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Relations Across The Taiwan Straits 1. Introduction

  • Date:1994-07-29

Many countries throughout history have experienced periods of division and reunification, and the history of China is also one of periodic partition and unity. Modern China has been unable to escape this historical cycle. Since 1949, the Chinese people have lived in one of two societies on either side of the Taiwan Strait with different ideologies and political, economic, and social systems. In order to end this confrontation and estrangement between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait and to achieve a strong and prosperous nation, the government of the Republic of China (ROC) has, since 1987, adopted concrete measures to promote social, cultural, and economic exchanges between the two sides of the Strait in a forward-looking, pragmatic, active, and moderate way. In February 1991, the ROC government drew upon the insight of people inside and outside the ruling party in drawing up the "Guidelines for National Unification," part of an attempt to form a national consensus for the advance toward unification. However, creating the conditions for unification requires sincere cooperation between the two sides of the Strait. And completing the momentous task of unification is even more dependent on the joint efforts of the two sides. For this reason, the ROC government believes that it must present a detailed and exhaustive explication of relations between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait, in the hope that this will enable people at home and abroad to gain a thorough understanding of the government's thinking, position, and actions regarding the issue of national unification. In this way we may pool our wisdom and efforts and work together to create a democratic, free, and prosperous China.