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Mainland Affairs Council

III. Official Cross-strait Interactions

2014

January 28, 2014
Taiwan Affairs Office Spokesperson Ma Xiaoguang announced in Beijing that after communication and consultations by cross-strait competent authorities on the two sides, the head of Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Council, Wang Yu-chi, will lead a delegation to Nanjing and Shanghai from February 11 to 14. Taiwan Affairs Office Director Zhang Zhijun will then meet with Wang Yu-chi to exchange views on issues related to cross-strait relations.

January 29, 2014
The MAC released the results of its special public opinion survey on the "Public's Views on Exchange Visits by Heads of Competent Authorities for Cross-Strait Affairs and on Cross-Strait Relations." The survey found that the majority of the people approve the government's plans and arrangements for MAC Minister Wang Yu-chi to visit the Mainland under the principle of equality and dignity (55.8%), and think that the pragmatic discussion of issues related to cross-strait exchanges between heads of competent authorities for cross-strait affairs is beneficial to the development of cross-strait relations (60.5%). Furthermore, the MAC stated that the majority of the public endorse the government's arrangement of Minister Wang's Mainland visit based on the 1992 Consensus of one China with respective interpretations (52.6%); and on the policy position that the "1992 Consensus" is "one China with respective interpretations," in which "one China" is the Republic of China (55.6%). Regarding the use of official titles in the mutual address between Minister Wang and the director of the Taiwan Affairs Office during the meeting, over half of the public affirm that this is a significant development in cross-strait relations (54.8%) and is conducive to normal interactions between the two sides (57.1%).

February 11, 2014
The MAC stated in a press release that MAC Minister Wang Yu-chi and Director Zhang Zhijun of the Mainland's Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO) held the first meeting between the heads of the competent authorities for cross-strait affairs in Nanjing, mainland China. The MAC stated that the successful meeting is an important milestone in the development of cross-strait relations and has positive implications for the normalization of official interactions and exchanges across the Taiwan Strait. In a speech presented at the meeting, Minister Wang stated that the start of this phase of interaction concretely demonstrates the willingness of the two sides to objectively face affairs, and plays great significance in the progress of pragmatically handling cross-strait issues and safeguarding the public's wellbeing between the two sides. The MAC stated that, under the principles of equality and dignity, the two sides agreed to establish a liaison and communication mechanism between the MAC and TAO to pragmatically discuss and address major issues deriving from cross-strait interactions and exchanges. The mechanism will handle issues such as high-level exchange visits by the heads of the two organizations and the strengthening of communication channels between the operational departments (bureaus) on both sides. Under the mechanism, the two sides have agreed to grant facilitation measures for the entry-exit and customs clearance of related personnels in keeping with the principle of equality and mutual benefit and in adherence to respective laws and regulations.
Regarding the issue of humanitarian visiting functions for the reciprocal institutions of the SEF and the ARATS, Minister Wang emphasized that Taiwan's institution functions should include the right to visit Taiwanese citizens whose personal freedom have been restricted in the Mainland. The two sides also agreed to more proactively discuss feasible measures and pragmatically handle issues related to the establishment of reciprocal institutions. Furthermore, Minister Wang affirmed and welcomed the value placed by the Mainland on the issue of medical coverage for Taiwanese students studying at Mainland schools, and stated that the Taiwan side should continue to actively push for the inclusion of Mainland students in Taiwan into the Taiwan National Health Insurance program. During the meeting, Minister Wang emphasized that at this stage, the two sides should discuss this matter in tandem with the issues of the reciprocal exchange of news information across the Taiwan Strait, so as to facilitate improvements of the overall environment for cross-strait news information, as well as continue to provide the living conveniences for stationed reporters. Minister Wang also stated that promoting accession to the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement and Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (TPP) Agreement is a major economic and trade priority for Taiwan at this time. Deepening and expanding cross-strait economic cooperation and joint cross-strait participation in regional economic integration should "advance side-by-side".
The MAC stated that the "1992 Consensus" is the crux of institutionalized cross-strait negotiations, interactions and exchanges. In the future, both sides should continue to promote mutually beneficial relations across the Strait so that the people on both sides can enjoy the fruits of the peaceful development of cross-strait relations. Minister Wang also formally invited Director Zhang Zhijun to lead a delegation to visit Taiwan so as to gain a deeper awareness and understanding of Taiwanese society and popular sentiment.

February 11, 2014
Director Zhang Zhijun of the Mainland's Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO) stated during a formal meeting in Nanjing with MAC Minister Wang Yu-chi that imagination would be required to resolve some difficult issues in the development of cross-strait relations. Cross-strait relations cannot be reversed. He also stressed that the two sides should continue to promote cross-strait relations on the basis of adhering to the "1992 Consensus." The normalized communication and liaison mechanisms established between the TAO and the MAC will help both sides to strengthen communication, increase understanding, and promote the appropriate handling and resolution of prominent problems encountered in the course of cross-strait exchanges. However, this mechanism will not replace the functions of SEF-ARATS negotiation on routine affairs and agreement signing, nor will it change the liaison and communication methods of the other competent operational units of the two sides.

February 12, 2014
The MAC stated in a press release that MAC Minister Wang Yu-chi led the MAC delegation to Sun Yat-sen Mausoleum in Nanjing to pay homage and honor the memory of Dr. Sun Yat-sen, and Minister Wang also served as officiate of the memorial service. The service oration described Dr. Sun's great achievements as leader of the revolution and founding father of the Republic of China, as well as reported on the concrete realization in Taiwan of the Three Principles of the People, Five-Power Constitution and other ideals and principles of Dr. Sun. The oration further expounded on the recent significant improvement and developments in cross-strait relations achieved on the basis of the "1992 Consensus," and expressed hope that the two sides may jointly carry forward Dr. Sun Yat-sen's ideals and contribute to world harmony. Minister Wang pointed out that the first democratic republic in Asia—the Republic of China—was founded by Dr. Sun Yat-sen 103 years ago. Since 2008, peaceful and stable development of cross-strait relations has been achieved through institutionalized negotiations and cross-strait exchanges and cooperation based on the "1992 Consensus." In the future, it is crucial that the two sides must face up to the reality across the Strait and pragmatically deal with and resolve issues in order to build lasting and solid cross-strait relations, enhance the welfare of the people, and turn the Taiwan Strait into a sea of peace and cooperation.

February 12, 2014
The MAC issued a press release announcing that MAC Minister Wang Yu-chi stated in a speech at Nanjing University (NJU) that exchanges between youth on both sides of the Taiwan Strait are conducive to mutual understanding. He urged the two sides to pragmatically confront their differences and form friendships in sincerity and good faith so as to truly put aside differences, seek common ground, and create a new future, which would also conform to the spirit of the verse from NJU's anthem: "What greatness, to move the world with our sincerity!" Minister Wang also encouraged young students across the Strait to discuss reforms in the spirit of "chivalry" and "compassion." Therefore, not only should the rights and interests of Mainland students and spouses be treated without discrimination, but priority should also be given to discussion of granting Taiwan's institution to be established in the Mainland humanitarian visiting functions, as these issues all represent values of importance to Taiwan. Minister Wang further said that by dedicating more sincerity in overcoming historical barriers and facing the reality of their differences, youths of the two sides may truly put aside these differences, seek common ground and usher in a new future. At the same time, through interaction, the two sides may foster more pragmatic understanding and mutual political trust and forge a real consensus in order to pass down national culture, enrich the people's life and jointly embrace a more harmonious cross-strait relationship.

February 13, 2014
The MAC issued a press release announcing that MAC Minister Wang Yu-chi stated during a panel discussion with scholars at the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences that his visit represented an important step in the development of benign cross-strait interactions, and that the two sides must mutually understand, tolerate and face each other in order for cross-strait relations to move forward. Minister Wang expressed confidence for future cross-strait relations to proceed upon the current peaceful and stable path. During the discussion, he also stated that foreign trade is the lifeblood of Taiwan and that signing free trade agreements (FTAs) with other countries, Taiwan's accession to the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) and to Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (RCEP) are the common aspiration of Taiwan. He also stressed that Taiwan places equal importance on its participation in the TPP and RCEP. Furthermore, Minister Wang emphasized that public support in Taiwan for maintaining the cross-strait status quo represents the mainstream public opinion in Taiwan, and that future development of cross-strait relations will continue to be steadily promoted on this foundation. February 17, 2014
Taiwan Affairs Office spokesperson Fan Liqing stated at a regular news conference that the first meeting between the heads of cross-strait competent authorities is an important step in promoting the development of meetings between the two sides. The meeting was held on a common political foundation and rooted in the spirit of mutual respect, seeking common ground while putting aside differences and positive interaction. The meeting focused on the timely and proper handling of prominent issues encountered in the course of cross-strait exchanges. As for politically sensitive issues between the two sides, such matters should be resolved through political dialogues and negotiations. Furthermore, the Mainland has always taken a positive and open attitude towards a meeting between the leaders of the two sides. As for a meeting at APEC, it should be handled according to the relevant stipulations of the APEC memorandum of understanding. February 25, 2014
The MAC announced the results of the special public opinion survey on the "Public's Views on Cross-Strait Official Interactions and Cross-Strait Relations." The survey indicated that more than 60% of the public affirm Minister Wang's first visit to the Mainland in an official capacity and the holding of the meeting between the heads of cross-strait competent authorities. The survey also pointed out that the said developments were conducive to direct interaction between officials across the Strait (65.1%) and also to the future development of cross-strait relations (61%). Furthermore, 63.1% people affirm that the establishment of routine communication mechanism between the MAC and the Taiwan Affairs Office is helpful to the handling of cross-strait affairs. The MAC stated that, in the future, it would use this mechanism and channel to efficiently communicate with the other side, pragmatically handle major issues related to cross-strait interactions, and enhance benefits of cross-strait exchanges and well being of the people. Meanwhile, on the basis of public opinion, the MAC will continue to promote the normalization of official cross-strait interactions so as to facilitate long-term development of cross-strait institutionalized relations and promote sustainable peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait. Regarding the negotiation issues at the "Tenth Round of Cross-Strait High-Level Talks" by the SEF and the ARATS, the majority of the surveyed public expressed support for negotiation issues concerning "cross-strait meteorological cooperation" (67.9%) and "earthquake monitoring cooperation" (72.6%). June 14, 2014
The MAC stated in a press release that the itinerary planning for the Mainland's Taiwan Affairs Office Director Zhang Zhijun's Taiwan visit has been entirely in line with the principle of equality and dignity. The requests proposed by the Mainland side have all been carefully assessed and thoroughly discussed; the Taiwan side will not simply accept all requests without question. The MAC stressed that Zhang Zhijun's upcoming Taiwan visit has important implications for normal official interactions and the benign development of relations across the Taiwan Strait. It will also help Mainland officials in charge of cross-strait affairs to personally experience Taiwan's democracy and pluralistic society, properly understand views in Taiwan on the development of cross-strait relations, and pragmatically and objectively view the cross-strait status quo. The MAC hopes that all sectors may look at normal official exchanges and interaction across the Strait from positive perspectives. June 25, 2014
MAC Minister Wang Yu-chi stated in a speech presented at the Second Meeting between Heads of Cross-Strait Competent Authorities that, since 2008, the two sides have been adhering to the principle of "shelving disputes and jointly creating a win-win outcome," and enabling cross-strait relations to make considerable progress over the past six-plus years. Minister Wang emphasized hopes for the Mainland side to understand Taiwan's democratic constitutional system and political ecology, stressing especially the current trend in Taiwanese society concerning civic awareness and civic movement developments, as well as the expectations the Taiwanese people have placed on expanding foreign trade in hope of seeking a way forward. It is also under this context that the mainstream public opinion in Taiwan identifies with the government's cross-strait policy to steadily promote peaceful and stable development of cross-strait relations. Minister Wang also expressed hope that during this trip Director Zhang could listen to Taiwanese people's voice, understand Taiwanese people's way of life, and respect Taiwanese people's choice. June 25, 2014
The MAC stated in a press release that, during the second Meeting between Heads of Cross-Strait Competent Authorities, the two sides exchanged views on important issues related to cross-strait relations. Regarding the issue of deciding Taiwan's future, Minister Wang reiterated at the meeting the government's position, which is to maintain the status quo of "no unification, no independence and no use of force" under the ROC Constitution framework. The consensus of the Taiwanese people is that the future of Taiwan future should be determined, in adherence to the ROC Constitution framework, by the 23 million people of Taiwan. It is hoped that the Mainland may respect the people's voice. The MAC appealed to the Mainland to uphold the spirit of shelving disputes and jointly creating a win-win outcome, to demonstrate more sincerity, and to pragmatically and with priority handle issues such as the people's welfare, rights and interests. Only by doing so may there be a new page for cross-strait relations. Minister Wang further noted that since the official launch of the liaison and communication mechanism between the MAC and the Taiwan Affairs Office in February this year, communication has operated smoothly and the mechanism has contributed to increasing understanding, reducing misjudgments, and advancing the institutionalization of official contacts across the Strait. On this basis, the two sides will continue to pragmatically promote following communication and contact. At the meeting, Minister Wang also reiterated Taiwan's hope to accede to the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP), Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (RCEP), and Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP). He said that if Taiwan were to successfully begin negotiations with other countries on economic and trade agreements, it would help increase the Taiwanese people's confidence and support in promoting cross-strait economic and trade liberalization.
With respect to the issue of humanitarian visit functions for the reciprocal institutions of the Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) and the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS), the MAC stated that both sides expressed a positive attitude to actively deliberate and handle specific arrangements such as the implementation plan for humanitarian visits, codes of conduct, guarantees and convenience measures for the reciprocal institutions. The two sides will continue to pragmatically promote follow-up operational discussions and communication and input more dedication to strengthen substantive services of the institutions.
Furthermore, the two sides agreed to study feasible measures and further arrange the start of communication between relevant authorities on the issue of allowing Mainland tourists to transit in Taiwan. They also agreed to continue promotion on cross-strait cultural, education, technology, and news exchanges, as well as to encourage the grassroots public and young students on both sides to strengthen exchanges to enhance awareness and understanding. The MAC also indicated that the "1992 Consensus" represents the spirit and political wisdom of the two sides in "addressing realities and shelving disputes," as well as an attitude of pragmatically resolving problems. This is the crux of institutionalized cross-strait negotiations, interactions and exchanges. In the future, the two sides should continue to promote mutually beneficial cross-strait relations in adherence to this foundation. June 25, 2014
Director Zhang Zhijun of the Mainland's Taiwan Affairs Office stated at the Second Meeting between Heads of Cross-Strait Competent Authorities that this step from Beijing to Taiwan took a full 65 years. In 2008, the two sides ushered in a new era of peaceful cross-strait developments on the political basis of upholding the "1992 consensus." It is hoped for the two sides to stick to the correct course, enhance mutual political trust, strengthen cross-strait exchanges and cooperation in various fields, enrich the content of exchanges, and strengthen institutional development. The Mainland also hopes for compatriots on both sides of the Strait, especially the grassroots public and younger generation, to strengthen communication and exchanges, and enhance understanding and trust. Zhang Zhijun pointed out that cross-strait relations are like "sailing against the current: not to advance is to drop back." Advances of cross-strait relations are bound to touch on some deep-seated problems. So long as compatriots on both sides of the Strait join hands, they will certainly be able to overcome difficulties, move forward, and make new progress in promoting peaceful development of cross-strait relations.

June 25, 2014
Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO) Spokesperson Ma Xiaoguang stated at a press conference after the Second Meeting between Heads of Cross-Strait Competent Authorities that the meeting was an important step in normalizing communication and liaison mechanisms between the TAO and the MAC. It is highly significant in raising the level of institutionalization for cross-strait exchanges and the continued promotion of peaceful cross-strait developments. During the meeting, both sides agreed on continuos to adherence to the correct course of peaceful cross-strait on developments; deepening of cross-strait economic cooperation, also, advancing the process of ECFA follow-up talks, and promptly starting joint research work; pragmatically discuss appropriate means and feasible approaches to link up the joint economic development across the Taiwan Strait and the regional economic cooperation process; continue consultations on the establishment of reciprocal institutions by the ARATS and SEF; and properly resolve other remaining issues and complete negotiations as soon as possible on the foundation of sensible and reasonable arrangements of the issue of visitations. The two sides will also actively promote research and solutions to issues related to Mainland tourist transits in Taiwan and further facilitation of exchanges between compatriots on both sides, as well as duly communicate through appropriate channels. Ma Xiaoguang further stated that the two sides both affirmed the smooth operation of the liaison and communication mechanism between the TAO and the MAC. They would further perfect this mechanism, utilize its role, and, in the future, use the mechanism to continue consultations and arrangement of exchange visits between the heads of the TAO and MAC, based on the actual needs of cross-strait relations.

July 10, 2014
The MAC stated in a press release that exchange visits by the heads of cross-strait competent authorities are arranged under the principles of equality and dignity. This institutionalized platform is created to pragmatically handle important cross-strait issues, work for people's welfare, highlight the status quo of separate rules on the two sides, the objective fact of the Republic of China's existence, and voice the pluralistic values of Taiwanese society. The Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO) of the Mainland had consulted the MAC in advance for its assessment and opinion on Zhang Zhijun's itinerary in Taiwan, and the government was fully in control of all arrangements for the trip. Moreover, regarding the opinions raised by businesses and the public in Taiwan during Zhang Zhijun's visit to Taiwan, the MAC has long communicated with the Mainland through the institutionalized cross-strait negotiation platform and agreement review mechanism to seek for solutions. Regarding issues involving the competent authorities, the MAC will coordinate with said authorities to follow up and handle such matters. The MAC stated that, facing the current trends of globalization development, the government began actively taking initiatives this year to promote a Mainland policy prioritizing national survival and development and the people's welfare. In the future, the government will also continue to prioritize interaction and communication in cross-strait economic and trade cooperation and institutionalized negotiations, as well as guide the Mainland towards more stable institutional reforms and development through official interactions and contacts on the two sides.

July 17, 2014
The MAC announced the results of its latest routine public opinion survey. The survey found that nearly 70% (69%) of the public approve regular exchange visits by the MAC minister and director of the Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO). The majority of the people think such visits would be conducive to the handling of cross-strait affairs (63.7%) and they are important to the healthy development of cross-strait relations (60.7%). The MAC stated that, in the future, the government would promote cross-strait official interactions mechanism in an orderly manner under the principles of reciprocity and dignity. The survey also showed that 65.1% of the public support joint studies by the two sides on cross-strait related regional economic integration and believe that the government's ability to smoothly negotiate with other countries on economic and trade cooperation would increase Taiwanese people's confidence in cross-strait economic and trade liberalization (59.8%). The MAC stressed that participation in regional economic integration is a matter pertinent to Taiwan's survival. The government will simultaneously promote participation in regional economic integration and cross-strait economic and trade cooperation. As for public views on the Cross-Strait Agreement Supervisory Act, over 60% of the public hope for the Legislative Yuan to promptly pass the Cross-Strait Agreement Supervisory Act (63%); and agree that the Legislative Yuan should be required to vote on cross-strait agreements within a set timeframe (61.6%). The MAC stated that cross-strait agreements concern the rights and interests of the people, and that the Executive Yuan version of the Cross-Strait Agreement Supervisory Act is "constitutional, pragmatic and feasible." The MAC urged prompt completion of the legislative process so as to be consistent with the public's expectations. The survey also found that 68.1% of the public support the government's adherence to the cross-strait status quo of "no unification, no independence, and no use of force" under the ROC Constitution framework; 52.3% of the public identify with the government's position on the "1992 Consensus of one China with respective interpretations" where one China refers to the Republic of China. This shows that the government's Mainland policy corresponds with mainstream public opinion in Taiwan.

November 12, 2014
The MAC issued a press release stating that MAC Minister Wang Yu-chi met with Director Zhang Zhijun of the Mainland's Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO) in Beijing. He presented a speech stating that cross-strait relations have significantly improved and progressed forward over the past six years, and the most crucial key for that has been the "1992 consensus." In the future, the two sides will continue to seek progress amidst stability on the basis of this greatest common denominator across the Strait, "the 1992 Consensus," and continue to promote peaceful and stable development of cross-strait relations. On to the matter of institutionalized cross-strait negotiations, both sides agreed to proactively promote operational talks for following negotiation issues, such as that for the Trade in Goods Agreement, and to concretely respond to respective concerns from each side of the strait. On the matter of reciprocal establishment of SEF-ARATS institutions, the two sides will pragmatically handle issues of mutual concern and push for early completion of negotiations in order to meet public expectations for high-quality service institutions. Furthermore, on the issue of Mainland tourist transits in Taiwan, the two sides will authorize the SEF and the ARATS to begin discussions and further communicate on facilitation measures for people's exchanges across the Strait. On the matters of cross-strait economic cooperation and joint participation in regional economic integration, the MAC and TAO will promptly begin substantive discussions based on the current preparatory work conducted for joint research. During the meeting, Minister Wang also stated that the two sides should strengthen notification and examination of information related to recent food safety incidents, adopt appropriate management measures so that cross-strait food safety and normal trade operations may both be ensured, and continue to promote cross-strait cultural, educational, technology and youth exchanges.

November 12, 2014
The MAC stated in a press release that Mainland Affairs Council Minister Wang Yu-chi visited the Institute of Taiwan Studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences for a symposium with Beijing scholars, during which he stated that future cross-strait interactions should seek progress amidst stability and seize opportunities. The two sides should continue to uphold the spirit of "shelving disputes and jointly creating a win-win outcome," seek consensus with sincerity and goodwill, and actively advance communication on issues such as trade in goods and reciprocal establishment of SEF–ARATS institutions to improve the well-being of the people on both sides. Furthermore, the two sides should also continue dedicating efforts to consolidate the pattern of peaceful and stable cross-strait developments while keeping in mind the mainstream public's opinions. Minister Wang stressed that, due to 65 years of separate governance across the Taiwan Strait, systemic and lifestyle differences exist between the two sides, therefore, through deeper exchanges in areas such as the rule of law, culture, and education, the two sides may continue to enhance mutual understanding and learn from each other in order to bridge the psychological and values divide, and further lay a solid foundation for long-term peace across the Strait. Minister Wang also said that cross-strait economic cooperation and joint cross-strait participation in regional economic integration should go hand in hand. If the Mainland might demonstrate a positive attitude, it could deepen public support in Taiwan for cross-strait economic cooperation.

November 12, 2014
Mainland TAO Director Zhang Zhijun stated during a meeting in Beijing with MAC Minister Wang Yu-chi that the two sides must continue to enhance political mutual trust on the basis of consolidating adherence to the "1992 Consensus" and opposing to "Taiwan independence." They must respect each other's choice of development path and social systems and properly handle differences. They must also maintain positive interaction and do more things conducive to enhancing affinity and well-being of compatriots on both sides, conducive to promoting the peaceful development of cross-strait relations, and conducive to promoting the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.

November 12, 2014
Mainland TAO Director Zhang Zhijun stated during a media interview after a meeting with MAC Minister Wang Yu-chi that the two sides reached a six-point consensus during the meeting. The most important consensus was that the two sides should adhere to the "1992 Consensus," continue to promote the peaceful development of cross-strait relations and continue to make new achievements to benefit the people on both sides. The two sides also agreed to continue promotion of ECFA follow-up talks, SEF-ARATS establishment of reciprocal institutions, Mainland tourist transits in Taiwan, facilitation of exchanges between the people on both sides, and cross-strait cultural, educational, scientific and youth exchanges. The two sides also reached consensus on how to start research on joint economic development across the Taiwan Strait and Taiwan's participation in regional economic integration. Director Zhang also noted that ECFA negotiations across the Strait started before the China-Korea FTA talks, as such, Taiwan must make efforts to facilitate progress.