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MAC News Reference Material:MAC Year-End Press Conference Speech by Minister Chang

  • Date:2018-01-29

January 29, 2018


Friends in the Media, Good Day!


Thank you all for joining us today for the Mainland Affairs Council's (MAC) year-end press conference. With the end of the year at hand, I would like to first wish you a happy New Year and thank you for your care and advice to the MAC and myself over the past year.


The past year has brought rapid change to the world and unprecedented major challenges for cross-Strait relations. Today I would like to brief you on the status of the Council's operations over the past year and outlook for our work in the year ahead. Important work over the past year included the following:


1. Ensuring peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait and adhering to positions and pledges. Over the past year and eight months, mainland China has stepped up pressure against Taiwan, with no signs of change in the short term. Acting on the President's policy thinking on cross-Strait relations, the MAC endeavored to ensure the stable pattern of security in the Taiwan Strait and maintain Taiwan's dignity and core values. We also proactively contacted and remained pragmatic and rational with the Mainland to safeguard the rights and interests of the people and control risk. A MAC public opinion survey showed that more than 80% of the public support the government's position of defending national sovereignty and dignity and the welfare of the people. The international community has also affirmed Taiwan's steady cross-Strait policy.


2. Strengthening the order and mechanism for cross-Strait exchanges and safeguarding the rights and interests of the people.

The MAC periodically reviewed the implementation and liaison status of agreements. Moreover, the competent authorities for the various cross-Strait agreements proactively contacted the other side to duly handle urgent matters. Regarding management of personnel exchanges, the MAC proposed amendments to the Act Governing Relations between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area and other relevant laws and regulations and strengthened examination of violations and abnormalities consistent with policy and practical operations to reduce the potential impact of the other side's lack of communication and inaction and the United Front strategy against Taiwan and ensure the rights, interests and welfare of the people.


3. Caring for and assisting Mainland spouses and students and closely following the situation for young Taiwanese students and businesspeople in the Mainland.

In concern for the rights and interests of Mainland spouses and students in Taiwan, the government continued to promote a policy allowing Mainland students studying in Taiwan to participate in the national health insurance system, comparable to the treatment of foreign and overseas Chinese students. It also considered relaxing restrictions on family-related visits to Taiwan by the relatives of Mainland spouses. Several workshops were held to understand the situation of Mainland spouses and help them to integrate in Taiwan society. In response to Mainland’s work directed at Taiwan's grassroots public and youth, the MAC strengthened its grasp of information and concern for the situation of Taiwanese students and businesspeople in the Mainland. It also studied approaches for talent training, recruitment, and retention and investment, and intensified efforts to call the attention of Taiwanese people in the Mainland to noteworthy matters in response to new laws and regulations in mainland China so as to ensure the safety of the life and activities of Taiwanese people in the Mainland.


4. Promoting exchanges and cooperation between Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macao and enhancing international competitiveness.

The Taiwan-Macao Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement on Aviation Businesses was deliberated and approved by the Legislative Yuan in November last year (amendments to the supporting Article 29-1 of the "Act Governing Relations with Hong Kong and Macao" were also approved by the Legislative Yuan at that time). The agreement came into effect after Taiwan and Macao completed an exchange of letters at the end of last year. The agreement will enhance the international competitiveness of Taiwan's air transport industry and optimize Taiwan's investment environment. In addition, the MAC coordinated with the National Immigration Agency to simplify e-Visa application procedures for cruise ship visitors and relaxed the validity period of passports for immigration inspection to facilitate tourism and study related travel from Hong Kong and Macao to Taiwan. It also coordinated with Ministry of Education regulations on study in Taiwan.



In the new year, we will maintain cross-Strait peace and stability to ensure Taiwan's best interests. Key work priorities include the following:


1. Following and predicting the cross-Strait situation and seeking potential opportunities for dialogue and communication.

We will closely watch developments in mainland China's internal and external situation, strategic layout, and Taiwan policy. We will also integrate resources in the business and academic sectors through various channels to anticipate potential developments in cross-Strait interactions, preemptively control risk, and deliberate response strategies. In addition, we will seek out opportunities for cross-Strait dialogue and communication beneficial to Taiwan's development to further resolve differences.


2. Facing national security challenges and improving the cross-Strait legal system and other defense mechanisms.

In response to mainland China's bolstered "one generation and one stratum" United Front strategy against Taiwan, infiltration of Taiwan, and attempts to magnetically attract  talent from Taiwan, the MAC will coordinate with competent agencies to review security management mechanisms under the Act Governing Relations between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area and related laws and regulations. It will also jointly study measures responding to the impact on Taiwan's industries and talent attraction to protect public safety and national security. In addition, the MAC will combine forces with various parties to continue seeking the release of Li Ming-che. It will also deliberate strategic plans in coordination with legislation in the Legislative Yuan to promote the Cross-Strait Agreement Supervisory Act.


3. Continuing to promote the protection of the rights and interests of Mainland students and spouses and strengthening care and assistance to Taiwanese people in the Mainland.

Based on human rights and humanitarian care, we will continue to cooperate with the promotion of amendments to the National Health Insurance Act to allow Mainland students to join the national health insurance system comparable to the treatment of foreign and overseas Chinese students. Furthermore, we will remain concerned about the rights, interests, and needs of Mainland spouses living in Taiwan. We will also actively review policy on study in Taiwan by Mainland students, promote cross-Strait youth exchanges based on laws and policies, and encourage Mainland youth to experience Taiwan's pluralistic, democratic society. The MAC will increase care for the study, employment, and living conditions of Taiwanese students and business people in the Mainland. Additionally, to protect Taiwanese business investments in the Mainland, the MAC, in conjunction with the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF), will strengthen liaison with Taiwanese business people and help them to upgrade operations and invest back in Taiwan.


4. Enhancing communication and explanation to the public and seeking domestic and foreign support.

According to MAC statistics, the MAC received 1,700 visitors during nearly 230 activities. The visitors were all enthusiastic in their concern for the development of cross-Strait relations and hoped to learn from the MAC's observations of mainland China to understand Beijing's decision-making and dynamic analysis of the changing peripheral situation. In the future, the MAC will strengthen integration of pro-Taiwan forces in the international community and fully clarify policy thinking through various means to win support. It will also strengthen contact with various sectors and local governments in Taiwan to build strong public support for policies.