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Mainland Affairs Council

History

Chronology : Cross-Strait Dialogue

May 1995- October 1998

1995

May 27 The first preparatory consultation for the Second Round of the Koo-Wang Talks in Taipei, reaches 8 items of consensus, and decides to hold the second round of preparatory consultation talks in June in preparation for the Second Round of Koo-Wang Talks in Beijing.

June 16 The Association for Relations across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS) sends letter to the Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) notifying the postponement of the Koo-Wang Talks.

June 17 Mainland Affairs Council announces the hope to continue regularized consultation across the Straits, and to hold the preparatory consultation for the Second Round of Koo-Wang Talks as planned.

June 30 ARATS telephones SEF its decision to postpone the regularized cross-strait consultation. 

July 21-26 Beijing launches the first round of missile tests in the Taiwan Straits.

August 15-25 Beijing announces the second round of missile tests in the Straits

1996

March 8-23 Beijing launches the third round of missile tests and military exercises on the eve of the ROC presidential election.

April 29 SEF sends letter to ARATS suggesting the resumption the Koo-Wang Talks and regularized consultation.

May 2 ARATS sends letter to SEF rejecting the request on the resumption the Koo-Wang Talks and regularized consultation. 

July 3 SEF sends letter to ARATS suggesting exchange of visits of board of directors.

July 5 ARATS sends letter to SEF without responding to SEF’s suggestion.

1997

November 6 ARATS sends letter to SEF inviting Secretary General Jen-ho Chiao to lead the

delegation of SEF board of directors to attend a conference on economic and trade issues, and to tour mainland cities. 

November 7 SEF sends letter to ARATS suggesting that Chairman Koo lead a delegation for a formal visit to meet with relevant persons, and that ARATS is welcome to visit Taiwan.

November 11 ARATS news release expresses regret that SEF rejects the November 6 letter of invitation without responding to the SEF’s suggestion.

1998

January 19 SEF sends letter to ARATS requesting a reply of the November 7 letter. 

February 20 ROC Premier Siew reiterates Taipei consistent position on resumption of cross-strait exchanges and consultation in his report to the Legislature.

February 24 ARATS sends letter to SEF expressing its willingness for resuming cross-strait consultation, for arranging exchanges between SEF and ARATS, and for welcoming the visit of Dr. Koo at appropriate time.

March 5 SEF sends letter to ARATS welcoming the February 24 letter of response and indicating the intention to send appropriate members of SEF to the Mainland.

March 11 ARATS sends letter to SEF inviting a SEF-led delegation for touring and conference. 

March 17 SEF sends letter to ARATS proposing to send appropriate members of SEF to the Mainland by mid-April. 

March 26 ARATS sends letter to SEF welcoming SEF delegation to visit the Mainland and requesting SEF to propose concrete exchange items. 

April 3 SEF sends letter to ARATS proposing that deputy secretary-general level-led delegation visit mainland around mid-April. 

April 13 ARATS sends letter to SEF welcoming and proposing SEF’s deputy secretary-general level-led delegation visit mainland on April 21 or 22.

1998

April 17 SEF sends letter to ARATS suggesting that SEF Deputy Secretary-general Jan Jyh-horng lead a delegation go to Beijing during April 22-24. 

April 20 ARATS sends letter to SEF agreeing the proposal in April 17 SEF letter. 

April 22-24 SEF Deputy Secretary-general Jan Jyh-horng leads a delegation visiting Beijing. 

May 12 SEF sends letter to ARATS suggesting that ARATS deputy secretary-general visit Taipei during late May.

June 1 ARATS sends letter to SEF informing that ARATS will choose an appropriate theme for the next trip by ARATS deputy secretary-general to Taiwan at appropriate time. ARATS also expresses that during this next trip, ARATS deputy secretary-general can take the opportunity to discuss with SEF about SEF Chairman Koo’s visiting mainland. 

June 19 SEF sends letter to ARATS suggesting that SEF Chairman Koo visit the mainland in Autumn. SEF also suggests that SEF Deputy Secretary-general Jan and Vice Chairman Shi lead consecutive delegations to the mainland to discuss and finalize matters regarding SEF Chairman Koo's visit. 

June 25 ARATS sends letter to SEF agreeing that SEF Chairman Koo will visit the mainland in mid-September or mid-October this year. ARATS also expresses that it will designate its deputy secretary-general to lead an education delegation to Taiwan in late July, but postpones the visit to mainland by SEF Deputy Secretary-general Jan which was proposed in the SEF's letter of June 19. This letter is thus an indirect refusal of SEF Vice Chairman Shi's proposed visit. 

July 6 ARATS sends letter to SEF suggesting that ARATS Deputy Secretary-general Li Ya-fei leads an education delegation to visit Taiwan during July 24-31.

July 9 SEF sends letter to ARATS agreeing to the visit of an ARATS delegation headed by Deputy Secretary-general Li Ya-fei; expressing hope that the two sides can promptly discuss and finalize the matter of SEF Chairman Koo's visit to the mainland; suggesting the continuation of preparatory discussions at the deputy secretary-general level; and noting that final agreement will be confirmed by SEF Vice Chairman Shi and ARATS Vice Chairman Tang. 

July 14 SEF sends letter to ARATS confirming that SEF has received the itinerary for the trip to Taiwan by the ARATS delegation led by Deputy Secretary-general Li Ya-fei, noting that the delegation will be granted the benefits as accorded by the agreements between SEF and ARATS. SEF further expresses the hope that other members of the delegation should apply for their visits according to regular procedures (Note: However, the delegates to be led by ARATS Deputy Secretary-general Li Ya-fei still do not follow the proper entry application schedule and procedures as required by ROC regulations). 

July 17 ARATS sends letter to SEF informing that two reporters will accompany the delegation to visit Taiwan, and requesting SEF’s assistance on their entry application.

July 24-31 ARATS Deputy Secretary-general Li Ya-fei leads the “Delegation of Beijing City Elementary and Middle Schools for Off-Campus Visit Programs” visiting Taiwan. 

July 31 SEF sends letter to ARATS expecting to consult as soon as possible upon issues related to tourism security, protection of Taiwan businessmen investment on the mainland, and cooperation in combating cross-strait crime. 

August 19 ARATS sends letter to SEF expressing that during the meeting between SEF Chairman Koo Chen-fu and ARATS Chairman Wang Daohan, the two can exchange views on matters of mutual or unilateral concern in a free and informal manner. ARATS offers a proposal for the time schedule(Sep.15-21 or Oct 12-18)and the itinerary of SEF Chairman Koo’s visit to the mainland. Most of the proposed itinerary relates to sight-seeing. 

September 3 SEF sends letter to ARATS suggesting that Chairman Koo’s visit should be scheduled between Oct. 14-19, and include two meetings with Chairman Wang. In order to make Chairman Koo’s visit more significant, SEF proposes to send Vice Chairman Shi to lead a delegation to visit Beijing in mid-September, where he can meet face-to-face with ARATS Vice Chairman Tang and related members to finalize the detailed itinerary and other relevant matters.

September 14 ARATS sends letter to SEF quoting the statements made on Aug. 24 by officials of the Chinese Communist Central Taiwan Affairs Office and the State Council’s Taiwan

Affairs Office, and expressing that the two associations should proceed with political dialogues as soon as possible in order to prepare in advance the procedural consultations of the political negotiations between the two sides. 

September 15 ARATS sends letter to SEF informing that, in view of the SEF’s opinions, ARATS has adjusted the proposed itinerary for Chairman Koo’s visit. ARATS appoints Deputy Secretary-general Li Ya-fei to be the contact person to work with the SEF deputy secretary-general to make detailed arrangements for Mr. Koo’s visit. ARATS also agrees to the advance visit to Beijing of SEF Vice Chairman Shi. 

September 19 SEF sends letter to ARATS to inform that SEF Vice Chairman Shi Hwei-yow will lead a delegation to visit Beijing between Sep. 22 - 24 in order to meet with ARATS Vice Chairman Tang Shubei to finalize the relevant matters regarding Chairman Koo’s visit. (Note: ARATS notifies SEF by phone rather than letter that it agrees to the present schedule of SEF Vice Chairman Shi's visit to Beijing). 

September 23 SEF Vice Chairman Shi Hwei-yow and ARATS Secretary-general Chang Chincheng finalize in Beijing the itinerary and the relevant matters for SEF Chairman Koo’s visit to the mainland. 

September 22-24 SEF Vice Chairman Shi Hwei-yow leads a delegation visiting Beijing. 

October 14-19 SEF Chairman Koo Chen-fu leads a delegation visiting the Mainland China and meets ARATS Chairman Wang Daohan. In the meeting, they reach 4 items of consensus. Afterwards, Chairman Koo meets mainland leaders Qian Qichen and Jiang Zemin respectively.