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Mainland Affairs Council

CHRONOLOGY

2013

January 1, 2013
President Ma Ying-jeou stated in a New Year's Day Address on the theme "Taking Strong Action to Redirect Our Future" that, cross-strait peace is one of the keys to peace in the Asia-Pacific region, and a prerequisite for economic development and increased willingness to invest. In the future, the ROC will continue to play a constructive role in the promotion of peace and prosperity in East Asia. The President also looked forward to cooperating with the new leader of mainland China, Mr. Xi Jinping, in continuing to promote peaceful development across the Taiwan Strait on the basis of the "1992 Consensus," whereby each side acknowledges the existence of "one China" but maintains respective interpretations. He noted the government's intentions to accelerate the pace of follow-up negotiations under the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) in order to expand and deepen all aspects of cross-strait ties. He also stated that the government will seek to further loosen restrictions on mainland Chinese investments in Taiwan and open Taiwan's borders to Mainland students and free independent travelers. The President said that the government will soon begin a comprehensive review and amendment of the "Act Governing Relations between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area", and it will also promote the establishment of administrative offices in each other's territory. In addition, the President noted that the people of the two sides of the Taiwan Strait are all Chinese by ethnicity and are all descended from the Emperors Yan and Huang; therefore, the leaders of the two sides should always keep long-term peace across the Taiwan Strait as a top priority. He also stressed that the further institutionalization of cross-strait ties fosters deeper understanding between our people and consolidates cross-strait peace.

January 1, 2013
General Secretary Xi Jinping of the Comunist Party of China Central Committee (CPCCC) stated at a New Year's tea reception held by the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference that, the Mainland would continue to promote the deepening of cross-strait exchanges and cooperation, adhere to the policy of "peaceful reunification and one country, two systems", consolidate and develop the basis for the peaceful development of cross-strait relations, and work for the benefit of compatriots on both sides of the Strait.

January 3, 2013
The MAC announced the results of its latest survey of public opinion. The survey indicated that more than 76% (76.4%) of the public support the government's efforts to further strengthen cross-strait exchanges on human rights, the rule of law, economic and trade relations, culture and education, and civil society so as to enhance mutual understanding between the people on both sides of the Strait. Furthermore, about 42% (42.8%) of the public feel that continuous promotion of cross-strait dialogue and in-depth exchanges on democracy, human rights, and the rule of law will have a positive influence on the Mainland. About 67% (67.1%) of the public of the public believe that the government should moderately open up Taiwan to investments from the Mainland, and about 60% (60.3%) of the public believe that allowing Mainland investments in Taiwan is conducive to balancing the development of cross-strait investment, and also beneficial to cross-strait economic and trade exchanges. Furthermore, 64.2% of the public approve the establishment of reciprocal cross-strait offices between the SEF and the ARATS. As to the functions and responsibilities of the offices, 70.2% of the public agree that the SEF's representation in the Mainland should be allowed to perform official functions and tasks. Overall, a great majority of the public (71%) believes the establishment of reciprocal institutions by the SEF and the ARATS will be conducive to the development of cross-strait relations. Furthermore, a majority of the public (72.4%) believes that the government's comprehensive review and phased amendment of the Act Governing Relations between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area can meet the actual demands of the people and protect the human rights and equal rights of Mainlanders residing in Taiwan (67.5%). The majority of the public also affirms the government's policy of phased amendment to the Act.

January 7, 2013
The MAC issued a press release stating that it believed it to be inappropriate that certain parties referred to mainland China as neidi (the inland) during the process of cross-strait exchanges. The ROC government has always supported multifaceted cross-strait exchanges in the fields of performing arts and pop music. It has also revealed in the "Golden Decade, Cross-Strait Peace" policy guideline the plan to expand exports of Taiwanese audio-visual products and publications to the Mainland in order to promote Taiwan's core values and soft power. The MAC appealed to the Taiwanese people to firmly adhere to principles of equality and dignity, to adopt wording consistent with existing regulations and in consideration of the domestic public’s feelings while referring to the Mainland on occasions of exchanges across the Strait.

January 8, 2013
In a press release responding to the Mainland's media censorship which forced Southern Weekly to change its New Year editorial, the MAC stated that respect for freedom of the press is a universal value and that the media's freedom of speech should be safeguarded. Furthermore, the MAC is deeply concerned about developments related to freedom of the press in the Mainland. It is hoped that the Mainland may experience Taiwan's free press environment through cross-strait media interactions and exchanges and further promote the reciprocal flow of information across the Strait, thus providing momentum for media reform in the Mainland.

January 11, 2013
ARATS Chairman Chen Yunlin stated during a meeting with overseas Chinese community leaders in Los Angeles that adherence to the "1992 Consensus" was written into National Congress of the Communist Party of China official documents for the first time at the 18th Congress, indicating the significance of the "1992 Consensus" as the political foundation for peaceful development of cross-strait relations. He proposed that both sides should strengthen and safeguard the common acknowledgement of the one-China framework. He also expressed hope that, on the basis of identifying with and adhering to one China, the two sides could seek connections, and expand mutual common ground, and reinforce mutual inclusiveness to deepen political mutual trust, strengthen positive interaction, and build forward momentum for the peaceful development of cross-strait relations. He stressed that through strengthening of the institutionalized platform and with the will to conduct negotiations on equal footing, the institutionalized constructions for the peaceful development of cross-strait relations for exchange and cooperation on all levels across the Strait could be enhanced, and thus further consolidate peaceful cross-strait relations. He proposed for the two sides to explore the unique cross-strait political situation of non-unification at the time being, and to make sensible and reasonable arrangements in this regard. He also expressed hopes for gradually creating conditions to resolve crucial issues across the Strait, and also to further expand the road forward for cross-strait relations.

January 14, 2013
President Ma Ying-jeou stated in a speech presented at the "2013 National Conference of University and College Presidents" that the government is looking at admitting diplomas issued by univeristies included in the Mainland's "211 Project". Taiwan is also actively recruiting mainland Chinese college students to further their studies at two-year vocational colleges. The President remarked that this would help to further enhance the competitiveness of Taiwan's higher education and bolster cooperative opportunities.

January 16, 2013
The Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO) stated at a regular press conference that, in the coming year, it would expand cross-strait negotiations, exchanges and cooperations while bearing in mind the principle concept of handling easy matters before difficult ones and progressing in an orderly manner; it would also promote stability and orderly development in cross-strait relations, expand developments in various levels of cross-strait relations, such as in the political, economic, cultural, and social fields; and would continue efforts to create a new era of peaceful development of cross-strait relations. As for the Kinmen water supply problem, the TAO stated that water may be supplied to Kinmen from coastal areas of Fujian so long as the Taiwan side gives consent. Furthermore, political issues objectively exist and will have to be faced sooner or later, the TAO said, and that the two sides should look actively into the future, and try to create conditions and build consensus finally to resolve difficult political and military issues.
The TAO also expressed hope that the SEF and the ARATS can promptly complete respective planning for establishing reciprocal institutions and then communicate and make related arrangements. Regarding Taiwan-related military affairs, the TAO hoped that the U.S. would comply with the spirit of the three joint communiques and abide by the one China policy, for cross-strait affairs will have to be resolved ultimately by the Chinese people across the Strait. Furthermore, the two sides should make institutionalized arrangements on specific exchanges in the cultural and educational fields, stated the TAO, and should begin discussing military issues when the time is appropriate and further look into establishing military and security confidence building mechanisms.

January 23, 2013
President Ma Ying-jeou attended celebratory activities marking 2013 World Freedom Day, as well as the 57th annual General Conference of the ROC Chapter of the World League for Freedom and Democracy (WLFD), and the Asian Pacific League for Freedom and Democracy (APLFD). During the events, the President stressed that due to Taiwan's past experience during the martial law period and the standoff with mainland China, the public keenly understands that "without peace it is difficult to institute freedom and democracy", therefore he decided to resolve cross-strait disputes in a peaceful manner, thus has enabled relations between the two sides to improve rapidly. At present, the two sides have signed a total of 18 agreements and two consensuses. The agreements have enabled direct flight between Taiwan and mainland China, allowed mainland Chinese tourists to visit Taiwan, promoted nuclear power safety, and provided for joint crime-fighting. This demonstrates that peaceful methods can be used to eliminate differences between the two sides, and "shelving disputes and together creating win-win solutions" is an effective way to resolve confrontation. President Ma furthermore stated that Taiwan's breathing room in the international community has also expanded in the wake of improved cross-strait relations. He said that the government hopes that dialogue with mainland China will not only address economic, trade, and cultural affairs, but also will be expanded to deal with human rights and the rule of law, so the people in mainland China can understand what Taiwan has done in this respect, as well as Taiwan's realization of democracy.

January 28, 2013
ARATS Deputy Secretary-General Ma Xiaoguang leads delegation to Taiwan to participate in the opening ceremony of the China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Machinery and Electronic Products (CCCME) in Taipei, and will also meet with SEF personnel.

January 30, 2013
The Taiwan Affairs Office stated at a regular press conference that the Ministry of Public Security has decided to establish port visa offices for Taiwan residents at Yangcheng Airport in Jiangsu and Wenzhou Airport in Zhejiang starting February 5, 2013. It also hoped that Taiwan could relax restrictions so that the Taiwanese public may gain access to watch more Mainland movies, and that Taiwan could remove unrealistic barriers to cross-strait media exchanges, thus facilitate and realize the establishment of mutual representative offices by media agencies on both sides of the Strait. The TAO also hoped that the Taiwan side could adopt additional opening measures and remove some restrictions to promote normal development of cross-strait cultural exchanges.

January 31, 2013
Director Wang Yi of the TAO proposed "Three Hopes" in a Chinese New Year message entitled "Steadily Promoting Comprehensive Development" published in the first 2013 issue of Relations Across Taiwan Straits magazine. The Three Hopes include: first, consolidate consensus on the "opposition to Taiwan independence" concept, adhere to the common foundation of the "1992 Consensus", advance and uphold joint acknowledgement of the one-China framework so as to ensure that development of cross-strait relations stays on the right course, and constantly open up new prospects for cross-strait relations; second, achieve new progress in negotiations, conclude the signing of the cross-strait trade in services agreement, complete discussions on the trade in goods agreement, establish mutual reciprocal institutions of the ARATS and SEF, and promote institutional arrangements for the peaceful development of cross-strait relations; and third, achieve more results through cross-strait exchanges and cooperation, expand trade investment across the Strait, and reach new breakthroughs in industrial and financial cooperation so that contact between compatriots on the two sides may be facilitated and become more convenient, results of exchange become more obvious and the familial bond between the two sides further strengthened.

February 4, 2013
President Ma Ying-jeou sent a letter to Pope Benedict XVI of the Catholic Church in response to the Papal Message for World Day of Peace 2013. The President stated that building mutual trust and promoting peaceful exchanges across the Taiwan Strait are among the most important policy objectives of his administration. The ROC insists on the "1992 Consensus of one China with respective interpretations" and "mutual non-recognition of sovereignty and mutual non-denial of authority to govern," and upon these bases upholds the mutually beneficial principle of "shelving controversies and together creating a win-win solution." Taiwan and the mainland have signed 18 agreements and two points of consensus, laying a solid foundation for cross-strait peace, stability and prosperity.
The President noted that Taiwan proposed the East China Sea Peace Initiative in response to the Diaoyutai Islets sovereignty issue in the hope of "shelving territorial disputes through meaningful dialogue" and "jointly exploring and developing resources through cooperation." The government is also vigorously encouraging Taiwan, Japan, and mainland China to advance from three parallel tracks of bilateral dialogue towards a single track of trilateral negotiations to achieve the goal of peace in the East China Sea.

February 6, 2013
MAC Minister Wang Yu-chi stated at a year-end press conference that the MAC would steadily implement the policy guidelines announced in the "Golden Decade, Cross-Strait Peace" National Vision and prioritize promotion of Mainland work in three focal areas:
(1) "Expanding and deepening cross-strait exchanges on various levels": The government will progressively promote cross-strait economic and trade relations. In addition to accelerating ECFA follow-up negotiations, including negotiations on the trade in services, trade in goods, and dispute settlement agreements, cross-strait economic and trade policies will be further relaxed and adjusted and comprehensive related safety management mechanisms will be formulated. In coordination with the Ministry of Education, the government will also review measures related to Mainland students in Taiwan, strengthen promotion of exchanges and interactions between private sector organizations in areas such as environmental protection, human rights, women’s rights, and the media exchanges on both sides, and also continue efforts on the reciprocal and free flow of information across the Taiwan Strait.
(2) "Comprehensively reviewing and amending the Act Governing Relations between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area": for the first half of this year, the focus of reviews on the Act will include areas such as Mainlanders working in government agencies as labor workforce and not involving any exercise of public authority, review of the choice of law in civil affairs, and the issue of inheritance by Mainlanders. It will also review regulations concerning Mainland advertisment so as to correspond to the new era of cross-strait interactions and economic and trade demands.
(3) "Promoting reciprocal establishment of institutions by the SEF and ARATS": Initial plans call for the gradual establishment of several SEF institutions in areas of the Mainland with Taiwanese businesspeople and students communities. It is hoped that the institutions will provide comprehensive service functions such as economic and trade, culture, and education affairs, exchanges, liason services, and the handling of emergency relief, and with the primary objective of serving the people of Taiwan. The Taiwan side will also hold negotiations with the Mainland side to promptly complete the institutions establishment under the premise of "reciprocity and dignity." Minister Wang also expressed hope that the Mainland would pragmatically face up to the reality that the two sides are divided by the Strait and separately governed and treat Taiwan with mutual respect and friendship in all areas such as cooperation with the international community and non-governmental organizations.

February 7, 2013
Director Wang Yi of the Taiwan Affairs Office stated in a Lunar New Year greeting to Taiwan compatriots that the Mainland would continue to consolidate the common political foundation between the two sides and promote more comprehensive progress in various aspects of cross-strait relations to constantly improve the well-being of people on both sides and to deepen feelings between compatriots on both sides.

February 18, 2013
In a speech presented at the "2013 Lunar New Year Gathering and Banquet for Taiwanese Businessmen's Associations," President Ma Ying-jeou stated that the government will maintain the cross-strait status quo of "no unification, no independence, and no use of force" under the framework of the ROC Constitution and promote the development of peace between the two sides on the foundation of the "1992 Consensus" of "one China, respective interpretations." In the future, the government will strive to expand and strengthen cross-strait ties, address the issue of each side establishing cross-strait representative offices, and comprehensively review and revise the Act Governing Relations between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area.

February 18, 2013
MAC Minister Wang Yu-chi stated in a speech presented at the "2013 Lunar New Year Gathering for Taiwanese Businessmen" held by the SEF that the government will continue to uphold the principle of "shelving disputes and jointly creating a win-win outcome" and gradually advanced and consolidate the development of peace between the two sides on the basis of the "1992 Consensus, whereby each side maintains its respective definition of one China." Minister Wang also stated that this year's priority would be on promoting the following focal tasks: In the area of "expanding and deepening cross-strait exchanges," the government will accelerate the progress of ECFA follow-up negotiations. It aims to sign a trade in services agreement in the first half of this year, complete negotiations on the trade in goods agreement and dispute settlement agreement before the end of the year, and review and relax related laws and regulations. With regards to the "comprehensive review of the Act Governing Relations between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area," the government will promptly complete the review according to urgency through a segmented and phased approach. Regarding the "reciprocal establishment of institutions by the SEF and ARATS," it is hoped that the institutions establishment will be promptly completed with full communication with congress and the community under the principle of "openness and transparency."

February 19, 2013
While attending Working Conference on Taiwan Affairs in Beijing, Member of the Politburo Standing Committee of the Communist Party of China Yu Zhengsheng indicated that the new central collective leadership will embrace the historic responsibility of carrying out Taiwan affairs related to the core interests of the country and the fundamental interests of the people, fully realize the important concept of peaceful development in cross-strait relations, constantly solidify and deepen the political, economic, cultural, and social foundation for the peaceful cross-strait development, and achieve the grand endeavor of national unification in the process of advancing the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.

February 20, 2013
President Ma Ying-jeou emphasized at the 2013 Lunar New Year Banquet held by the Ministry of Foreign that the government will resolutely maintain the status quo of "no unification, no independence, and no use of force" under the framework of the ROC Constitution and continue to promote the development of cross-strait peace based on the "1992 Consensus." The "peaceful development of cross-strait relations" and the "continued expansion of the ROC's relations with the international community" are not in conflict with each other. The two sides have turned a vicious cycle into a virtuous cycle.

February 25, 2013
The MAC issued a press release in regards to the meeting between Honorary Chairman Lien Chan of the Kuomintang Party (KMT) and General Secretary Xi Jinping of the Chinese Communist Party that it welcomes any exchanges beneficial to cross-strait communication. The government will continue to uphold the spirit of shelving disputes and showing mutual respect embodied in the "1992 Consensus of one China with respective interpretations." The government hopes that cross-strait relations may continue to make more contributions to the well-being and interests of people on both sides on a foundation of stability and prosperity.

February 25, 2013
General Secretary Xi Jinping of the Communist Party of China stated during a meeting with KMT Honorary Chairman Lien Chan at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing that, the solemn pledge of the new collective leadership of the CPC Central Committee is to make new achievements in the pragmatic promotion of cross-strait exchanges and cooperation, uphold the rights and interests of Taiwan compatriots, and improve the well-being of Taiwan compatriots. The Mainland will maintain consistency in major Taiwan affairs policies, continue to promote cross-strait exchanges and cooperation, vigorously promote unity and joint effort among compatriots on both sides of the Strait, and consolidate and deepen the political, economic, cultural, and social foundation for the peaceful development of cross-strait relations.

February 26, 2013
PRC President Hu Jintao stated during a meeting with KMT Honorary Chairman Lien Chan at the Great Hall of the People that joint participation and united efforts by compatriots on both sides of the Strait are motivation forces in promoting the peaceful development of cross-strait relations. He expressed hope that compatriots on both sides would continue to expand cooperation and promote exchange and integration. The two sides should take active measures to adapt to the needs of the developing situation so as to provide stronger institutional guarantees for cross-strait exchanges and cooperation. President Hu also expressed hope that more and more people from all walks of life on both sides would actively participate in cross-strait exchanges, deepen mutually beneficial cooperation, and work together for national revival.

February 26, 2013
Chairman Jia Qinglin of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference stated during a meeting with KMT Honorary Chairman Lien Chan at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse that, the key to advancing on the road of peaceful cross-strait development is for both sides to establish and maintain opposition to "Taiwan independence" and adhere to the common political basis of the "1992 Consensus." In the current and future phases, the most important task is to solidify and deepen peaceful development of cross-strait relations, constantly fortify political, economic, cultural and social foundation for cross-strait ties, and create irreversible momentum. The Mainland welcomes any political party or organization in Taiwan that is willing to actively improve and develop cross-strait relations.

February 27, 2013
The Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO) of the State Council stated at a regular press conference that, on the basis of opposing "Taiwan independence" and adhering to the "1992 Consensus," the two sides "agree with the one China framework, despite differences in their interpretation." This has very important and positive significance in consolidating and deepening political mutual trust between the two sides. At the same time, the two sides can create conditions to resolve difficult problems in cross-strait relations starting with the private sector. Think tanks can explore related issues in the political sphere and gradually build consensus. The TAO also stated that negotiations on the cross-strait trade in services agreement have entered the final stage, the Mainland will seek to complete negotiations and sign the agreement as soon as possible. Moreover, both sides have carried out individual research and assessment on the establishment of reciprocal institutions between the SEF and ARATS. It is hoped that a breakthrough may be achieved within the year for the establishment of institutions to be soon realized. On the matter of Taiwan's participation in international affairs, the TAO stated that sensible and reasonable arrangements can be arranged through pragmatic cross-strait negotiations under the premise of not creating "two Chinas" or "one China, one Taiwan."

February 28, 2013
ARATS Vice Chairman Wang Zaixi led a Mainland media exchange delegation to Taiwan via the Mini Three Links. The group met with SEF personnel and visited local attractions during the transit in Kinmen.

March 5, 2013
The MAC stated in a press release that freedom of the press is a universal value. The Mainland should respect, uphold and guarantee freedom of the press. The MAC reiterated that reciprocal exchange and free flow of information are the utmost crucial elements of media exchanges across the Strait. Concerning the issue of media exchanges between the two sides, the government believes that priority of negotiation should be focused on lifting Mainland bans on Taiwan news websites, allowing circulation of Taiwan magazines in the Mainland, and ending Mainland interference with Taiwan radio broadcasts.

March 5, 2013
PRC Premier Wen Jiabao stated in a Government Work Report presented at the first session of the 12th National People's Congress that peaceful development of cross-strait relations of great significant must be fully realized in the future, whereas political, economic, cultural, and social foundation for peaceful development of cross-strait relations must be consolidated and deepened.

March 6, 2013
Taiwan Affairs Office Director Wang Yi stated during an interview after discussions with the Taiwan delegation at the National People's Congress that the focus of cross-strait relations in the next stage remains to deepen and advance economic cooperation, while at the same time to also strengthen cross-strait cultural exchanges. The Mainland is willing to begin discussions on long existing politically-sensitive issues between the two sides through private channels of think tanks and experts on both sides in order to gradually create conditions to address these problems when time is appropriate.

March 7, 2013
President Ma Ying-jeou stated at the "Fulbright Research Workshop" that more Mainland students would come to study in Taiwan starting this fall. Moreover, plans are to allow Mainland students to study in Taiwan technical colleges and receive formal degree after completion of two-year academic program. It is hoped that this will increase exchange opportunities for young people on both sides at an early stage of life and lay an important foundation for future development of peace and stability.

March 14, 2013
The MAC issued a press release regarding the views on the future development of cross-strait relations proposed recently at the convention of the Mainland's National People's Congress (NPC) and National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC). The MAC stated that the government will prioritize promotion of Mainland policies that protect the people's rights and interests across the Strait and also facilitate cross-strait peace, including through the deepening of exchanges and adjustments to the legal system. The government will also push for the establishment of reciprocal institutions by the SEF and ARATS across the Strait so as to provide better services to the people. Regarding the election of Xi Jinping as the new Mainland leader at today's NPC session, the MAC expressed hopes that the two sides would cherish the substantial achievements accumulated through benign cross-strait interactions and exchanges, and further work together for the happiness of people on both sides. The MAC said that, looking ahead to the new era in cross-strait relations, the ROC government will continue to pursue peaceful, stable, and mutually beneficial cross-strait relations while adhering to the set position of the 1992 Consensus of “one China with respective interpretations”, upholding the principle of "shelving disputes and jointly creating a win-win outcome", and deepening mutual trust across the Strait.

March 17, 2013
The MAC issued a press release regarding statements made at the international press conference held after the closing session of the Mainland’s National People's Congress that mainland China has recently proposed several directions of reform covering administration, economy, people's livelihood, social equity and justice areas. The MAC stated that the ROC government affirms these actions and hopes that, in the future, the two sides can cooperate and mutually advance in related reform and development directions to further promote mutual trust and mutual benefit across the Taiwan Strait. The MAC also stated that the two sides should cherish the hard-won achievements of benign cross-strait interactions accumulated over the past five years. In the future, the ROC government will carry forward with the established policy objectives at the set pace of promotion, continue to advance institutionalized cross-strait negotiations, expand and deepen cross-strait exchanges and interaction in various fields, and strengthen mutual trust across the Strait. The MAC stressed that the Republic of China is our nation, and Taiwan is our home; both sides of the Strait should uphold the spirit of "mutual respect, mutual benefit, and co-prosperity" and jointly work for peace, stability, and the well-being of the people across the Strait.

March 17, 2013
Premier Li Keqiang stated, at a press conference after the closing meeting of the first session of the 12th National People's Congress at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, that both sides of the Strait belong to "one China." The residents on the two sides are fellow compatriots, between whom there is no knot that cannot be untied. As long as the two sides adhere to the "one China" principle and maintain bond of compatriots, there would be great space and potential to advance cross-strait relations.

March 20, 2013
The SEF and the ARATS completed an exchange of letters for amendments to the Cross-Strait Agreement on Travel by Mainland Residents to Taiwan. The amended agreement increased the daily quota of Mainland tourist visits to Taiwan to 5,000 visitors and will become effective starting April 1.

March 21, 2013
President Ma Ying-jeou stated at the "2013 Annual Conference of the Asia-Pacific Council of American Chambers of Commerce (APCAC)" and "2013 Hsieh Nien Fan" held by the American Chamber of Commerce that the government is actively improving cross-strait relations. To date, the two sides have signed 18 agreements and reached two consensuses. They have not only expanded cross-strait economic and trade relations, but have also increased incentives for foreign companies to invest in Taiwan. The SEF and the ARATS will also set up reciprocal institutions in hope of futher institutionalizing cross-strait relations. The establishment will not only become one of Taiwan's best defensive lines, but will also strengthen services to people on both sides and further enhance relations between Taiwan and the Mainland.

March 21, 2013
MAC Secretary-General Wu Mei-hung stated at a regular press conference that, in mid-March, the two sides held the second informal communication at the deputy secretary-general level on the issue of SEF-ARATS establishment of reciprocal institutions. The two sides agreed to officially include this issue into the SEF-ARATS negotiation agenda and to begin formal talks on operational issues when time is appropriate.

March 22, 2013
The MAC released the results of its latest public opinion survey. The survey results indicated that nearly 80% (79.3%) of the public supported continued cross-strait exchanges in mass communication fields such as television, movies, radio, and news to promote the cross-strait flow of information. Moreover, nearly 72% (71.9%) of the public agreed that cross-strait media exchanges will enable Mainland reporters to personally experience Taiwan's free press environment. Furthermore, close to 70% (69.8%) of the public believed that the Mainland's censorship of Taiwanese news websites has a negative influence on the free flow of information across the Taiwan Strait. Regarding other cross-strait issues observed over the long term by the MAC, the survey indicated that the great majority of the public (86.1%) still are in favor of "maintaining the status quo defined in a broad sense," an opinion that has remained substantially stable. As for views on the current pace of cross-strait exchanges, 45.2% of the public believe it to be "just right," followed by the percentages believing the pace to be "too fast" and "too slow" at 31% and 13.2%, respectively. Furthermore, near 70% (68.7%) of the public support the government in continuous handling of cross-strait exchange issues through institutionalized negotiations.

March 22, 2013
Newly-appointed director of Taiwan Affairs Office Zhang Zhijun stated in a speech at the opening ceremony of the 11th Symposium on Cross-Strait Relations that, in regards to building mutual trust, it is hoped that the two sides can consolidate a common political foundation of opposing "Taiwan independence" and adhering to the "1992 Consensus," further assimilate differences, deepen joint acknowledgement that both sides belong to "one China," seek points of connection, expand common ground, and reinforce inclusiveness while upholding the one-China framework.
The top priority in dialogue and negotiations is for both sides to comprehensively accelerate progress on the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) follow-up negotiations, endeavor to sign the Cross-Strait Trade in Services Agreement soon, and work to conclude discussions on the cross-strait trade in goods and dispute settlement agreements by year end. At the same time, the two sides have reached a consensus on the establishment of reciprocal institutions for general affairs by ARATS and Taiwan's SEF. The two institutions should begin discussions and make related arrangements at an early date. Furthermore, both sides need to actively consider the negotiation and signing of agreements in the culture, education, and technology fields when time is appropriate so as to respond to the demands of cross-strait exchanges in related areas.
Regarding the promotion of exchanges, various sectors on both sides should be encouraged to establish more platforms for institutionalized exchanges; the scale of visits by Mainland people to Taiwan should be expanded, especially with regards to individual travel; support should be given to universities on the two sides to mutually expand admissions; and institutionalized exchanges and cooperation between intellectual, cultural, and education sectors on the two sides should also be strengthened.

March 23, 2013
Taiwan Affairs Office Deputy Director Sun Yafu stated at the closing ceremony of the 11th Symposium on Cross-Strait Relations that the Mainland proposes that the two sides should gradually create conditions to resolve cross-strait political issues in the future, and that political differences should be resolved by in a gradual manner of handling easy matters before difficult ones. The two sides should begin dialogue in the private sector, through holding of cross-strait peace forum by think tanks on both sides, in hope that private dialogue would be beneficial to promotion of cross-strait development.

March 26, 2013
MAC Minister Wang Yu-chi stated during an interview by the Central News Agency (CNA) that, the cross-strait relationship is not a state-to-state relationship. The establishment of reciprocal institutions by the SEF and the ARATS avoids creating this impression. Minister Wang also stated that the two sides have reached a preliminary consensus that the institutions should serve economic, trade, cultural, education, contact, exchange, and emergency relief assistance functions. The two sides will continue communication on the issuance of travel documents and the government will also actively seek to secure such functions in order to provide the people on both sides with better and more substantive services. Minister Wang also stated that the focal tasks for promotion in the near term are to revise the number of years required for Mainland spouses to obtain identity card and push for the inclusion of Mainland students in the National Health Insurance program so that Mainland spouses and Mainland students can enjoy fair treatment. Minister Wang also indicated that there are many cross-strait negotiation issues at this time. Moreover, in view of the lack of internal consensus in Taiwan, there is no urgency for negotiaions on cross-strait political issues and peace agreement, thus they are not priorities for government promotion.

March 26, 2013
SEF Chairman Lin Join-sane led a "Mission of Care for Taiwan Businesspeople in Hunan and Hubei" to mainland China and met with ARATS Chairman Chen Yunlin.

March 27, 2013
The ARATS sent a letter to the SEF expressing condolences to the victims of the Nantou earthquake disaster.

March 27, 2013
The Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO) stated at a regular press conference that Hubei and Liaoning provinces would be included among pilot provinces allowing Mainland students to earn degrees in Taiwan. Regarding the issue of Taiwan's participation in international activities, the TAO reiterated that sensible and reasonable arrangements could be made through pragmatic cross-strait negotiations, under the premise of not creating "two Chinas" or "one China, one Taiwan." Additionally, it is hoped that some breakthrough can be achieved this year on the establishment of reciprocal institutions by the SEF and the ARATS. The TAO said that cross-strait political issues must be advanced in an orderly manner of handling easy matters before difficult ones, and that on cross-strait political dialogue may begin through private channels, whereby the holding of a peace forum would be a feasible approach. It is hoped that a peace forum could be held this year.

April 2, 2013
President Ma Ying-jeou stated during a meeting with the Taiwan Delegation to the Boao Forum for Asia 2013 that over the past four-plus years, the two sides have signed 18 agreements and reached two consensuses. Negotiations on trade in services will be held in the next few months, and talks on trade in goods will be completed by the end of this year. The President further remarked for the two sides to continue cooperation on the economic front, in particularly, the all ECFA affiliated agreements must be fully implemented. The President stressed that the government's cross-strait policy is to maintain the status quo of "no unification, no independence and no use of force" under the framework of the ROC Constitution and to promote cross-strait exchanges on the foundation of the 1992 Consensus of "one China, with respective interpretations".After carrying out the policy for five plus years, it has been proven to be a viable approach that not only promotes cross-strait exchanges, but also opens the gateway for Taiwan to further expand international participation.

April 7, 2013
The MAC issued a press release stating that the Department of Health (DOH) upgraded the status of human-borne H7N9 influenza to a Category V Notifiable Infectious Disease, and also established a Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) to respond to the spread of the H7N9 epidemic in mainland China. The MAC stated that it has entrusted the Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) to strengthen promotion of health education through the Taiwan Businesspeople Information Web and Taiwanese Businessmen's Association, as well as to assist with the collection of information on the Mainland epidemic. The MAC stressed that, due to close interactions between the people on both sides, it will continue to closely track Mainland epidemic developments in conjunction with CECC operations and duly adopt necessary disease control measures.

April 7, 2013
Taiwan Affairs Office Director Zhang Zhijun stated during a meeting in Boao with the delegation led by Honorary Chairman of Taiwan's Cross-Straits Common Market Foundation Vincent Siew that, working-level discussions on the Cross-Strait Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) follow-up trade in services agreement have been completed and will be negotiated in detail and signed by the SEF and the ARATS.

April 8, 2013
During a meeting in Boao with the delegation led by Honorary Chairman Vincent Siew of Taiwan's Cross-Straits Common Market Foundation, General Secretary Xi Jinping of the Chinese Communist Party expressed hope that the two sides could strengthen high-level economic dialogue and coordination, jointly promote economic cooperation, accelerate progress with negotiations on Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement follow-up agreements, and expand institutionalized economic cooperation.

April 10, 2013
The Taiwan Affairs Office of the Mainland State Council stated at a regular press conference that human infection cases of H7N9 bird flu were found in four provinces and cities, including Shanghai. According to the Cross-Strait Agreement on Medical and Health Cooperation, Mainland competent agencies have notified established counterparts in Taiwan relevant departments about the epidemic situation. They will also continue to strengthen contact with Taiwan and provide support and assistance as needed by Taiwan for epidemic prevention and control.

April 13, 2013
The MAC issued a press release stating that the Executive Yuan approved the "Draft Statute Governing the Establishment of Branches in the Taiwan Area by Mainland Area Institutions Handling Affairs Related to Contact between People across the Taiwan Strait" on April 11, 2013, and submitted it to the Legislative Yuan for review. The draft statute adopts a general authorization approach that, on one hand, is the same as that in the legislation of the Act Governing Relations between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area, while on the other hand, takes into consideration the fact that the two sides are currently still engaged in communication and negotiations on the issue. Therefore, in order to accord to the principle of legal reservation and to ensure Taiwan more negotiation latitude, relevant measures and authorization will be submitted to the Executive Yuan for approval after confirmation through negotiations, and thus undergo congressional oversight as stipulated under the Standard Act for the Law and Rules and the Exercise of the Law governing the Legislative Yuan's Power. The government will make ample preparations and adopt sound complementary measures in both legal and implementation aspects, as well as adhere to the principles of reciprocity and dignity during negotiations. The government will also communicate and explain the progress and consensus reached in negotiations to the Congress and society, based on the principle of openness and transparency, so as to lessen public doubts.

April 16, 2013
President Ma Ying-jeou remarked in a video conference with the Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law (CDDRL) at Stanford University in the United States that the ROC government has proposed many pragmatic approaches based on the "1992 Consensus" to ensure peace in the Taiwan Strait, including the "Three No's" policy of "No Unification, No Independence, and No Use of Force" under the framework of the ROC Constitution, building mutual trust and achieving mutual benefit for the people on either side of the Taiwan Strait. Taiwan advocates "mutual non-recognition of sovereignty, mutual non-denial of governing authority" to allow both sides to pursue substantive exchanges without being derailed by disagreements over sovereignty issues.
The President stated that the government's plan for cross-strait dialogue is to prioritize "easy issues before difficult ones, urgent matters before non-urgent ones, and economic matters before political ones." This "building-blocks" approach is the only way to achieve lasting peace in the Taiwan Strait. In the past five years, the two sides have signed 18 agreements covering such issues as direct flights, tourism, economic cooperation, intellectual property rights, nuclear safety, and mutual judicial assistance. Over the next three years, two sides are expected to complete negotiations on trade in services and trade in goods under the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA), and educational and cultural exchanges are also to be greatly increased. Furthermore, each side intends to set up offices in major cities on the other side to take better care of the seven million people and over 160 billion US dollars' worth of goods and services that annually move across the Taiwan Strait.

April 18, 2013
In mid-April, the SEF and the ARATS held the first round of discussions on reciprocal institutions establishment by the two organizations. The two sides exchanged views on the establishment arrangements and functions of the reciprocal institutions.

April 20, 2013
The SEF sent a letter to ARATS expressing Taiwan's concerns and sympathy over the Ya'an, Sichuan earthquake, which was responded by ARATS thank you letter the next day (April 21).

April 22, 2013
The Mainland Affairs Council issued a press release stating that, following the devastating earthquake that recently shook the Mainland city of Ya'an in Sichuan Province and caused severe casualties, the Executive Yuan decided to donate a humanitarian aid of US$1 million in reference to the Mainland earthquake in Yushu, Qinghai Province and the landslide disaster in Zhouqu, Gansu Province. The funds will be forwarded to the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS) through the Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) to assist local earthquake reconstruction work.

April 26, 2013
The SEF sent a letter to newly-appointed ARATS Chen Deming to extend congratulations and hopes for the SEF and ARATS to promote broader and deeper cross-strait exchanges and cooperation on the current solid foundation.

April 26, 2013
New chairman Chen Deming of the ARATS said that upholding the "1992 Consensus" is the foundation for consolidating SEF-ARATS talks. The ARATS will coordinate relevant departments to accelerate progress in the Cross-Strait Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) follow-up talks, aiming to hold the ninth round of talks between the leaders of the SEF and ARATS and sign the trade in services agreement in the first half of the year. It also aims to complete negotiations on cross-strait trade in goods, dispute settlement and other issues this year. Furthermore, the ARATS will dedicate efforts to realize the establishment of reciprocal institutions between the SEF and the ARATS, as well as promote cross-strait talks in technology, culture and education spheres. Chairman Chen expressed hope for the two sides to initiate dialogue on cultural and education issues, beginning with research on the negotiation and signing of specific agreements on culture, arts, and preservation of historical relics.

April 26, 2013
Director Zhang Zhijun of the Taiwan Affairs Office stated at the first meeting of the third ARATS board of directors and commemorative activity for the 20th anniversary of the "Koo-Wang Talks", that he would accomplish four "steadfasts," including: "firmly seizing the theme of peaceful development of cross-strait relations ," "consolidating opposition to 'Taiwan independence' and adhering to the political foundation of the '1992 Consensus', " "upholding the pragmatic concept of handling easy matters before difficult ones and progressing in orderly manner," and "adhering to the policy concept of putting people first and working for the benefit of the people."
Mainland's work towards Taiwan this year will continue to promote the strengthening of mutual political trust between the two sides, as well as seek linkages and expand common ground while adhering to the one China position. The Mainland will also continue to promote mutual cross-strait investment and industrial and financial cooperation, as well as expand the scale of visits to Taiwan, especially individual travel; promote more extensive grassroots contacts between the two sides; and further institutionalize cross-strait exchanges in the cultural, education, and technology sectors. Furthermore, the Mainland will continue to coordinate the relevant departments and local governments to study and formulate new measures beneficial to the people of Taiwan.
Zhang Zhijun also indicated that, after painstaking study and comparing the past and present, it is now time to accomplish the "four steadfasts," namely: "firmly seizing the theme of peaceful development of cross-strait relations ," "consolidating opposition to 'Taiwan independence' and adhering to the political foundation of the '1992 Consensus', " "upholding the pragmatic concept of handling easy matters before difficult ones and progressing in orderly manner," and "adhering to the policy concept of putting people first and working and working for the benefit of the people."

April 26, 2013
Chairman Yu Zhengsheng of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference stated at the first meeting of the third ARATS board of directors and commemorative activity for the 20th anniversary of the "Koo-Wang Talks" that, the "Koo-Wang Talks" highlighted the important position of the "1992 Consensus" as a foundation for cross-strait negotiations. He hoped that the ARATS would consolidate and reinforce the political basis for cross-strait negotiations, promote institutionalization of the peaceful development of cross-strait relations; promptly complete Cross-Strait Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement follow-up negotiations, actively promote the reciprocal establishment of general institutions by the SEF and the ARATS, and negotiate and sign agreements on cross-strait exchanges in the technology, culture and education spheres. At the same time, the Mainland will actively promote cross-strait exchanges and cooperation, strengthen contacts with various sectors of Taiwanese society, and jointly promote the development of cross-strait relations, as well as adhere to a people-oriented concept and earnestly safeguard the rights and interests of compatriots on both sides of the Strait.

April 28, 2013
Deputy Director Sun Yafu of the Taiwan Affairs Office stated in a speech presented at a commemorative activity for the 20th anniversary of the "Koo-Wang Talks" that the Mainland continues to maintain the positions that the two sides should gradually create conditions to resolve cross-strait political challenges in the future, and that political differences should be resolved by dealing with easy matters before difficult ones and progressing in an orderly manner. Under the present circumstances in which formal political talks between the two sides cannot be discussed, experts and scholars on both sides have proposed that dialogue may start from the private sector and that a non-governmental cross-strait peace forum may be held. It is hoped that such dialogue and forum would help promote the overall coordination and sustainable development of cross-strait relations; help compatriots on both sides of the Strait to eliminate estrangement and misunderstanding on political relations, military security, and foreign affairs; enhance understanding and trust; and be beneficial to accumulating experience, building social atmosphere, and steadily creating conditions for future political negotiations between the two sides.

April 29, 2013
President Ma Ying-jeou stated in a speech presented at a reception marking the 20th anniversary of the "Koo-Wang Talks" that the government must promote Mainland policy and cross-strait relations under the framework of the ROC Constitution and in line with the principle of "putting Taiwan first for the benefit of the people." Issues should also be addressed according to the priorities of "pressing matters before less pressing ones, easy matters before difficult ones, and economic matters before political ones." The peaceful and mutually beneficial exchanges between the two sides over the past five years have created a positive model to peacefully resolve differences for East Asia and the world. The President expressed hope that peace and prosperity between the two sides may continue to be promoted on the basis of the "1992 Consensus," whereby each side acknowledges the existence of "one China" but maintains its own interpretation of what that means. At the same time, the government will stick to a policy of "mutual non-recognition of sovereignty, and mutual non-denial of governing authority" as it works to expand and deepen cross-strait exchanges and interactions in areas such as economic and trade ties, culture, technology, environmental protection, society, rule of law, and human rights. This will promote greater understanding and cooperation among the people on the two sides of the Taiwan Strait.

April 29, 2013
MAC Minister Wang Yu-chi stated in a speech at a reception marking the 20th anniversary of the "Koo-Wang Talks" that the cross-strait "Koo-Wang Talks" held in 1993 ended several decades of estrangement between the two sides. Moreover, the institutionalized cross-strait negotiation channels established then have been used to resolve problems related to cross-strait exchanges and safeguard the interests and well-being of the people on both sides. The "Koo-Wang Talks" also established a model for cross-strait negotiations based on "shelving disputes, mutual respect and equal interaction." Over the past five years, the SEF and ARATS have held eight high-level talks, and the hotline between the SEF and ARATS has enabled quick and effective resolution of various issues and disputes related to cross-strait interactions and contact. More importantly, the signing of 18 agreements has established a "mechanism-to-mechanism" platform between the governments of the two sides and has enabled close cooperation between the two sides in numerous cross-border actions. In the future, the government will continue to expand and deepen cross-strait exchanges on various levels to increase opportunities for the people on the two sides to interact, build mutual understanding, and foster greater mutual tolerance, thereby ensure sound and long-term progress of cross-strait relations.

May 6, 2013
Deputy Director Sun Yafu of the Taiwan Affairs Office stated in a speech at a reception for overseas Chinese New Yorkers at the PRC Consulate General in New York that, on the issue of cross-strait political negotiations, the Mainland supports dialogues to begin from the private sector. These dialogues may proceed in forms such as non-governmental cross-strait peace forum, so that scholars and representative individuals of the two sides may explore approaches and methods to resolve issues related to cross-strait political relations, military security, and foreign affairs. He also noted that the two sides have always had common ground and points of connection in their position on one China. Points of most fundamental significance are to uphold the one-China framework, avoid cross-strait division into two countries, and stabilize the overall foundation of cross-strait relations.

May 7, 2013
MAC Minister Wang Yu-chi stated during an interview with the China Times that cross-strait political issues are very complicated and that it would be a major step forward for cross-strait relations if the Mainland faced up to the"mutual non-denial of authority to govern" concept. The government's work priorities at this stage include expanding and deepening cross-strait exchanges, establishing reciprocal institutions, and comprehensively reviewing the Act Governing Relations between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area. Regarding cross-strait media exchanges, Minister Wang urged the Mainland to face up to Taiwan's expectations, lift internet bans, resolve the issue of radio wave transmissions to Taiwan, and allow circulation of Taiwanese magazines in the Mainland. The MAC will also continue to subsidize private organizations to invite Mainland media to Taiwan so that they may experience Taiwan free press environment. Minister Wang further stated that the Cross-Strait Trade in Services Agreement would expand investment opportunities and create more jobs for Taiwan, and that the government would also make proper arrangements for affected industries.

May 7, 2013
MAC Minister Wang Yu-chi stated during an interview by the United Daily News that the establishment of SEF-ARATS reciprocal institutions is aimed at providing localized service close to Taiwanese businesspeople and students in the Mainland. The government will endeavor to secure for the institutions the substantive functions of issuing travel visas and humanitarian visiting rights. The two sides will also formulate codes of conduct for the institutions and arbitrary interference with internal affairs of the other side would not be allowed. Minister Wang said that in the process of interacting with the other side, Taiwan takes pride in its values such as inclusiveness, cultural diversity, democratic practice, and respect for human rights. He also stated that Taiwan should do its best to accept Mainland spouses and help them integrate into Taiwanese society, and should also receive Mainland students with hospitality so that they may internalize the values in which Taiwan takes pride.

May 14, 2013
The SEF contacted the ARATS and confirmed that the ninth round of high-level cross-strait talks between the two sides would be held in the Mainland.

May 14, 2013
Member of the Politburo Standing Committee of the Communist Party of China and Chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, Yu Zhengsheng, met at Beijing's Great Hall of the People with a group of retired Taiwanese generals led by New Alliance Association Chairman Hsu Li-nung. During the meeting, he stated that the Mainland welcomes non-governmental exchanges and dialogue between the two sides on issues related to promoting establishment of cross-strait military confidence building measures (CBMs) in order to create conditions for addressing future cross-strait political challenges.

May 15, 2013
Director Zhang Zhijun of the Taiwan Affairs Office stated during a media interview at a symposium for Taiwan businesspeople in Shanghai that, reciprocal SEF-ARATS institutions are positioned as service organizations under the SEF and ARATS framework and are not diplomatic/consular institutions. The two sides have made progress in communication on operational issues. It is hoped that related matters can be promptly arranged to safeguard the rights of people on both sides and promote the development of cross-strait ties.

May 15, 2013
The Taiwan Affairs Office stated at a regular press conference that, with commitments made during accession into the World Trade Organization as a baseline, the two sides should further grant each other more preferential treatments in the Cross-Strait Trade in Services Agreement. The opening of the trade in services market is a gradual and evolutionary process. After signing the agreement, the two sides will hold negotiations on further expanding and deepening the service industries of the two sides based on the principle of mutual benefit. The TAO also reiterated that protecting the rights and interests of fishermen on both sides is a mutual responsibility and that issues for SEF-ARATS negotiation will be determined through discussions between the two organizations. Furthermore, the establishment of reciprocal institutions between the SEF and the ARATS has been included into the negotiation agenda and there has been progress in discussions on business functions, facilitation measures, and contact affairs. The two sides will continue to strengthen communication and make arrangements as soon as possible.

May 16, 2013
President Ma Ying-jeou stated in a speech at the opening ceremony of the "2013 International Law Association (ILA)-American Society of International Law (ASIL) Asia-Pacific Research Forum" that cross-strait relations are not state-to-state relations but are special relations, and that international law issues regarding recognition of states do not exist between the Strait. The government's advocacy of "mutual non-recognition of sovereignty and mutual non-denial of governing authority" between the two sides corresponds to the ROC Constitution. Maintaining the cross-strait status quo of "no unification, no independence, and no use of force" under the ROC Constitution framework is the most pragmatic way to describe and interpret current cross-strait status. It is also the best way to reduce mutual hostility, shelve sovereignty dispute, and foster cross-strait peace. In the future, the government will continue to expand and deepen cross-strait interactions, promote the establishment of reciprocal institutions and comprehensively review Act Governing Relations between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area to achieve the objectives of peace, prosperity and development on both sides of the Strait.

May 16, 2013
The MAC stated in a press release that the killing of a Taiwanese fisherman by the Philippines and the "one China principle" advocated by mainland China are entirely unrelated issues. Our interpretation of the "one China" is the Republic of China. It is hoped that this point is fully acknowledged by all parties so as to avoid hurting the feelings of the Taiwanese people in dealing with this incident.

May 16, 2013
The SEF and ARATS conducted the second round of discussions in early May on operational issues regarding the mutual establishment of reciprocal institutions. The two sides exchanged views on issues such as the institution establishment, scope of service functions, and personnel protections.

May 21, 2013
Director Zhang Zhijun of the Taiwan Affairs Office indicated during an interview with the United Daily News that, prior to the final unification across the Strait, the Mainland encourages experts, scholars and think tanks in the private sector to lead the way in forming consensus on issues such as building cross-strait political relations, establishing military confidence building measures, and negotiating and signing a peace accord. Currently, both sides agree to oppose Taiwan independence and adhere to the 1992 Consensus. On this foundation and while the two sides remain in this unique status of "non-unification", the two sides can still seek to establish political relations and try to find a mutually acceptable solution, thus would be called "fair and reasonable arrangements". Cross-strait economic cooperation has facilitated and bridged Taiwan’s participation into regional economic integration. Through such economic cooperation, the two sides may communicate and jointly explore feasible approaches for Taiwan to participate further in regional economic integration. This communication process would also be a process of establishing mutual political trust between the two sides. Furthermore, the signing of bilateral economic and trade agreements between Taiwan and other countries should not be government-to-government agreements; this has been the consistent position of the Mainland.

May 23, 2013
Yu Zhengsheng, Member of the Politburo Standing Committee of the Communist Party of China and Chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, stated during an interview with the United Daily News that, prior to national unification, sensible and reasonable arrangements for cross-strait political relations is already underway. There are no pre-existing models to follow, and will require the two sides to work to achieve. Moreover, the further opening of Taiwan to Mainland investment will tighten economies links between the two sides and thus make peaceful development more irreversible.

May 23, 2013
ARATS Chairman Chen Deming stated during an interview with the United Daily News that Taiwan has advantages in areas such as creativity, design, and technology introduction, while the Mainland is strong in processing, production and capital. The two sides should cooperate to jointly face the challenges of economic globalization and realize a "one-plus-one is greater than two" effect between industries on the two sides. The Mainland does not request Taiwan to allow imports of Mainland agricultural products that it already produces or is already self-sufficient in; however, certain agricultural products for which Taiwan has import demands, does not self-produce and already allows imports from other countires, the Mainland calls for Taiwan to consider opening up to Mainland imports.

May 27, 2013
MAC Minister Wang Yu-chi stated at a background briefing on the Cross-Strait Trade in Services Agreement that the government promotes institutionalized cross-strait negotiations in keeping with the principles of "putting Taiwan first for the benefit of the people," "parity, dignity, and reciprocity," and "national need, public support, and legislative oversight." The competent authorities for the various service industries conducted professional assessments on service industry market opening under the principle of "maximizing benefits and minimizing impact." After talks with industry insiders, they then communicated with their Mainland counterparts to ensure Taiwan interests. Minister Wang also stated that, the Cross-Strait Trade in Services Agreement would be the 19th agreement signed between the two sides and the first free trade agreement signed between the two sides in accordance to the ECFA and Article 5 of the WTO General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS). It would also facilitate the process of signing free trade agreements between Taiwan and related countries and lay a more solid foundation for Taiwan in achieving the strategic objectives of participating in the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP), Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), and other regional economic integration agreements. The signing of the trade in services agreement has benchmark significance in expanding and deepening cross-strait exchanges and represents the administration's policy determination. It also demonstrates the sincerity of both sides in implementing the ECFA and highlights the expansion of the foundation of mutual trust. The Taiwan side believes that, on this basis, future agreements such as ECFA follow-up agreements on trade in goods and dispute settlement, or other cross-strait negotiation issues may be successfully concluded,. Minister Wang also stated that Cross-Strait Trade in Services Agreement negotiation lays a foundation for futher follow-up negotiations and ushers in an era of comprehensive economic and trade exchanges and cooperation across the Strait.

May 29, 2013
The Taiwan Affairs Office stated at a regular press conference that the issue of exchange visits by the leaders of the two sides will be determined by the developments and needs of cross-strait relations. The two sides may work to create conditions to this end, including negotiating on the titles of the leaders on such exchange visits. The Cross-Strait Trade in Services Agreement is a mutually beneficial agreement arranged according to the different characteristics, levels, and respective concerns of trade in services development on both sides. Furthermore, it is hoped that Taiwan can promptly adjust and amend discriminatory policies against Mainland spouses and uphold the dignity and rights of Mainland spouses to create a good environment and conditions for cross-strait marriage families in Taiwan. The TAO also stated that cross-strait political dialogue could start from the private sector to enhance mutual understanding, create conditions, and build consensus to resolve thorny political issues between the two sides.

May 31, 2013
MAC Minister Wang Yu-chi stated in an interview with the Liberty Times that promotion of SEF-ARATS reciprocal institutions establishment is rooted foremost in practical needs, and both sides believe that serving the people of the two sides is the main objective. The functions of the institutions are to promote economic, trade, cultural, educational, and social exchanges and contact, as well as to provide emergency assistance. The government understands that reciprocal institutions establishment is of high political sensitivity, therefore, it immediately briefed the congress and media on this matter after two informal discussions were held between the SEF and ARATS at the deputy secretary-general level and two formal talks on operational issues between the competent authorities on the two sides. Issues such as travel documents, notifications and humanitarian visiting rights are of great concern to the Taiwanese people, and the government must raise these concerns with the Mainland and press for them to be taken seriously. In the future, the government will continue to work in this same attitude.

June 3, 2013
The ARATS sent a letter to the SEF expressing condolences to the victims of the earthquake disaster in Nantou, Taiwan.

June 4, 2013
President Ma Ying-jeou stated in his observations on the 24th anniversary of the June 4th Incident that cross-strait ties have improved dramatically over the past five years. However, a gap in the quality of human rights protections on the two sides has long impeded efforts to lessen the feeling of "otherness" between people on the two sides of the Taiwan Strait. Such obstacles can be gradually reduced through cross-strait interaction and dialogue on the subject of human rights. The Mainland authorities should show greater magnanimity through tolerance toward dissenters. It is also sincerely hoped that the new leadership in the Mainland will seize the opportunity to bring about a new era in human rights.

June 4, 2013
The MAC issued a press release on the 24th anniversary of the June 4th Incident stating that reflections on the Tiananmen Square Incident would be a major indicator of deepening reforms in mainland China. Mainland China should actively and frankly face up to the historical fact of the Tiananmen Square Incident and its positive significance for reform and development in the Mainland. The MAC called on mainland China to begin with humanitarian treatment towards the Tiananmen protesters and their families, to proactively demonstrate sincerity to soothe past wounds, and to demonstrate groundbreaking determination in areas such as political reforms and promotion and protection of human rights so as to improve the well being of the people. The MAC urged the two sides to mutually cooperate and advance on this foundation, as well as to share pluralistic values and promote positive development of civil society on both sides in the course of exchanges and dialogues. It is hoped that the two sides can further deepen mutual trust and strengthen mutually beneficial relations to create a more favorable environment for the happiness of the people on both sides.

June 6, 2013
President Ma Ying-jeou stated in an interview with Japan's Kyodo News that the cross-strait relationship is not a state-to-state relationship, but a special relationship. Therefore, although the 18 agreements signed between the two sides were not agreements signed between two countries, it has not prevented the agreements from taking effect in their respective jurisdictions. The government has taken a pragmatic attitude in designing the cross-strait exchange mechanism, and it has proven to be viable and successful.

June 8, 2013
Deputy Director Zheng Lizhong of the Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO) stated at the 2013 Taiwan Businessmen's Summit for Industry Transformation and Upgrading that, the SEF and the ARATS would sign the Cross-Strait Trade in Services Agreement at the upcoming ninth round of talks. The agreement will enhance cooperation between the service industries of the two sides. Furthermore, there are many types of economic development zones and demonstration areas in the Mainland; Taiwan has also announced its plan for Free Economic Demonstration Zone. It is hoped that the two sides can strengthen cooperation between these zones to realize regional linkages and achieve a win-win outcome through innovative cooperation. Deputy Director Zheng expressed hopes that Taiwan would introduce fairer policy measures to further open its markets to Mainland enterprises and promote the free flow of persons, goods and capital between the zones.

June 9, 2013
The Taiwan Affairs Office stated at a regular press conference that the meeting between leaders of the two sides should be decided depending on the development progress and demands in cross-strait relations, and that both sides may work to create conditions for the meeting. Furthermore, the two sides have agreed that the SEF-ARATS reciprocal institutions will be mutually established under the SEF and ARATS framework and will serve comprehensive business functions in economic, trade, cultural, educational, exchange, contact, emergency relief and other aspects. This consensus reflects the fact that the main purpose for the reciprocal establishment of SEF-ARATS institutions is to provide service in cross-strait economic and cultural exchanges and to protect the rights and interests of the people on both sides. As for cross-strait political dialogue, experts and scholars on the two sides may now begin discussions on such issues in the private sector, which would be conducive to promoting mutual understanding, building consensus and creating conditions to resolve difficult political issues in the future. As for cross-strait fishery cooperation, the two sides may further research and communicate on this issue.

June 10, 2013
President Ma Ying-jeou stated during a meeting with delegation to mainland China led by Kuomintang (KMT) Honorary Chairman Wu Poh-hsiung that, the government has promoted cross-strait relations based on the principle of the "1992 Consensus of one China with respective interpretations" and has maintained the cross-strait status quo of "no unification, no independence, and no use of force" under the ROC Constitution framework, both of which have created the important foundation for cross-strait development. The President also stated that the cross-strait relationship is not a state-to-state relationship and the institutions to be established by Taiwan in the Mainland and Mainland institutions to be established in Taiwan will not serve as diplomatic consulates. At the same time, provisions will be formulated on issues such as institution staff status and guarantees, license applications, and inmate visitation, yet relations across the Strait will not be regarded as relations between two countries. This is mainly due to the stipulations of the Constitution that the ROC cannot regard the other side of the Strait as a country.

June 12, 2013
The MAC stated in a press release that the government promotes peaceful development of cross-strait relations in accordance to the Constitution of the Republic of China (ROC) and the Act Governing Relations between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area, which pragmatically positions the relationship across the Strait as "one Republic of China with two areas." In terms of national identity, the government governs the country in accordance to the ROC Constitution; there are no such issues as self-belittlement or parroting of the Mainland's "one China" principle. The MAC also stressed that the purpose of establishing reciprocal institutions between the SEF and ARATS is to serve the people on both sides and to protect their rights and interests. Many issues of concern included in the negotiation agenda are politically sensitive, including travel document application, humanitarian visits to citizens whose personal freedom has been restricted, codes of conduct for personnel dispatched by the two sides, and other matters related to rights guarantees and constraints. The government has not merely treated the above said issues as general issues, but rather has taken a pragmatic approach in the negotiation process and actively sought out Taiwan's best interests. The government has also adhered to the consistent principle of transparency in the negotiation process and related legal procedures; it has conducted ample communications with all sectors and has accepted legislative oversight.

June 13, 2013
Chairman Yu Zhengsheng of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference stated during a meeting with delegation led by KMT Honorary Chairman Wu Poh-hsiung at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse that, while promoting the peaceful development of cross-strait relations, the two sides should strengthen the concept that both sides are part one family and explicitly join hands to work for the goal of bringing about the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. The Mainland side will take into full consideration the needs and well-being of Taiwanese compatriots; it will more effectively promote cross-strait exchanges and cooperation so that compatriots on both sides may share expanded opportunities in a broader region and enjoy the results of peaceful cross-strait development.

June 13, 2013
General Secretary Xi Jinping of the Chinese Communist Party stated during a meeting with delegation led by Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Honorary Chairman Wu Poh-hsiung at the Great Hall of the People that, cross-strait relations should be viewed from the greater picture of ensuring comprehensive interests for the whole Chinese ethnic group, with the most fundamental and essential issue in mind, to safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity, while bearing in mind that though the Mainland and Taiwan have yet reunified, both sides belong to one China. The two sides should develop future cross-strait relations through recognition of development trends throughout history, and face that it is an inevitable trend for the two sides to decide and advance upon accordingly. The two sides should insist on strengthening mutual trust and beneign interactions, seek commonality and shelve differences, be pragmatic and proactive while entering into a new stage of consolidation and deepening relations across the Strait, so that more results may be achieved through cross-strait development. Also, the two sides steadily promote comprehensive development of cross-strait ties and create more facilitation measures to deepen cooperation in economic, technological, cultural, educational and other fields so as to achieve greater benefits.

June 14, 2013
MAC Minister Wang Yu-chi stated in a speech at the "2013 Dragon Boat Festival Symposium and Get-Together for Taiwan Businesspeople" that the MAC has made concrete progress on this year’s three focal tasks, to "expand and deepen cross-strait exchanges," "comprehensively review and amend the Act Governing Relations between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area" (the "Cross-Strait Act"), and "establish reciprocal institutions by the SEF and the ARATS." As for "expanding and deepening cross-strait exchanges," since the Cross-Strait Investment Protection Agreement took effect on February 1 this year, the Mainland has agreed to Taiwan's suggestion for the two sides to conduct review meeting every three months to assist with case handling and ensure follow-up implementation of the agreement. Furthermore, the Cross-Strait Trade in Services Agreement is the 19th pact signed between the two sides and will help Taiwan sign free trade agreements with other countries, establish foundation for Taiwan's participation in the Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership (TPP) and Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), and will also have substantial benefits in attracting foreign and Mainland investment to Taiwan. As for "establishing reciprocal institutions between the SEF and the ARATS," the two sides have held several talks on operational issues and reached consensus on the functions of the institutions to promoting cross-strait economic, trade, cultural, social and educational exchanges and contacts, and also to provide emergency assistance. As for “reviewing and amending of the Cross-Strait Act,” the MAC has already submitted draft amendments to the Legislative Yuan for deliberation, aside from which, the MAC has also worked with relevant agencies and drafted revisions to 33 regulations related to the Cross-Strait Act. Relevant amendments will continue to be reviewed in line with developments.

June 14, 2013
The MAC stated in a press release that the ROC is a sovereign and independent country. The ROC Constitution and the Act Governing Relations between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area define the relationship across the Strait as "one Republic of China, two areas." Therefore, the ROC government has never changed its position on cross-strait relations: whether it be the "one China principle," "one China framework, " or "one China concept," the "one China" is the Republic of China.

June 18, 2013
The MAC announced the results of its latest special survey of public opinion on the establishment of reciprocal institutions between the SEF and the ARATS. Over 70% of the public endorse the government's policy to promote reciprocal institutions establishment between the SEF and ARATS to directly serve and assist the people on both sides (71.1%) and feel that this would be beneficial to mutual understanding and would reduce hostility across the Strait (75.4%). Moreover, nearly 80% (78.7%) of the public think that functions of the SEF institutions in the Mainland should include the issuance of travel documents, notifications and visits to Taiwanese people whose freedom has been restricted through coercive measures in the Mainland. Furthermore, nearly 70% (67.9%) of the public endorse the government's formulation of the draft "Statute Governing the Establishment of Branches in the Taiwan Area by Mainland Area Institutions Handling Affairs Related to Contact between People across the Taiwan Strait" as the basis of authorization and management of ARATS institutions established in Taiwan in the future. Additionally, 72% of the public support submitting the draft statute to the Legislative Yuan for review in advance so that future negotiations between the administrative agencies and the Mainland are subject to congressional oversight.
The survey results also showed that 64% of the public endorse direct appointment of government officials from either side to carry out business operations in their reciprocal institutions under the principle of reciprocity. Furthermore, 84% of the public support the government's efforts to secure guarantee and convenience measures for the SEF institutions and staff; and 80% of the public believe that regulating the respective staff dispatched to the SEF-ARATS institutions on either side with codes of conduct would be conducive to protecting social security in Taiwan.

June 20, 2013
Deputy Director Sun Yafu of the TAO stated in his opening remark at the Symposium on Cross-Strait Relations ("Beijing Talks") that the development of cross-strait relations is consolidated on the common foundation of opposing "Taiwan independence" and adhering to the "1992 Consensus" and has started to advance though joint acknowledgement of the one-China framework, which plays an important role in building cross-strait mutual political trust. Furthermore, the idea of initiating political dialogue in the private sector on both sides has gradually gained support in Taiwan. It may be possible to create an appropriate platform or mechanism in the future so as to facilitate substantive results. As of currently, opportunities outweigh challenges in cross-strait relations, with peaceful development acting as the guiding principle.. In this process, awareness that compatriots on both sides of the Strait belong to one family and share a common destiny can be strengthened on the basis that compatriots on both sides all acknowledge they belong to the same Chinese ethnic group. Moreover, this can be further heightened into acknowledgement of the shared homeland and fundamental interests of the Chinese ethnic group.

June 21, 2013
The ninth round of high-level cross-strait talks between the SEF and ARATS was held in Shanghai. SEF Chairman Lin Join-sane and ARATS Chairman Chen Deming signed the Cross-Strait Trade in Services Agreement and reached a joint opinion on resolving the water supply problem in Kinmen. On the agenda to be set for the tenth round of talks, the two sides agreed to work together to promote the "trade in goods agreement" and "dispute settlement agreement," aiming to conclude negotiations and sign the agreements by the end of the year. Furthermore, the four issues of "cooperation on the avoidance of double taxation and strengthening of tax cooperation," "reciprocal establishment of institutions by the SEF and the ARATS," "earthquake monitoring cooperation," and "meteorological cooperation" will be included into the negotiation agenda for the tenth round of talks; the two sides may sign agreements on any issues of consensus. The two sides also agreed to promptly convene the second Cross-strait Agreements Result and Review Meeting in the second half of the year, as well as to continue promoting SEF-ARATS exchanges on organizational affairs.

June 22, 2013
The MAC stated in a press release that the Cross-Strait Trade in Services Agreement is only a part of the comprehensive Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA). The signing of the agreement creates development niches for Taiwanese businesses in the Mainland and effectively enhances and expands the specific benefits of the ECFA. On this basis, the government will further promote the progress of ECFA follow-up negotiations on trade in goods and dispute settlement issues. On the other hand, the signing of the Cross-Strait Trade in Services Agreement is beneficial to Taiwan's active participation in regional economic integration as it conveys to the international community the message of further trade liberalization in Taiwan.
Regarding the negotiation issues for the tenth round of cross-strait talks, the MAC stated that the two sides have laid a foundation and achieved phased results in negotiations on the ECFA follow-up issues of trade in goods and dispute settlement, avoidance of double taxation across the Strait, and the reciprocal establishment of institutions by the SEF and the ARATS. The MAC will also coordinate with the relevant competent authorities and carefully deliberate and promote negotiation work on meteorological, earthquake and other issues. On the other hand, as to the signed agreements, the MAC will continue to coordinate with related ministries, review the implementation status and encourage cooperation and improvements by the Mainland side in order to maximize the effects and results of the agreements' implementation.

June 26, 2013
The TAO stated at a regular press conference that the Cross-Strait Trade in Services Agreement is a follow-up agreement under the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA). Its purpose is to maximize benefits for industries on the two sides, stressing benefits for small and medium enterprises and the Taiwanese people in particular. The Mainland has opened up its markets to Taiwan with unprecedented intensity and scope in many service industries, including the commercial, communications, construction, distribution, environment, social, travel, entertainment, culture, sports, transportation and financial service sectors. These measures aim to promote closer, deeper, complementary and mutually beneficial cross-strait cooperation in service industries. The Mainland also welcomes the establishment of reciprocal institutions between the SEF and ARATS to play an active role in contacts and serving the people on both sides. According to the principle of addressing easy matters before difficult ones and advancing in an orderly manner, the two sides should first carry out the reciprocal establishment and gradually expand and perfect these institutions in the future.

June 29, 2013
The MAC stated in a press release that exchanges between political parties are private exchanges and are normal in democratic societies. However, every matter involving public authority must still be dealt with through institutionalized government channels. Party-to-party exchanges between the KMT and Communist Party of China have played a definite role in promoting deeper cross-strait exchanges and pragmatic dialogue. Recommendations made by the governing party on related policies are regarded as mere policy references. The ruling party "assists" the government, but does not "lead" the government. The MAC stressed that the government welcomes the political parties' engagement in cross-strait exchanges and any advice they offer on cross-strait relations.

June 30, 2013
Director Zhang Zhijun of the TAO stated during a meeting with Chairman Frank Hsieh of the Taiwan Reform Foundation that he welcomed and encouraged all political parties, organizations, and persons of Taiwan to actively participate in promoting cross-strait exchanges and cooperation and peaceful development of cross-strait relations. So long as they recognize and uphold the "one China" framework and approve and support peaceful development of cross-strait relations, the Mainland is willing engage with them in dialogue and exchanges, promote mutual understanding and work together to promote the peaceful development of cross-strait relations and the well-being of people on both sides and bring about a great rejuvenation of the Chinese ethnic group.

July 3, 2013
President Ma Ying-jeou stated at a "Forum on Business Opportunities to be Created by the ECFA Cross-Strait Trade in Services Agreement" that the Cross-Strait Trade in Services Agreement affords a good opportunity for Taiwan to expand in the mainland Chinese market. The government formulated the Program to Assist Industries in Adjusting to Trade Liberalization for industries, enterprises and workers potentially affected by trade liberalization. The program provides various support strategies for different target groups, including assistance with revitalization and physical adjustment and damage relief, to help companies to upgrade competitiveness and transform. President Ma further stressed that, in order for Taiwan to avoid Taiwan's marginalization in the course of international economic integration, the government will continue negotiations on the Cross-Strait Trade in Services Agreement to bring the ECFA into full play, create more conditions for trade liberalization in Taiwan and lay a favorable foundation for Taiwan's future participation in the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement and Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership.

July 3, 2013
MAC Minister Wang Yu-chi stated at the "2013 Regional Scholars Forum" that the Cross-Strait Trade in Services Agreement secures a huge market and vast business opportunities in the Mainland for Taiwanese companies determined to tap the services industry. It also lays a foundation for Taiwan's participation in regional economic integration. Minister Wang emphasized that the signing of the aAgreement and future follow-up pacts negotiated under the Cross-Strait Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement are all preparatory stages for Taiwan's future participation in trade liberalization and regional economic integration agreements such as the Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership and Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership. Minister Wang also noted that cross-strait negotiations on the establishment of reciprocal institutions between the Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) and the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS) are proceeding smoothly and several points of consensuses have been reached. The Taiwan side is also actively seeking to secure the Mainland's agreement to humanitarian visiting functions for the institutions, an issue that has attracted a high level of attention among both governing and opposition parties in Taiwan. Furthermore, the government will adhere to the principles of openness and transparency and update the people on latest developments.

July 5, 2013
MAC Minister Wang Yu-chi stated in an interview with NOWnews NEWS that the government would make a full explanation on the controversy over the Cross-Strait Trade in Services Agreement, as well asand would respect the review process of the Legislative Yuan. As to the reciprocal establishment of institutions by the SEF and the ARATS, Minister Wang noted that many people fear that ARATS' Taiwan office will evolve into one similar to that of theanother Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region., which is This something that will definitely will not happen. Furthermore, personnel dispatched by the other side to Taiwan will be bound by codes of conduct. This point has been expressed very clearly in cross-strait negotiations and the other side fully understands. Furthermore, all personnel assignments at the SEF and the ARATS officesinstitutions will be subject to consent by the other side.

July 5, 2013
Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO) Director Zhang Zhijun stated at the opening reception for the Sixth Tianjin Taiwan Investment Fair and 2013 Taiwan Trade Fair in Tianjin that the way for peaceful development of cross-strait relations is to build consensus among various sectors on both sides, advance the welfare of cross-strait compatriots, and focus on the correct future path for cross-strait relations; through such ways,. T the two sides certainly canmay eliminate barriers and jointly create a win-win outcome. He also emphasized that the Cross-Strait Trade in Services Agreement is a mutual opening pact that corresponds to World Trade Organization rules and hasyet with distinct cross-strait characteristics. It reflects the Mainland's goodwill to Taiwan compatriots, represents an important step in the ongoing expansion and deepening of cross-strait economic cooperation, and will have long-term significance for mutually beneficial development of the economies on both sides of the Sstrait.

July 8, 2013
President Ma Ying-jeou stated during a meeting with a group of financial experts associated with the Academy of Promoting Economic Legislation that the signing of the Cross-strait Trade in Services Agreement was signed is aimed atto expanding Taiwan's overall international economic horizons and maintain market share. Responding to fears that Taiwan's industries will be negatively impacted by the Aagreement, President Ma said that the government has clarified to the public that service segmentssectors such as taxis, traditional Chinese medicine retailing and publishingication would not be opened to mainland Chinese investment. In addition, Ma stated that if Mainland investors comefuture scenearios of to monopolize y were to occuror gain control of business sectors in Taiwan, the government could apply related regulations and, if necessary, askrequest Mainland firms to withdraw their investments. Moreover, the provisions for emergency consultations are stipulated in the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) stipulates provisions for emergency consultations. If a companiesy iswere harmedimpacted by the Agreement, the government canmay provide assistance under the Program to Assist Industries in Adjusting to Trade Liberalization activated before the ECFA was signed.

July 11, 2013
MAC Minister Wang Yu-chi stated at a conference on the Cross-Strait Trade in Services Agreement held by the Travel Agent Association of R.O.C., Taiwan that the Trade in Services Agreement will allow theopen up for mutual establishment of travel agencies between the two sides. Government departments will carefully assess and consider industry concerns over the impacts of market opening. Moreover, Mainland investment in Taiwan's amusement park industry will be handled according to relevant laws in Taiwan and subject to close examination. It will not have an overly large impact on Taiwan's tourism market. Minister Wang also stated that the Mainland has opened 80 service categories to Taiwan, including the e-commerce, cultural and creative, transport, finance and tourism sectors, all of which receive treatment exceeding World Trade Organization (WTO) treatmencomitmentst. As to the 64 industry categories opened up by Taiwan, the government has instituted sound review mechanisms and established necessary barriers to Mainland investment in Taiwan so that such investment will not have muchcreate serious impacts.

July 11, 2013
Taiwan Affairs OfficAOe Director Zhang Zhijun stated during a visit to the Taiwan High-Tech Park in Songshan Lake of, Dongguan that the new situation of peaceful development in cross-strait relations creates a good environment for deepening and expanding cross-strait economic and trade cooperation. The potential domestic demand potential released by the progress of industrialization and urbanization in the Mainland provides a a huge market space for Taiwanese businesses to develop. Moreover, government agencies at all levels attach great importance to and energeticallystrongly support the development of Taiwan-funded enterprises. These factors form an important source of confidence for Taiwanese businesses to continue taking root in the Mainland. In the future, the Mainland will further expand areas of cross-strait economic and trade cooperation so that the achievements of collaboration can further benefit compatriots on both sides. In particular, Taiwan affairs offices at the central and local government levels would certainly serve as the "interest representatives of interest" for of Taiwan compatriots in the Mainland.

July 12, 2013
The SEF sent a letter to the ARATS expressing condolences over the landslide disaster in Sichuan.

July 15, 2013
The ARATS sent a letter to the SEF expressing sympathy and concern over the loss of life and property caused by Typhoon Soulik in Taiwan.

July 17, 2013
SEF Vice Chairman Kao Koong-lian called ARATS Executive Vice Chairman Zheng Lizhong expressing hope that ARATS would mediate in a business dispute involving the with Chunxi Pacific SOGO Department Store in Chengdu. He also hoped that the local court would promptly reach a decision on the litigation between the two sides.

July 19, 2013
President Ma Ying-jeou stated during a meeting with a homecoming mission of 19th term leaders of the World Taiwanese Chamber of Commerce that the 19 agreements signed and two consensuses reached to date between the two sides since resuming institutionalized cross-strait negotiations have changed the cross-strait economic landscape. Moreover, Taiwan has been invited for five consecutive years to send a delegation to attend the World Health Assembly (WHA) as an observer and has also joined the Government Procurement Agreement (GPA). These achievements show that the government's efforts to improve cross-strait relations have also expanded Taiwan's international participation and created a complementary virtuous cycle. Furthermore, in signing the Cross-Strait Trade in Services Agreement, the government has adhered to "Five Noes," namely: no Mainland laborers working in Taiwan, no Mainland immigration through investment, no Mainland investment in Taiwan's taxi industry, no Mainland investment in Taiwan's publishingcationshing industry and no Mainland investment in Taiwan's Chinese herbal medicine retail industry. The President expressed hope that Taiwan's service industry could seize business opportunities and steadily advance.

July 19, 2013
The SEF sent a letter to the ARATS expressing hope that the Mainland government would handle the dispute involving the Chunxi Pacific SOGO Department Store in Chengdu according to law.

July 20, 2013
MAC Minister Wang Yu-chi stated during a promotion activity at Chenghuang Temple in Zuoying District, Kaohsiung City that the government signed the Cross-Strait Trade in Services Agreement with the Mainland for three major reasons, including: 1) to secure business opportunities for the Taiwanese people in the huge Mainland market; 2) to attract Mainland investment in Taiwan and thereby create local jobs for young people in Taiwan; and 3) to enable Taiwan's participation in regional economic integration. Minister Wang also emphasized that the Trade in Services Agreement only permits Mainland investment in Taiwan and does not allow Mainland laborers to work in Taiwan. On this point, the Taiwanese people need not worry.

July 22, 2013
The SEF sent a letter to the ARATS to express condolences over the heavy casualties caused by the Gansu earthquake.

July 23, 2013
MAC Minister Wang Yu-chi stated in a speech presented at the "Cross-Strait Trade in Services Agreement Seminar" held by the General Chamber of Commerce of the Republic of China that the Cross-Strait Trade in Services Agreement has both symbolic and substantive significance as the first free trade agreement concluded between the two sides according to the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) and World Trade Organization's General Agreement on Trade in Services. The two sides have not only have created a favorable space in terms of investment willingness, trade environment and market development, but have also built up positive impetus for negotiations on ECFA follow-up agreements. When exchanges on the Trade in Services Agreement are institutionalized in the future, Taiwanese businesses will be able to enjoy higher shareholding ratios, broader business scopes, trade facilitation and other opening measures, helping them to expand in the Mainland's service market under preferential conditions. Under the Aagreement, the Taiwan brands and products of both big companies and small and medium enterprises can more deeply penetrate the Mainland market. The Aagreement also will also further attract Mainland investment to Taiwan to invigorate the Taiwanese market. Minister Wang stated as well that the Trade in Services Agreement stipulates that reasonable, objective and impartial methods must be ensured in the execution of all measures affecting trade in services. The two sides have also agreed to establish a contact mechanism to handle the Aagreement and related matters. These rules will help to address the problem of unwritten rules encountered by Taiwanese businesspeople in the Mainland. Minister Wang also indicated that the Trade in Services Aagreement will inevitably have an bring about impacts and that corresponding market opening measures on the Taiwan side are will also boundresult in some sectors to have an impactbeing affected. However, overall, the overall results of the Aagreement absolutely doesshould do "more good than harm." Taiwan's strengths and cultural attainments are the strong cards of Taiwan's service industry, which will be the beneficiary of market opening and need not be overly worried or afraid.

July 24, 2013
Taiwan Affairs Office AO Director Zhang Zhijun stated in a speech at the opening ceremony of the Second Cross-Strait Sun Yat-sen Forum that cross-strait relations have made major positive progress in the past five years, creating a new era of peaceful development. On the common political basis of opposing "Taiwan independence" and adhering to the "1992 Consensus," the two sides have steadily built mutual trust, developed closer people-to-people contacts, deepened economic and trade relations and expanded exchanges. These achievements have been universally recognized by compatriots on both sides. The two sides should seize this historic opportunity by continuing to maintain positive interaction, constantly build mutual trust and deepen cross-strait exchanges and cooperation in the economic, technological, cultural, educational and other fields, so that the principle of "one family across the sStraits" may become more deeply rooted in the people's hearts.

July 25, 2013
President Ma Ying-jeou stated in an interview with U.S.-based Bloomberg News that, the arrangement for meeting of leaders on both sides, the occasion and capacity in which they meet and capacity would be very important crucialfor a meeting between the leaders of the two sides. He stresseds that he must maintain his capacity as As President of the Republic of China, he must maintain this status wherever he goes. Taiwan has not ruled out the possibility of holding such a a meeting with mainland Chinese leader Xi Jinping., hHowever, it must be conducted on the prerequisite that something that theit is a demand of the country needs. Such a meeting also must be, supported by the people, and certain conditions must be jointly created by the two sides.

July 25, 2013
MAC Minister Wang Yu-chi stated in a speech at the inaugural ceremony of the "Cross-Straits Entrepreneurs' Summit" that cross-strait economic and trade exchanges and cooperation have laid a foundation for peaceful and stable development between the two sides. Moreover, the mutual advantages and complementariness of the two economies have brought benefits and dividends for the people on both sides. The cross-strait economic relationship also has a competitive side. An important task of the government in promoting cross-strait economic and trade policies is to find ways to sustain the positive development of cross-strait relations based on complementary advantages while ensuring Taiwan's economic autonomy, maximizing benefits and minimizing risks. Through various platforms, the government and industry can make the public aware of the positive benefits of cross-strait economic and trade cooperation. This would help the government to promote cross-strait economic and trade policies and deregulation work. Mainland China is becoming increasingly important in the world economy. Minister Wang stated that, amidst the trend of regional economic integration, the two sides not only need to consider strategies and tactics for cross-strait industrial and business cooperation from a broader perspective and structure, but also need businesses with a bottom-up approach to support and provide advicse to the government based government from the grassroots based on their actual operations demands.

July 27, 2013
During a temple activity to promote the benefits of the Cross-Strait Trade in Services Agreement, President Ma Ying-jeou stated that the government signed the cross-strait Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) with Mainland China three years ago, and that the. The Cross-Strait Trade in Services Agreement is a part of the overallbroader ECFA agreement, and . He stressed that, hopefully by the end of this year the two sides will also sign the Cross-Strait Trade in Goods Agreement, as this would encourage other nations to sign economic cooperation agreements with Taiwan and effectively reduce tariffs on Taiwan's exports. President Ma stressed that an important constant throughout Taiwan's history is that "engagement brings prosperity, while isolation brings atrophy." Taiwan has no choice but to open its doors, otherwise the size of its market willwould become smaller and smallergradually diminish. The Ppresident stated that the signing of the Cross-Strait Trade in Services Agreement would bring significantly more benefits to Taiwan than harm.

August 1, 2013
President Ma Ying-jeou stated during a meeting with the directors and supervisors of the Chinese National Federation of Industries that Taiwan and Mainland China would continue to negotiate the Cross-Strait Trade in Services Agreement to bring the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) into full play, create more conditions for trade liberalization in Taiwan and lay a favorable foundation for Taiwan's future accession to the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement and Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement.

August 3, 2013
During a promotion activity at Sheng'an Temple in Hualien County, MAC Minister Wang Yu-chi said that the signing of the Cross-Strait Trade in Services Agreement is an important step in the sustainable development of Taiwan's economy. The Agreement does not permit Mainland laborers to work in Taiwan, nor does it allow investment immigration or Mainland investment in Taiwan's taxi, publishing or Chinese herbal medicine retail industries. Minister Wang further stated that, in the market-opening process, the government would enforce cautious and effective controls, as well as establish effective review mechanisms to ensure impacts on Taiwan's industries are reduced.

August 5, 2013
President Ma Ying-jeou stated at the opening ceremonies of the 2013 East China Sea Peace Forum that the government has significantly improved ties across the Taiwan Strait. Taiwan and the Mainland have also signed 19 agreements and reached two consensuses, which have yielded substantive benefits in many areas. This shows that cross-strait relations are at their most stable and peaceful state in 60 years. The President stated that the East China Sea Peace Initiative is a result of continuous peaceful development across the Strait, and stressed that the ROC hopes to first forge peace between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait and then expand the atmosphere to the East and the South China Seas, whereby gradually transform these areas into seas of peace and cooperation, throughout which the ROC would carry out the role of a "responsible stakeholder" and "peacemaker".

August 10, 2013
MAC Minister Wang Yu-chi said during a promotion event at Dunhe Temple in Caotun Township, Nantou County, that the Cross-Strait Trade in Services Agreement was signed with an eye set on the vast opportunities in the Mainland market, enabling Taiwan's high-quality service providers to enter the Mainland with preferential treatment compared to foreign enterprises. Minister Wang further indicated that, as the government has secured conditions from the Mainland more favorable than that enjoyed by other countries, Taiwanese companies may now take advantage of this opportunity to expand their business scope. At the same time, the mutual market opening by the two sides will attract more Mainland investment to Taiwan, invigorate Taiwan's economic environment, create jobs and allow Taiwan's youngsters to develop domestically. Minister Wang also stated that some people and the media have misunderstood the Trade in Services Agreement, therefore the government will continue to communicate with outside parties and convey the most accurate information to the public.

August 10, 2013
Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO) Deputy Director Sun Yafu stated in a speech presented at the Cross-Strait Business Leaders' Seminar at Nanjing University that the Cross-Strait Trade in Services Agreement is a pact that embodies unique cross-strait characteristics and reflects the Mainland's pragmatism and goodwill. It fully accounts for differences of economic scale between the two sides, the capacity of Taiwan's market and the true feelings of the Taiwanese people. It also considers the conditions and characteristics of the cross-strait services market and adopts an approach of simultaneous promotion of normalization and liberalization to support development of Taiwan's service industry. The Agreement will not create unemployment by intensifying competition in Taiwan's service market. Deputy Director Sun also said that, according to the Agreement, the Mainland side would promptly coordinate relevant departments to revise corresponding laws and regulations and introduce supplementary provisions to concretely implement market opening measures and earnestly fulfill its commitments.

August 11, 2013
In a speech presented at a welcome banquet for overseas Chinese from the United States, President Ma Ying-jeou stated that the government has promoted cross-strait exchanges based on the "1992 Consensus of one China, with respective interpretations." The two sides have signed 19 agreements to date and achieved the most stable phase of cross-strait relations in the 64 years since 1949, when the two sides of the Strait were divided and became separately governed. The two sides have transformed the past battlefield into today's avenue of peace and have mutually worked out a path of cooperation. In the future, the government will continue to engage with the other side in negotiations on the Cross-Strait Trade in Services Agreement and deepen exchanges between the two sides. The government also hopes to achieve the establishment of reciprocal institutions between the two sides and comprehensively review the Act Governing Relations between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area.

August 13, 2013
In a speech presented at the Sixth Cross-Strait Hakka Summit Forum and 11th Jiangxi-Taiwan Economic, Trade and Cultural Cooperation and Exchange Conference, TAO Director Zhang Zhijun stated that the signing of cross-strait agreements has eliminated institutionalized barriers to economic cooperation between the two sides. They represent a feasible and effective way to promote cross-strait economic development and advance the welfare of compatriots on both sides of the Strait. In the future, institutionalized arrangements for cross-strait economic cooperation will become more comprehensive, and the environment for cross-strait economic cooperation will improve with the ongoing development of cross-strait relations and the signing of the trade in goods, dispute settlement and other agreements under the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement.

August 14, 2013
TAO Director Zhang Zhijun expressed hopes during a meeting in Beijing with a high-level media delegation led by SEF Chairman Lin Join-sane that, the SEF and the ARATS would adhere to the common political basis of the "1992 Consensus", which is the basic thinking of orderly progression, the fundamental concept of putting people first, and the basic direction of mutual benefit. Also that the SEF and ARATS would continue to promote cross-strait negotiations, actively advance on the negotiation issues determined at the ninth round of talks, and build on achievements in the peaceful development of cross-strait relations.

August 14, 2013
TAO Deputy Director Sun Yafu stated at the Second Legal Forum on Cross-Strait Peaceful Development that under new circumstances, four key points must be seized to strengthen mechanisms for legal protection in cross-strait exchanges. The first is to hold firm the principle that the Mainland and Taiwan belong to one China. Legal measures on the handling of cross-strait exchanges and derived inter-related matters should correspond to the jurisprudence of one China, maintain the one China framework and may not create an issue of "two Chinas" or "one China, one Taiwan." The second point is to serve the purpose of safeguarding and promoting the interests of people on both sides of the Strait. The Mainland will continue to earnestly safeguard the legal rights and interests of Taiwanese people and firmly oppose any behavior that disregards, discriminates against or damages the rights of Taiwanese people to invest, live, study and work in the Mainland. It also hopes that Mainland spouses, students and businesses in Taiwan can enjoy fairer treatment and a friendlier environment. The third point is to continue the course of institutionalizing peaceful development across the Strait. The two sides should institute legal protection mechanisms for cross-strait exchanges, which would provide comprehensive support and organizational, mechanism-based and institutional systems to motivate and guarantee peaceful cross-strait development. The fourth point is to strengthen respective and joint protections between the two sides. Both sides should revise existing regulations in a timely manner and introduce new measures as needed to increase levels of protection. They also should negotiate and sign more agreements and more effectively implement agreements to jointly provide stronger legal protection for cross-strait exchanges.

August 15, 2013
TAO Director Zhang Zhijun stated in a speech at the opening ceremony of the 12th Liaoning Taiwan Week that a complementary and mutually beneficial pattern has formed in the cross-strait economy. The two sides should be more proactive in promoting cooperation to achieve mutual benefit and joint development. Director Zhang also stated that, in the process of negotiating and signing the Cross-Strait Trade in Services Agreement, the Mainland substantially opened its service market. He expressed hope that the Agreement would be brought into force promptly to help Taiwanese enterprises gain a competitive lead in the Mainland market. Furthermore, the cross-strait agreements on trade in goods and dispute settlement to be negotiated and signed in the future will further expand the space for Taiwan businesses in the Mainland market, and create a sounder institutionalized environment for business investment.

August 20-23, 2013
The SEF and the ARATS held the fourth round of talks, in late August, on operational issues related to the establishment of reciprocal institutions. The two sides exchanged views on the framework of the agreement text, guarantees and convenience measures, and codes of conduct.

August 24, 2013
During a visit to Gourmet Master Co., Ltd. (85C Bakery Café), President Ma Ying-jeou stated that the Cross-Strait Trade in Services Agreement is a pact that "puts Taiwan first for the benefit of the people." It will enable Taiwanese companies to expand business in the Mainland under favorable terms and help Taiwan's economic development, which is the main reason the government signed the Agreement. President Ma further stated that in order for Taiwan to engage with the world, we must show our sincerity and determination in opening our markets, thereby announcing to the outside world Taiwan's will to participate in the integration of global economy. This will also help Taiwan's accession to the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement and Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement and avoid marginalization in the regional economic integration process.

August 28, 2013
TAO Director Zhang Zhijun said at the first council meeting of the Cross-Strait Exchange Fund in Beijing, that the establishment of the Cross-Strait Exchange Fund is an important initiative to steadily promote peaceful development of cross-strait relations. It demonstrates the Mainland's efforts and sincerity to further encourage and support cross-strait exchanges in various fields and to promote institutionalized cross-strait exchanges. Director Zhang said he hoped the two sides could fully mobilize their social forces and resources to jointly support and participate in the functions and roles of cross-strait civilian exchanges.

August 29, 2013
President Ma Ying-jeou stated during a meeting with directors, supervisors and secretaries-general of the National Farmers' Association and National Fishermen's Association of the ROC that, under the Cross-Strait Trade in Services Agreement, the only agricultural sector to be opened by Taiwan is livestock consultancy services. Moreover, this service category was opened by Taiwan four years ago in 2009 and to date has not attracted any Mainland investment, and has yet created any impact on Taiwan's farming industry. President Ma further stated that if, in the future, Mainland investment were allowed in Taiwan "export-only" logistics centers for agricultural products, they would need to be made through joint ventures in which the Mainland capital ratio may not exceed 50%, by which ensures Taiwan's dominant control on future operation directions. The government will institute strict controls on this issue so that benefits of Taiwan's agricultural exports and farmers' income may be increased.

September 10, 2013
President Ma Ying-jeou stated during a visit to Tokyo Fashion Company that all 80 opening commitments made by the Mainland under the Cross-Strait Trade in Services Agreement exceed the Mainland's World Trade Organization (WTO) pledges and surpass the degree of opening granted to other countries, therefore, companies interested in developing in the Mainland should seize this opportunity. Furthermore, benefits to Taiwan can also be seen in that the development of Mainland service companies in Taiwan will create employment opportunities domestically. Moreover, in response to concerns among some companies over harm from Mainland competitors, the government has budgeted NT$98.2 billion over a ten-year period and has adopted revitalization support, physical adjustment and damage relief strategies to help affected industries.

September 12, 2013
President Ma Ying-jeou stated during a visit to XPEC Entertainment that the Cross-Strait Trade in Services Agreement signed by the government with the Mainland will help businesses eliminate market entry barriers. The service industry is a key area under the "Twelfth Five-Year Plan" now underway in the Mainland, and Taiwanese companies should seize this opportunity to enter the Mainland market. President Ma further indicated that as much as 70% of Taiwan's gross domestic product growth depends on exports, but the ratio contributed by the service industry is extremely low. If domestic service companies break new ground in the Mainland, it may drive Taiwan service industry development and increase the sector's contribution to the overall economy.

September 12, 2013
Member of the Politburo Standing Committee of the Communist Party of China and Chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference Yu Zhengsheng expressed hopes during a meeting with a Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) delegation of directors and supervisors led by its Chairman Lin Join-sane at the Great Hall of the People, that the two sides would stick to the correct course of peaceful development of cross-strait relations, maintain momentum beneficial to building mutual political trust, and promote the concept of "one family across the Straits." He said that the two sides should also implement the results achieved at the ninth round of talks between the SEF and the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS), complete ECFA follow-up negotiations as soon as possible, promptly start the negotiation and signing of cross-strait agreements on cultural and education cooperation and exchanges, and steadily advance the comprehensive development of cross-strait relations.

September 13, 2013
Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO) Spokesperson Yang Yi stated at a regular press conference that the Cross-Strait Trade in Services Agreement will help the two sides to upgrade the level of their service industries and jointly meet the challenges of economic globalization. If the Agreement continues to be stalled in the Taiwan side, it will adversely affect cross-strait economic cooperation. Taiwan should promptly complete related procedures so that the pact may soon take effect. The Mainland also hopes that negotiations on cross-strait trade in goods and dispute settlement agreements may be completed as scheduled by the end of this year. Furthermore, the general institutions to be mutually established by the SEF and ARATS will be service-oriented institutions and talks conducted by them will be routine negotiations. In terms of specific arrangements concerning the establishment, the two sides should deal with easy matters before difficult ones and advance sequentially. As of currently, they should first reach consensus on matters in which sufficient conditions now exist for resolution in order to promptly create conditions for mutual institution establishment.

September 24, 2013
President Ma Ying-jeou stated during a meeting with leaders of Lions Clubs International District 300G2, that thanks to the signing of the Cross-Strait Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) with mainland China, Taiwan's agricultural trade balance with the Mainland turned into a surplus this year after more than six decades of deficits, underscoring the considerable benefits of this type of free trade agreement. President Ma further stated that the Cross-Strait Trade in Services Agreement signed by the government with the Mainland does not in any way open Taiwan to Mainland workers. Moreover, the Mainland is a huge market; Taiwan's service industry is strong and has shown great courage in developing globally, therefore the government should provide businesses with development opportunities so they can steadily grow. President Ma also expressed hope for the Cross-Strait Trade in Services Agreement to be approved as soon as possible so that Taiwan may align with the world in the area of free trade.

September 25, 2013
TAO Spokesperson Yang Yi stated at a regular press conference that the two sides should uphold the overall interests of the Chinese ethnic group while handling foreign affairs. Through pragmatic cross-strait negotiations, fair and reasonable arrangements may be created, under the premise of not creating "two Chinas" or "one China, one Taiwan", for Taiwan's participation in international organizations' activities.

September 27, 2013
TAO Director Zhang Zhijun stated during a meeting in Hangzhou with Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Honorary Chairman Lien Chan that, over the past few years, the two sides have steadily advanced the peaceful development of cross-strait relations on the common political foundation of adhering to the "1992 Consensus" and opposing "Taiwan independence." In the future, the two sides should continue to build mutual trust, maintain positive interaction, and continuously consolidate and deepen political, economic, cultural, and social foundation for peaceful development of cross-strait relations while jointly work together to realize the great rejuvenation of the Chinese ethnic group.

September 30, 2013
President Ma Ying-jeou stated at the opening ceremony of the World Taiwanese Chambers of Commerce 19th Annual Meeting and Third Joint Meeting of Directors and Supervisors that, the government has formulated an economic strategy to "strengthen Taiwan, connect with the Asia-Pacific region, and expand globally." It resumed talks with mainland China after a ten-year hiatus, and to date, the two sides have signed 19 agreements, each of which has planted a seed of peace that has normalized peaceful development across the Taiwan Strait and ushered in the most vibrant era of exchange of talent and capital between the two sides in 60 years. President Ma stressed that the improvement in cross-strait relations has led to breakthroughs in Taiwan's international relations, and that Taiwan can not be absent from regional economic integration. The government has adopted a principle of "making multiple contacts and concluding agreements one by one" to expand opportunities for Taiwan's participation in regional economic integration. This will provide a basis for creating a fairer and lower tax competitive environment, as well as create sufficient conditions for Taiwan's further participation in the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) and Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (RCEP). President Ma also stated that the signing of the Cross-Strait Trade in Services Agreement will help domestic enterprises transform and advance globally via expansion in the Mainland market.

October 6, 2013
The MAC issued a press release stating that Minister Wang Yu-chi exchanged brief greetings with Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO) Director Zhang Zhijun during a spontaneous exchange after the "Siew-Xi Meeting" outside the meeting venue, where the two sides addressed each other by their official titles. This indicates a substantive realization of the spirit of "addressing realities and mutual non-denial" between the two sides. In addition, it represents a good start in normalizing official cross-strait interactions, highlighting significant implications for regular interactions between the MAC and TAO in the future. The MAC stressed that Minister Wang and Director Zhang addressed each other by their official titles during the exchange, demonstrating mutual respect and pragmatism between the two sides, with major significance for deepening cross-strait mutual trust and enhancing benign interactions.

October 6, 2013
During a meeting with a delegation led by Honorary Chairman of Taiwan's Cross-Straits Common Market Foundation Vincent Siew in Bali, Indonesia,General Secretary of the CPC Central Committee Xi Jinping stated that enhancing cross-strait political mutual trust and firming up a common political basis are the keys to ensuring the peaceful development of cross-strait relations. The long-standing issues due to political differences between the two sides must be gradually resolved in the end and cannot simply be passed down to future generations. The Mainland is willing, within the one-China framework, to hold talks with Taiwan on cross-strait political issues on an equal footing and to make sensible and reasonable arrangements. On matters that must be handled in cross-strait relations, the heads of the competent authorities of the two sides can meet and exchange views.

October 6, 2013
After an exchange brief greetings in Bali, Indonesia with the head of Taiwan's competent authority for Mainland affairs Wang Yu-chi, Taiwan Affairs Office Director Zhang Zhijun said that the relevant departments of the two sides should strengthen exchanges and communication and work together to promote the peaceful development of cross-strait relations for the benefit of compatriots on both sides. He also agreed to realize reciprocal visits by the heads of the competent authorities for cross-strait affairs on the two sides.

October 8, 2013
President Ma Ying-jeou met with a delegation from the Atlantic Council, a US-based think tank. The President explained to the visitors that over the past five -plus years, relations between Taiwan and mainland China have improved considerably and both sides maintain close interaction. To date, the two sides have signed 19 agreements, including on direct trade, postal and transport links, visits by mainland Chinese to Taiwan, the Cross-Straits Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement and the Cross-Strait Trade in Services Agreement. Together, these constitute an important breakthrough in ties between the two sides after 60 years of confrontation, resulting in a normal state of peace in the Taiwan Strait. President Ma also commented that the improvement in cross-strait relations has also helped to create greater space for Taiwan in the international community. For instance, Taiwan has already attended the World Health Assembly as an observer for five consecutive years, and it has also become a member of the Agreement on Government Procurement. Moreover, Taiwan was recently invited as a special guest under the name Chinese Taipei by the president of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Council to attend this year's assembly. This marks Taiwan’s first attendance at an ICAO Assembly since losing its representation in the United Nations 42 years ago, making this development all the more meaningful. In the future, the government will continue to utilize a variety of avenues to further improve cross-strait and international relations. At the same time, Taiwan will work to maintain a balance in its ties with all of these sides, hoping that international disputes will be resolved via peaceful means and that trade and economic relationships will be strengthened through international cooperation.

October 9, 2013
In a speech presented at a banquet for Hong Kong and Macao residents visiting Taiwan for the 2013 ROC National Day celebration, MAC Minister Wang Yu-chi stated that the MAC achieved three unprecedented breakthroughs during the “Siew-Xi Meeting.” The first breakthrough was direct contact between the MAC and Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO) on communication of related arrangements, restoring such activities back to the government’s institutionalized system. The second breakthrough was that Minister Wang fully participated throughout the "Siew-Xi Meeting" in his capacity as Minister of the MAC, breaking the past convention of no incumbent official participants at such occasions. The third breakthrough was the use of official titles in the mutual address between Minister Wang and TAO Director Zhang Zhijun during their brief interaction after the "Siew-Xi Meeting." This indicates a substantive realization of the spirit of "addressing realities and mutual non-denial of authority to govern" between the two sides and also represents a good start in normalizing official cross-strait interactions, highlighting the important implications for regular interactions between the MAC and TAO in the future. The MAC stated that, during the interaction with TAO Director Zhang, Minister Wang proposed that in the future the two sides promote regular exchange visits between heads of the MAC and TAO, as well as establish normal communication and liaison mechanisms between the MAC and TAO. The future implementation of these two proposals would not only enable more efficient communication between the two sides on operational affairs, but also reduce the chance of misjudgment in emergencies.

October 10, 2013
President Ma Ying-jeou and Mrs. Ma attended a reception for special visitors from across the world who came to Taiwan to take part in the ROC's 2013 Double Tenth National Day Celebration. In a speech at the reception, President Ma stated that the people on the two sides of the Taiwan Strait are all Chinese by ethnicity. The cross-strait relationship is not an international relationship. Over the past five-plus years, the two sides have signed 19 agreements based on the "1992 Consensus of one China with respective interpretations." These agreements have opened up direct cross-strait sea and air transport links, visits by mainland Chinese to Taiwan, mutual judicial assistance, economic cooperation and other exchanges. At this time, the two sides should continuously build mutual political trust through communication and consultation; continuously expand and deepen cross-strait exchanges and interaction to advance the well being of the people; and promote the mutual establishment of SEF and ARATS institutions to strengthen services to the public.

October 11, 2013
In a speech at the opening of the First Cross-Strait Peace Forum, Taiwan Affairs Office Director Zhang Zhijun stated that while some political disputes can be put aside temporarily in the development of cross-strait relations, they cannot be entirely avoided over the long term. The approach of "only addressing economic matters but not political matters" is not sustainable. Only by working to resolve cross-strait contradictions and differences simultaneously with promotion of economic and cultural exchanges and cooperation can the two sides steadily build up mutual political trust, resolve major concerns of the people on both sides, and reinforce confidence in the continued peaceful development of cross-strait relations. Director Zhang also emphasized that, whatever major political differences exist between the two sides, they cannot shake or damage the one-China framework. The two sides should seek appropriate solutions to all of their political differences within this framework. This is the bottom line that should not be crossed.

October 16, 2013
During a meeting with experts participating in the Third ROC (Taiwan)-US-Japan Trilateral Security Dialogue, President Ma Ying-jeou stressed that the ROC government has sought, under the framework of the ROC Constitution, to maintain the status quo of "no unification, no independence, and no use of force" in the Taiwan Strait, and to seek peaceful development of cross-strait ties based on the "1992 Consensus of one China with respective interpretations." This has ushered in the best period of cross-strait relations in 60 years. The President said that during the recent APEC meetings, former Vice President Siew and mainland Chinese leader Xi Jinping had discussions, in which both sides reached a further consensus on how to improve relations. He also stated that, during a meeting between MAC Minister Wang Yu-chi and Director Zhang Zhijun of mainland China's Taiwan Affairs Office, both officials addressed each other by their official titles and agreed to reciprocal visits in the future. This will improve the cross-strait relationship and conforms to the ROC's stance of "mutual non-recognition of sovereignty and mutual non-denial of authority to govern."

October 16, 2013
During a regular press conference, Taiwan Affairs Office Spokesperson Fan Liqing stated that the issue of participation by people from the Taiwan side at the APEC informal leaders' meeting should be handled according to provisions in the relevant APEC memorandum of understanding. A meeting between the leaders of the two sides is a matter between the Chinese people on both sides and the help of an international meeting is not necessary.

October 22, 2013
During a meeting with the delegation from Taiwan that will attend the Ninth Cross-Strait Economic, Trade and Cultural Forum, President Ma Ying-jeou stated that the government has maintained the status quo of "no unification, no independence, and no use of force" under the framework of the ROC Constitution, while promoting peaceful development on the basis of the "1992 Consensus of one China with respective interpretations." In cross-strait exchanges, the government addresses "pressing issues before less pressing ones, easy issues before difficult ones, and economic issues before political ones." Urgent issues will therefore be discussed first. Moreover, under the principle of "putting Taiwan first for the benefit of the people," the government will not set limits or avoid politically sensitive topics. The President also took the establishment of representative institutions between the two sides as an example, saying that the institutions themselves would be neutral, but the topic of setting them up is politically sensitive in nature. The ROC government will not evade this topic, but will continue to carry out related negotiations. The President also stated that, according to the Constitution, the ROC is a sovereign and independent country and the Chinese Mainland is still part of the ROC's territory. The relationship with mainland China is not an international relationship, but a special relationship.

October 24, 2013
During an exclusive interview by the U.S.-based Washington Post, President Ma Ying-jeou stated that the ROC's principle in cross-strait negotiations is to address "pressing issues before less pressing ones, easy ones before difficult ones, and economic ones before political ones." The establishment of representative institutions between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait is highly sensitive politically but the institutions themselves are neutral. The government has not deliberately avoided political issues. When the time is ripe and the issue is pressing, the issues can be addressed. With respect to the "peace agreement" issue, it would be best first to put it to a referendum. Mutual military confidence-building measures are also sensitive issues on which consensus has not yet been reached in Taiwan. Furthermore, a meeting between the leaders of the two sides can only be held in line with the nation’s needs, the people’s support, and the status of equality and dignity.

October 26, 2013
In a speech presented at the 2013 "Mainland Policy Youth Camp," Minister Wang Yu-chi stated that operational cross-strait issues inevitably have political implications. The two sides should show wisdom, pragmatically face the reality, and properly handle these issues. Minister Wang further stated that the policy of "reciprocal establishment of institutions by the SEF and the ARATS" concerns the rights, interests and well-being of businesspeople, students and other people of Taiwan in the Mainland. Although it is an operational issue, it inevitably involves political sensitivities in areas such as handling documentation and humanitarian visits. The two sides should pragmatically face all matters concerning the rights and interests of the people. The government also will not evade these issues.

October 26, 2013
At the opening ceremony of the Ninth Cross-Strait Economic, Trade and Cultural Forum, member of the Politburo Standing Committee of the Communist Party of China and Chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference Yu Zhengsheng stated that deepening exchanges and cooperation is an important approach to promote the peaceful development of cross-strait relations. It is also a requirement for compatriots on both sides of the Strait to work together for the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. He also proposed that the two sides should promptly sign a cross-strait agreement on technology exchanges and cooperation, accelerate the progress of ECFA follow-up talks, and negotiate and sign cross-strait agreements on cultural and educational exchanges and cooperation.

October 29, 2013
During a meeting with a visiting delegation from the European Parliament's Committee on Foreign Affairs, President Ma Ying-jeou stated that, with respect to the fishing disputes between Taiwan and mainland China, he hopes to establish a joint conservation and management area to protect fishing resources and help reduce unnecessary friction. President Ma believes that the government, in working to improve cross-strait relations, has also strengthened Taiwan's relations with the international community. Taiwan's relations with both the international community and mainland China have also changed from a "vicious cycle" to a "virtuous cycle."

October 30, 2013
During a regular press conference, Taiwan Affairs Office Spokesperson Fan Liqing stated that the Mainland would like to see the reciprocal institutions established between the SEF and the ARATS continue to play a more active service role in visitation assistance. The two sides are now engaged in negotiations on this issue. The Mainland believes that, so long as no involved laws are violated, the two sides can find a mutually acceptable solution. The Mainland hopes that the two sides can promptly complete negotiations and realize the establishment of reciprocal institutions.

November 4, 2013
Member of the Politburo Standing Committee of the Communist Party of China, Chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference Yu Zhengsheng presented a speech at the opening ceremony of the 2013 Cross-Strait Entrepreneurs Purple Mountain Summit. He expressed four hopes for cross-strait industrial cooperation: 1. To promote broader participation by enterprises of the two sides and promote industry projects to expand the scope of the benefits of industrial cooperation; 2. To enhance the core competitiveness of industries on both sides, taking into account cooperation in both traditional and emerging industries; 3. To promote cross-strait industrial cooperation to strengthen endogenous power, actively pursue new division-of-labor approaches, and promote the free flow of talent, capital and technology; and 4. To promote institutionalized development of cross-strait industrial cooperation, implement cross-strait agreements, promote related negotiation processes and improve conditions for entrepreneurs to integrate and use resources on the two sides.

November 13, 2013
At the closing ceremonies of the 2013 Conference of the Overseas Community Affairs Council, President Ma Ying-jeou stated that the government aims to use reconciliation and cooperation to create peace and prosperity in the Taiwan Strait, which has in turn won the ROC more breathing space in the international community, creating a mutually "virtuous cycle." The president also stated that, over the past more than five years, Taiwan and mainland China have signed 19 agreements. Even though trade and economic ties between the two sides are increasingly close, Taiwan has nonetheless been able to avoid becoming more reliant on mainland China. Furthermore, Taiwan and mainland China have signed the Cross-Strait Trade in Services Agreement, which will enable Taiwan's comparatively mature service industries to expand into mainland China and pursue many growth opportunities there.

November 13, 2013
MAC Minister Wang Yu-chi stated at the "17th Cross-Strait Relations and Mainland News Reporting Award" that the focus of cross-strait news and media exchanges is on whether there is a free flow of news information. The cross-strait dissemination of information has always been asymmetrical. In Taiwan, the public can access information about the Mainland through a variety of media channels. However, the Mainland people are limited to only a few channels through which they may receive information about Taiwan and are therefore unable to thoroughly understand the rich and diverse value of Taiwanese society. Minister Wang expressed hopes for the Mainland to recognize the importance of the free flow and reciprocal exchange of information across the Taiwan Strait, and further remove the blockade and restriction of information about Taiwan.

November 13, 2013
Taiwan Affairs Office Spokesperson Fan Liqing stated during a regular press conference that the Mainland places great emphasis on the issue of "humanitarian visitation rights" in the establishment of SEF-ARATS reciprocal institutions and is dedicated to actively uphold the legitimate rights and interests of Taiwan compatriots in the Mainland. As long as the two sides communicate in good faith, advance in the same direction and show mutual understanding, the Mainland has confidence that the two sides will find a mutually acceptable solution that does not violate relevant laws.

November 14, 2013
Taiwan Affairs Office Director Zhang Zhijun stated during a meeting in Beijing with a delegation of the Federation of Tainan City Borough Wardens and Presidents that mainland China will continue to support and encourage grassroots cross-strait exchanges and listen to grassroots views and suggestions in Taiwan. He also emphasized that the experience in the development of cross-strait relations has proven the well-being of the people on both sides to be closely related to the peaceful development of cross-strait relations, and hoped for the people on both sides to jointly support and maintain peaceful and stable development of cross-strait relations.

November 26 to December 3, 2013
ARATS Chairman Chen Deming led the "ARATS Economic and Trade Exchange Mission" to Taiwan for a visit from November 26 to December 3. Aside from a meeting with the SEF Chairman, other agenda also included visiting projects related to the free economic pilot zones and holding a seminar for Mainland enterprises in Taiwan.

November 27, 2013
Taiwan Affairs Office Spokesperson Fan Liqing stated during a regular press conference that the Third Plenary Session of the 18th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China passed a resolution on several major issues related to the comprehensive deepening of reforms. Reforms related to cross-strait economic cooperation will bring benefits for Taiwanese investors in areas such as equal participation in market competition, open market access, technological innovation support and intellectual property protection. Regarding cross-strait cultural exchanges and cooperation, the reforms will broaden the space, create more opportunities and provide more robust protections for cross-strait cooperation in the cultural industry, and also for Taiwanese people coming to the Mainland to develop careers, seek employment, start businesses, study or undergo medical treatment. Furthermore, on the establishment of the "East China Sea Air Defense Identification Zone," the Spokesperson said that compatriots on both sides of the Strait are all of one family. Safeguarding the fundamental interests of the Chinese ethnic group corresponds to the well being of compatriots on both sides of the Strait and is also the shared responsibility of the people on both sides. The Spokesperson also stated that the Cross-Strait Trade in Services Agreement is a pact signed by the SEF and the ARATS with authorization from the two sides and through negotiations conducted on an equal footing. If it were unable to come into effect, Taiwan's industry and people would be the ones most affected.

November 28, 2013
During a meeting with visitors participating in the International Symposium on Regional Security and Transnational Crime, President Ma Ying-jeou stated that the two sides of the Taiwan Strait were unable to forge a joint crime fighting mechanism in the past due to their political and military confrontation. However, in 2009, Taiwan and mainland China signed the Cross-Strait Joint Crime-Fighting and Judicial Mutual Assistance Agreement, which has been enormously beneficial in cross-border investigations and handling of criminal cases. Moreover, the cooperation between Taiwan and mainland China is not limited to the two sides of the Taiwan Strait. Rather, the two sides dispatch investigators to third areas to engage in investigations and then bring suspects back to Taiwan or mainland China. This helps Taiwan to achieve its objective of working with other jurisdictions to jointly combat crime.

November 28, 2013
During a reception with the presidents, vice presidents, and secretaries-general of the five government branches, President Ma Ying-jeou stated that since the two sides of the Taiwan Strait signed the Cross-Strait Trade in Services Agreement, foreign companies operating in Taiwan and neighboring countries are closely watching whether the ROC government has the good-faith intent to actually implement this agreement. Once the agreement is ratified, the two sides will move on to negotiate an agreement on trade in goods. The President therefore called on the Legislative Yuan to expedite deliberation on the Trade in Services Agreement, noting that this would hasten the progress of the nation's trade liberalization.

December 5, 2013
President Ma Ying-jeou stated during a meeting with former U.S. Deputy Secretary of State James B. Steinberg that his administration is actively promoting "flexible diplomacy" so that the ROC's international relations and cross-strait ties can be turned from the past "vicious cycle" into a "virtuous cycle." Since signing the Cross-Strait Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) with mainland China, Taiwan has respectively signed the Taiwan-Japan Bilateral Investment Arrangement with Japan, the Agreement between New Zealand and the Separate Customs Territory of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen, and Matsu on Economic Cooperation (ANZTEC) with New Zealand, and the Agreement between Singapore and the Separate Customs Territory of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu on Economic Partnership (ASTEP) with Singapore. This has fully demonstrated Taiwan's determination and efforts to promote free trade. President Ma also stated that the ROC in the 1950s established an Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ), which overlaps with the ADIZ announced by mainland China. Mainland China did not consult with Taiwan prior to announcing its ADIZ, and this was not at all conducive to the positive development of cross-strait relations. President Ma called upon all neighboring nations to hold bilateral negotiations with mainland China to discuss areas that overlap with the mainland's ADIZ, and said that dialogue and negotiations should be used to resolve this dispute so that the East China Sea can once again be a "sea of peace and cooperation."

December 5, 2013
The MAC stated in a press release that the government's policy does not support civil servants going to the Mainland for study. However, since civil servants are not prohibited under the Civil Service Training and Education Act and the Act Governing Relations between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area to study in the Mainland, such cases still occur. In view of the current cross-strait situation, civil servants' studying in the Mainland is a sensitive issue and is inappropriate. The MAC stated that in the future, the government will develop specific programs and measures, steadily improve regulations in areas such as personnel administration, Mainland entry and exit management, and reinforce management of civil servants going to the Mainland for study.

December 9, 2013
During a meeting in Beijing with representatives attending the Fourth ECFA Cross-Strait and Hong Kong Private Sector Economic and Trade Cooperation Forum, member of the Politburo Standing Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and Chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference Yu Zhengsheng stated that the Third Plenary Session of the 18th CPC Central Committee formulated comprehensive strategic deployments to deepen the reforms which will create more business opportunities, stronger driving force and broader space for cross-strait economic cooperation. He expressed hope that, in the spirit of "one family across the Straits," entrepreneurs would seize the opportunities presented by deep reforms and firmly grasp the general trend of peaceful development of cross-strait relations to make new contributions to the great rejuvenation of the Chinese ethnic group.

December 10, 2013
President Ma Ying-jeou spoke of mainland China's establishment of East China Sea Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) during a meeting with Dr. Joseph S. Nye, the "father of the theory of soft power," a professor at Harvard University, and former U.S. Assistant Secretary of Defense. President Ma further reiterated that the ROC government has issued the following four-point statement: (1) the ROC government will staunchly defend its sovereignty over the Diaoyutai Islets and protect its fishermen; (2) the ROC's Military Force will continue to carry out exercises and training activities as normal in the overlapping part of the two sides' ADIZs, but the ROC will go through channels to express to mainland Chinese authorities its serious concern about this situation; (3) Taiwan urges the concerned nations to resolve the dispute by engaging in bilateral talks; and (4) when the ROC receives a request from an airline company, it will relay the flight plans for civil aircraft that pass through the ADIZ to the mainland China authorities, mainly in order to ensure flight safety and the wellbeing of passengers. President Ma stressed that the resolution of disputes via peaceful means has always been a core policy of the ROC, and he expressed hope that the East China Sea can once more be a "sea of peace and cooperation," as before.

December 10, 2013
MAC Minister Wang Yu-chi stated in an opening speech of the Third Cross-Strait Exchange Documentary Literature Awards that political realities between the two sides have created innate barriers between the people on both sides, leading to misconceptions from a lack of understanding. As the competent authority for cross-strait policy, the MAC intends not only to perfect the institutionalized development of cross-strait exchanges, but also to promote deeper and more comprehensive understanding between the people of the two sides and fill the role of forerunner and defender in promoting this mutual trust and understanding.

December 10, 2013
The SEF and ARATS held the fifth regular meeting of the Cross-Strait Economic Cooperation Committee (CSECC) in Taipei. SEF Vice Chairman Kao Koong-lian and ARATS Executive Vice Chairman Zheng Lizhong served as co-conveners. CSECC Chief Representative for the Taiwan side Cho Shih-chao and his Mainland counterpart Gao Yan represented the two sides as chief negotiators during the meeting. The two sides summarized developments achieved in cross-strait economic cooperation, assessed the implementation results of the early harvest program under the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement, planned future work and exchanged views on issues of mutual concern.

December 11, 2013
In a speech presented at the "Seminar on the Cross-Strait Taxation Agreement" held by the General Chamber of Commerce of the ROC, MAC Minister Wang Yu-chi stated that, in consideration of increasingly close economic and trade exchanges across the Taiwan Strait, the government and mainland China have reached a consensus through talks and agreed to promote the signing of a cross-strait taxation agreement to avoid double taxation. The pact aims to improve the competitiveness of Taiwanese companies in the Mainland and make Taiwan's investment environment more attractive. The two sides have also made good progress through ongoing communication between their respective competent authorities on establishing a cross-strait tax administration cooperation mechanism to resolve tax disputes and ensure tax fairness. At the ninth round of high-level talks between the SEF and the ARATS in June this year, the two sides announced that the "cross-strait taxation agreement" would be included as a negotiation issue for the tenth round of talks between the two sides. However, in order to ensure that the agreement serves Taiwan's interests, the signing of the agreement may only be officially promoted once broad support and domestic consensus has been reached.

December 11, 2013
The Spokesperson of the Mainland's Taiwan Affairs Office Fan Liqing stated at a regular press conference that, with respect to the demarcation of the East China Sea Air Defense Identification Zone, the Mainland has clearly expressed its stance several times. Compatriots on both sides of the Strait are one family and should join hands to safeguard the overall interests of the Chinese ethnic group and jointly defend the family property.

December 12, 2013
President Ma Ying-jeou met with Professor Jerome A. Cohen, co-director of the U.S.-Asia Law Institute at the New York University School of Law. In regards to mainland China's announcement that it has demarcated an "East China Sea Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ)," President Ma urged all parties not to raise the level of tensions. He also called on the parties to engage in bilateral dialogue to resolve disputes concerning overlapping ADIZs. As for the civil aviation issue, President Ma further stated that Taiwan will act in accordance with the International Civil Aviation Organization's suggestion to forward flight plans provided by airlines to the civil aviation authorities of the other nation in order to ensure aviation safety.

December 22, 2013
Taiwan Affairs Office Director Zhang Zhijun stated in a speech presented at the opening of the "2013 Cross-Strait Media Prospects Forum" that the peaceful development of cross-strait relations has entered a new phase of consolidation and deepening. The media on both sides of the Strait should build on exchanges and cooperation, fulfill their social responsibility, and strengthen positive, objective reporting to lead the people on both sides to join forces and work together for peaceful development. He also noted that the promotion of cross-strait media exchanges and cooperation can advance from easy matters to difficult ones in an orderly progression, starting with areas in which the cross-strait media demands are strongest and are relatively easy to accomplish. For example, the two sides should promptly establish authoritative and normalized mechanism for cross-strait media exchanges; further facilitate mutual news coverage across the Strait; make early arrangements for the mutual establishment of representative offices by the media agencies of both sides; and continue to deepen cross-strait media cooperation in various fields. As for the more complex issues, the two sides can work together to create conditions and progressively advance.

December 23, 2013
Taiwan Affairs Office Director Zhang Zhijun stated at the Leaders' Forum of the Association of Taiwan Investment Enterprises on the Mainland that the focuses of Taiwan-related economic work next year would include: deeply understanding the aspirations and needs of the Taiwanese people, with an emphasis on studying and resolving prominent issues which Taiwan-funded enterprises face in the process of transformation and upgrading; implementing the results of cross-strait negotiations to provide more favorable mechanism and guarantees for cross-strait economic cooperation; and vigorously promoting cross-strait industrial cooperation to strengthen major areas of innovative cooperation and cooperation in modern service industries.

December 25, 2013
President Ma Ying-jeou stated during an interview with Yazhou Zhoukan that more conditions need to be created before the leaders of the two sides meet, and the process of creating those conditions is still underway. Taiwan does not necessarily have to rule out the "Ma-Xi Meeting," but such a meeting must be based on national demand and people's support, so that it can only truly resolve problems. President Ma also stated that wherever he goes he is the President of the Republic of China. The President said that the mutual establishment of cross-strait representative institutions is the responsibility of the SEF and the ARATS and has the purpose of serving the people on both sides. While the matter might be politically sensitive, it is neutral in essence. The crux of the problem at present is that the Mainland has not agreed to allow for "the SEF personnel to visit Taiwanese people in Mainland prisons." If this issue is not resolved, it would be very difficult to sign the cross-strait agreement on mutual institution establishment. President Ma also stated that the Taiwan Affairs Office and the MAC are the competent authorities for cross-strait relations; meetings and talks between the respective heads indicate significant improvement in cross-strait relations and is welcomed by both sides. With respect to the government's policy on Mainland students in Taiwan, President Ma indicated that the government's policy is to promote further opening since student exchanges are beneficial to both sides. Nevertheless, it is necessary to advance steadily and not impetuously.

December 25, 2013
The MAC issued a press release stating that a meeting between the leaders of the two sides could only be held when the time is appropriate, the occasion is appropriate and the capacity in which the leaders meet is appropriate. President Ma Ying-jeou attends all events in his capacity as President of the Republic of China. The MAC has assessed and ruled out the possibility of the President participating in the leaders' meeting as a party leader. The MAC also believes that the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Meeting is an appropriate occasion for a meeting between the leaders of the two sides. The government will do its utmost to arrange for the President to attend the APEC meeting as an economic leader, in line with past practice. The MAC stated that the government would also promote, carefully assess and properly handle any benign interactions beneficial to cross-strait relations.

December 25, 2013
Spokesperson Fan Liqing of the Mainland's Taiwan Affairs Office stated at a regular press conference that the Cross-Strait Trade in Services Agreement is beneficial to cross-strait economic cooperation and Taiwan's economic development. If the agreement could not come into effect, it would be detrimental to both the deepening and expansion of cross-strait economic cooperation and Taiwan's economic development. She also stated that, according to the joint opinion between the SEF and the ARATS to solve Kinmen's water supply problem, the two sides have held several technical consultations to extensively exchange views on construction methods, diversion scale and work plans, and would promptly make specific arrangements. On the matter of cross-strait electrical connections, studies may be conducted if Taiwan deems it necessary. Furthermore, on the mutual establishment of representative offices by media organizations of the two sides of the Strait, the Mainland hopes for Taiwan to take into serious consideration and study the demands of the cross-strait media sector.

December 31, 2013
In an article commemorating the 35th anniversary of the publication of the "Message to Compatriots in Taiwan," Taiwan Affairs Office Director Zhang Zhijun stated that the peaceful development of cross-strait relations is a right path that corresponds with the common aspiration of compatriots on both sides of the Strait and the fundamental interests of the Chinese ethnic group. Promoting peaceful cross-strait developments, consolidating the political foundation of the Mainland and Taiwan being part of one China, continuous deepening of interactions and exchanges to promote negotiations all create more ample conditions for peaceful unification. The systematic deployments of comprehensive deep reforms formulated by the Third Plenary Session of the 18th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China will have important and deeply positive impact on the peaceful development of cross-strait relations. Major Taiwan work policies made by the central government must be implemented unswervingly, the correct path of peaceful development of cross-strait relations must be advanced staunchly, and new prospects for the peaceful development of cross-strait relations must be created constantly.