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Mainland Affairs Council

II. Cross-Strait Talks and Interactions

2010

January 13, 2010
The Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) receives formal authorization from the MAC on the fifth round of cross-strait institutionalized negotiations, paving the way for the first round of formal negotiations on the Cross-Strait Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA).

January 25, 2010
The SEF and the ARATS announce that when it comes to the Cross-Strait Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA), the two sides will formally begin the first round of negotiations on matters related to their responsibilities on January 26 in Beijing.

January 25, 2010
An SEF delegation led by Vice Chairman Kao Koong-lian departs for Beijing. Vice Chairman Kao states that the delegation will conduct initial negotiations on administrative tasks and will exchange views with the Mainland side on the framework, name, and method of work division. The two sides will not discuss substantial contents or the issue of the "early harvest list."

January 26, 2010
SEF Vice Chairman Kao Koong-lian states in Beijing that the Cross-Strait Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) to be signed soon will be submitted to the World Trade Organization and that the agreement will be signed by the chairmen of the SEF and the ARATS.

January 26, 2010
The SEF issues a press release indicating that the SEF and the ARATS held the first round of formal negotiations on the Cross-Strait Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) in Beijing. The Taiwan delegation was led by SEF Vice Chairman Kao Koong-lian and the Mainland side was headed by ARATS Permanent Vice Chairman Zheng Lizhong. The delegations were joined by personnel from the related competent authorities on the two sides. Discussions centered on the name and basic structure of the ECFA, as well as the establishment of negotiation work mechanisms and other issues. Several points of consensus were reached. The two sides agreed that the basic contents of the negotiations would include opening markets for the trade in goods and services, rules of origin, the early harvest list, trade relief measures, dispute resolution, and investment and economic cooperation. The two sides will also hold negotiations on industry-specific issues. Moreover, they exchanged information on tax regulations, economic and trade management regulations, and statistics.
The two sides also agreed to sign the ECFA as soon as possible under the principle of dealing with easy issues first and difficult issues later and moving forward in a gradual and orderly manner. The Taiwan side particularly emphasized that in signing the ECFA, we must consider the disparities between the two sides in terms of economic scale and size, and that such issues need to be rationally and pragmatically handled. The two sides agreed to promptly arrange follow-up negotiations.

January 28, 2010
During the second meeting of ARATS' second Board of Directors, ARATS Chairman Chen Yunlin states that the ARATS will focus its work this year on negotiating and signing the Cross-Strait Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) and intellectual property rights protection. At a suitable time, it will also increase cultural, educational, health, and media exchanges to inject new meaning into cross-strait negotiations.

January 28, 2010
The ARATS convenes its second Board of Directors meeting in Beijing. During the meeting, ARATS Permanent Vice Chairman Zheng Lizhong states that the ARATS plans to hold the fifth and sixth talks with the SEF this year, as well begin studies on the mutual establishment of offices by the SEF and the ARATS on each other's side.

February 8, 2010
During a Lunar New Year tea reception, SEF Chairman Chiang Pin-kung states that in the future, Taiwan will promote cross-strait negotiations in a step-by-step manner under the principles of handling "easy issues first and difficult issues later, economic issues first and political issues later, and urgent issues first and less pressing issues later." This year, the SEF and the ARATS will discuss two issues at the fifth talks, including the Cross-Strait Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) and intellectual property rights protection. These talks will be held in coordination with the government's plans and will be duly completed.

February 8, 2010
During a Lunar New Year tea reception, SEF Secretary-general Kao Koong-lian states that the emphasis of the SEF's negotiation work this year is on the Cross-Strait Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA), intellectual property rights protection agreement, and tax agreement. Regarding the ECFA, the two sides have not yet started substantive negotiations and are still in the phase of statistical calculation and analysis. The early harvest list also has not yet been drawn up.

February 22, 2010
During the 2010 Lunar New Year gathering of Taiwanese businesspeople in the Mainland, SEF Chairman Chiang Pin-kung states that during the first half of this year, the SEF and the ARATS will hold the fifth Chiang-Chen Talks. The negotiation issues will include: "intellectual property rights protection" and the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA). In the future, the two sides will also hold negotiations on issues related to the livelihood of the people on both sides and economic cooperation, as well as complete the opening of the "Three Links" (direct cross-strait trade, postal and transportation links) to create even more opportunities and business potential. The SEF and the ARATS also will continue to strengthen exchanges and services to Taiwan businesses, as well as form delegations to visit Taiwan businesspeople in the Mainland Area. Chairman Chiang further expresses hope that through the SEF and ARATS platform, services to Taiwan businesses can be upgraded and benefit the welfare of the people on both sides.

March 4, 2010
The ARATS sends a letter to the SEF expressing sympathy over the earthquake in Jiaxian Township, Kaohsiung County, Taiwan on March 4.

March 5, 2010
ARATS President Chen Yunlin states that the two sides should sign the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) in May or June.

March 17, 2010
ARATS Vice President Wang Fuqing leads an ARATS Folk and Religion Exchange Mission to Taipei, Taichung, Kaohsiung, and Hualien from March 18 to 26 for cross-strait religious and folk exchanges.

March 19, 2010
Taiwan completes legal procedures for the "Cross-Strait Agreement on Cooperation of Agricultural Product Quarantine and Inspection," "Cross-Strait Agreement on Cooperation in Respect of Standards, Metrology, Inspection and Accreditation" and "Cross-Strait Agreement on Cooperation in Respect of Fishing Crew Affairs," signed by the SEF and the ARATS on December 22, 2009. The agreements come into effect on March 21, 2010.

March 23, 2010
At the Sixth Joint Meeting of the Seventh Board of Directors and Supervisory Board, SEF Chairman Chiang Pin-kung states that SEF/ARATS exchange visits will be an important area of work in promoting the development of cross-strait relations. A total of seven exchange missions are planned for this year.

March 24, 2010
ARATS President Chen Yunlin meets with SEF Chairman Chiang Pin-kung and the SEF Central Mainland-based Taiwan Business Mission in Changsha. From March 24 to 30, the SEF Mission visits Changsha in Hunan Province, Hefei in Anhui Province, and Nanchang in Jiangxi Province.

March 29, 2010
The SEF announces that the second round of formal negotiations on the cross-strait Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) will be held on March 31 and April 1 in Taipei. The two sides will carry out substantive exchanges of views on the early harvest plan for goods, the early harvest plan for the trade in services, the main content of the Agreement, and arrangement of future negotiation work.

April 14, 2010
The Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) sends letters to the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS) expressing deep concern and sympathy over the earthquake in the Qinghai area of mainland China.

April 15, 2010
The Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS) sends a letter to the Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) stating that the Mainland has sufficient rescue resources in the disaster-hit area of Qinghai and that it will immediately contact the SEF if there are any rescue needs.

April 24, 2010
The Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS) writes back to the Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) thanking Taiwan for the donations and assistance for post-quake reconstruction in Yushu. The ARATS also informs that it will forward the funds to the reconstruction work in the disaster area.

May 2, 2010
The SEF promptly notifies the ARATS that Taiwanese-American Lin Nan-hai falsely claimed that there were explosives in his luggage and was arrested and detained in the Mainland.

May 4, 2010
The ARATS establishes an independent website which links to the current Chiang-Chen Talks.

May 26, 2010
SEF Chairman Chiang Pin-kung states that the SEF had sent a letter to the ARATS requesting assistance with the repatriation to Taiwan of the remains of airmen shot down in the Mainland during the Cold War Era between the Nationalist Party and the Communist Party. The SEF has also conveyed the related information to the families of the airmen and offered to provide them with any needed assistance.

May 26, 2010
Taiwan Affairs Office Spokesperson Yang Yi states that the ARATS is considering forming a business delegation at a suitable time this year to Taiwan to inspect the investment environment, leaving open the possibility that ARATS President Chen Yunlin might lead the group himself.

June 13, 2010
The third work meeting between SEF and ARATS specialists on the Cross-strait Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) takes place in Beijing.

June 23, 2010
ARATS Executive Vice Chairman Zheng Lizhong arrives in Taiwan to participate in the preparatory discussions with SEF Vice Chairman and Secretary-general Kao Koong-lian on issues including the time, place and main arrangements for the Fifth Chiang-Chen Talks, as well as to prepare for signing the Cross-strait Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) and the Cross-Strait Agreement on Intellectual Property Right Protection and Cooperation.

June 24, 2010
The Fifth Chiang-Chen Talks preparatory discussions take place in Taipei. SEF Vice Chairman Kao Koong-lian and ARATS Executive Vice Chairman Zheng Lizhong lead the related personnel of the two organizations in the discussions. The two sides reach a consensus on the main content and related annexes of the Cross-Strait Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) and the Cross-Strait Agreement on Intellectual Property Right Protection and Cooperation. They also confirm the schedule for theFfifth Chiang-Chen Talks.

June 24, 2010
SEF Vice Chairman and Secretary-general Kao Koong-lian and ARATS Vice Chairman Zheng Lizhong agree that the leaders of the SEF and the ARATS will hold the fifth talks in Chongqing on June 29. The two sides will sign the Cross-Strait Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) and the Cross-Strait Agreement on Intellectual Property Right Protection and Cooperation. Issues for follow-up negotiations between the SEF and the ARATS, and other matters will also be discussed.

June 28, 2010
SEF Chairman Chiang goes to mainland China to participate in the fifth Chiang-Chen Talks. At the airport before departing, he states that the talks aims to complete three main missions: first, to review the implementation of the 12 agreements, so that the benefits of these agreements can be shared by all the people; second, to sign, in accordance with the authorization given by the MAC, the Cross-strait Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) and Cross-Strait Agreement on Intellectual Property Right Protection and Cooperation; third, to discuss issues for the next stage of SEF-ARATS Talks and plan the future of cross-strait relations. The two sides also designate the upcoming Chiang-Chen Talks as a "Journey of Mutual Benefit and Prosperity."

June 29, 2010
SEF Chairman Chiang Pin-kung ARATS Chairman Chen Yunlin officially sign the Cross-Strait Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) and the Cross-Strait Agreement on Intellectual Property Right Protection and Cooperation, as well as reach a consensus on planning follow-up negotiations.

August 11, 2010
During a meeting with ARATS Vice Chairman Li Yafei, SEF Vice Chairman Kao Koong-lian states that the SEF and the ARATS will hold the sixth round of talks at the end of this year, and that the two sides have agreed to engage in negotiations on medical and health issues.

August 24, 2010
The SEF conveys to the ARATS a message that the Taiwan government has donated US$1 million to help post-disaster reconstruction in Zhouqu, Gansu Province, after a mudslide as well as in other seriously flooded areas.

August 25, 2010
The SEF sends a letter to the ARATS expressing deep condolences and sympathy over the air crash incident in Yichun, Heilongjiang. It also asks the Mainland side to coordinate the relevant departments to provide appropriate medical treatment and care to the injured Taiwan resident Chen Tsung-hua.

August 27, 2010
Upon learning of an accident on August 17 this year involving the Mainland fishing vessel "Minlongyu No. 60360," the SEF promptly sent a letter to the ARATS to inform the family members of the crew. It also coordinated with the Coast Guard Administration and National Immigration Agency to assist with the handling of family care visits to Taiwan.

September 3, 2010
The ARATS sends a letter to the SEF regarding the recent death of three Taiwanese people in Dongguan due to a fire.

September 9, 2010
The ARATS sends a letter to the SEF informing about a roll-over accident in Youyang County, Chongqing City on September 8 and the rescue situation.

September 11, 2010
The SEF notifies the ARATS that the Taiwan side has completed the related procedures for the Cross-strait Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) and the Cross-Strait Agreement on Intellectual Property Right Protection and Cooperation. That afternoon, the ARATS sends a reply message to the SEF confirming that the Mainland side also has completed related preparations to bring the two agreements into effect. The two sides complete the document exchange procedures and agree that the agreements would come into effect on September 12.

September 16, 2010
During a meeting in Shanghai with a delegation led by SEF Chairman Chiang Pin-kung, ARATS Executive Vice Chairman Zheng Lizhong states that the SEF and the ARATS still have two important missions this year. The first is to begin follow-up negotiations on the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) and promote implementation of the framework agreement requirements. The second it to realize the content of the cross-strait medical and health cooperation brought up at the Fifth SEF-ARATS talks.

September 18, 2010
A group of SEF directors and supervisors led by SEF Chairman Chiang Pin-kung meets with ARATS Chairman Chen Yunlin. During the meeting, Chairman Chiang states that the SEF has been authorized by the MAC to formally negotiate with the ARATS and, in the future, to establish an Economic Cooperation Committee to handle follow-up implementation and serve as a negotiation platform. He therefore hopes that the committee can be promptly formed.

September 18, 2010
During a meeting in Kunshan, Jiangsu, with a delegation led by SEF Chairman Chiang Pin-kung, ARATS Chairman Chen Yunlin expresses hope that the Cross-strait Economic Cooperation Committee can promptly be formed under the SEF-ARATS framework, and at a suitable time, follow-up talks on the trade in goods, trade in services, investment protection, economic cooperation, and other related issues can begin.

September 21, 2010
The ARATS sends a letter to the SEF, expressing deep concern for the casualties and losses caused by Typhoon Fanapi and condolences to the disaster victims.

October 21, 2010
The SEF informs the ARATS that Typhoon Megi left 284 mainland tourists stranded on the Su'ao-Hualien Highway.

October 22, 2010
The ARATS sends a letter to the SEF, expressing deep concern over the Mainland tourists stranded by Typhoon Megi. It hopes that the related parties in Taiwan will fully devote efforts to the rescue to ensure that the stranded visitors are saved from danger.

October 23, 2010
The 284 mainland tourists stranded on the Su'ao-Hualien Highway due to Typhoon Megi are rescued in the morning of October 23. In the evening, the ARATS sends a letter expressing thanks and hope that the related parties in Taiwan will continue to search for and rescue the Mainland tourists that are still missing.

October 27, 2010
During a meeting with a delegation led by ARATS Deputy Secretary-General Zhang Shenglin, SEF Vice Chairmen Kao Koong-lian emphasizes that, over the past several days, the government has conducted an all-out land, sea and air effort in bad weather and tough environmental conditions to rescue Mainland tourists stranded on the Su'ao-Hualien Highway. ARATS Deputy Secretary-general Zhang Shenglin expresses three hopes: that the Taiwan side can strengthen the search and rescue force and personnel to promptly find the Mainland tourists who are still missing; that Taiwan can fairly and reasonably handle this incident and conscientiously protect Mainland tourists legitimate rights and interests; and that Taiwan can improve related early warning mechanisms and strengthen and improve travel safety protection work.

November 3, 2010
SEF Vice Chairman Kao Koong-lian goes to the Fullon Hotel Shenkeng to visit and convey sympathies to the families of members of the tour group from Zhuhai, Guangdong, stranded by a rockslide on the Su'ao-Hualien Highway.
ARATS Deputy Secretary-general Zhang Shenglin visits Taiwan on October 27 to meet with Vice Chairman Kao and sees the progress with the effort to find and rescue the 20 missing mainland tourists. Accompanied by SEF Deputy Secretary-general Kao Wen-cheng and others, he later meets with the families of the missing at the Fullon Hotel Shenkeng in Taipei County and visits the wounded, as well as the disaster site.

November 6, 2010
The Toucheng, Yilan-registered fishing boat Xin Chun Man 11 sinks in the waters off Penghu while transporting mainland Chinese fishermen back to Xiamen. Taiwan's Coast Guard Administration dispatches a ship for search and rescue and brings all 69 crewmembers and fishermen safely to Magong, Penghu. The SEF informs the ARATS of the incident through emergency contact channels and asks the ARATS to report to the families.of the fishermen that they are safe. The SEF also asks the ARATS to assist in promptly arranging transport home for the 66 mainland fishermen through the three big (and small) direct links.

November 30, 2010
A delegation led by ARATS Executive Vice Chairman Zheng Lizhong arrives in Taipei for a working meeting between the SEF and ARATS. The two sides exchange initial views on affairs related to the talks and determine the timing of preparatory discussions for the sixth talks.

December 14, 2010
The SEF and the ARATS meet in Shanghai for preparatory consultations for the Sixth Chiang-Chen Talks. The two sides confirm preparations related to the signing of the Cross-Strait Agreement on Medical and Health Cooperation. They also confirm the date, venue, and procedural arrangements for the Sixth Chiang-Chen Talks.

December 14, 2010
During the preparatory consultations for the Sixth Chiang-Chen Talks, SEF Vice Chairman Kao Koong-lian states that the two sides should actively face up to and handle issues concerning the people's well-being, uphold the spirit of reciprocity and mutual benefit, focus "a bit more on economics and a bit less on politics," avoid unnecessary waste, think more for the other side, and "simplify negotiation procedures and substantively enrich the agreements."

December 17, 2010
As a press conference before the Sixth Chiang-Chen Talks, SEF Chairman Chiang Pin-kung states that cross-strait negotiations consider the well being of the people, and institutional negotiations strengthen the order of cross-strait exchanges, making relations between the two sides more manageable. It also helps ensure the people's health and personal safety and ultimately enable the two sides to complement their strengths for mutual prosperity and benefit. The main purpose of SEF-ARATS talks is to sign agreements. Therefore, if there are no agreements to sign, SEF-ARATS talks will not be held.

December 19, 2010
ARATS Vice Chairman Zheng Lizhong leads an advance mission to Taipei to hold preparatory meetings with SEF Vice Chairman Kao Koong-lian and others. Vice Chairman Kao states in a speech that negotiations between the SEF and the ARATS are all based on the spirit of "putting the people first," resolving problems faced by the people and creating well-being. The implementation of agreements establishes order for cross-strait exchanges and creates a manageable system conducive to interactions between the two sides.

December 21, 2010
The Sixth Chiang-Chen Talks are held in Taipei. SEF Chairman Chiang Pin-kung and ARATS Chairman Chen Yunlin complete the signing of the Cross-Strait Agreement on Medical and Health Cooperation. Although they were unable to sign the Cross-Strait Investment Protection Agreement at this round of talks, the two sides still achieve phased progress in this regard. They also agree to hold a "Review Meeting on Cross-Strait Agreements' Results" at an appropriate time to realize the practical implementation on issues of mutual concern. Moreover, the two sides express a shared belief that talks on follow-up agreements to the Cross-Strait Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) will continue to be the focus in the future and that the Cross-Strait Investment Protection Agreement will be listed as a focal issue for promotion and prompt agreement signing at the Seventh SEF-ARATS Talks.

December 21, 2010
During their meeting, ARATS Chairman Chen Yunlin and SEF Chairman Chiang Pin-kung state that the SEF-ARATS talks next year should emphasize the stable development of institutionalized cross-strait negotiations. They suggest that the SEF and the ARATS further enrich the negotiation issues in order to care for the various needs of compatriots on both sides of the Strait. Therefore, cross-strait negotiations on technology, culture, education, and other issues should be promptly activated.

December 22, 2010
SEF Chairman Chiang Pin-kung leads the SEF negotiation delegation to report to the MAC on the achievements of the Sixth Chiang-Chen Talks.