21, 1998
At the SEF-sponsored "Seminar on Cross-strait Exchanges by Private Trade and Economic Organizations", MAC Chairman Chang King-yuh proposes three new direct links -- information, thoughts, and culture. He urges the Mainland to change its policy on cross-strait relations, which has been limited to the political sphere, expand cross-strait cultural exchanges so as to promote mutual understanding between the peoples of the two sides.

December 25, 1998
The PRC National Association on Taiwan Studies holds in Beijing "the Academic Seminar to Commemorate the 20th Anniversary of the Papers for Taiwan Compatriots."

December 25, 1998
ARATS Vice Chairman Tang Shubei says that Chairman Wang Daohan's visit to Taiwan should be arranged at a time when cross-strait political and economic dialogue can make progress.

December 28-30, 1998
ARATS, under the sponsorship of the Research Center for Cross-strait Relations, holds a seminar on cross-strait relations in Beijing to fully understand the ROC's political developments and to solicit opinions of Taiwan representatives on the development of cross-strait relations.

December 29, 1998
SEF Chairman Koo Cheng-fu says at a SEF board of directors meeting that Wang Daohan's visit to Taiwan is to reciprocate his visit, which carries symbolic meaning.

December 29, 1998
The PRC National People's Congress Standing Committee adopts a legal explanation on the issue of post-1999 nationality of Macau residents. Without prejudice to the PRC "Nationality Law", the PRC will flexibly handle the issue of Macau citizen's nationality in a relaxed fashion.

December 31, 1998
MAC Chairman Chang King-yuh reiterates that Mainland authorities should seriously consider cooperation proposals from the ROC government, including the establishment of a military confidence-building mechanism, joint efforts in the East-Asian financial crisis, assistance in the reform of Mainland state enterprises, and exchange of democratic experiences at the grassroots level. These programs can help the two sides to create a constructive cross-strait relationship of prosperity and reciprocity.

December 31, 1998
PRC President Jiang Zemin, in a New Year message, repeats calls for "peaceful unification" and "one country, two systems" to resolve the Taiwan issue. He hopes Taiwan can enter into dialogue and negotiations with the PRC as early as possible.