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Mainland Affairs Council

II. Cross-Strait Talks and Interactions

2008

January 8, 2008
The Directorate General of Customs under the Ministry of Finance posts an announcement notifying that, under the Regulations on Exemption from Import Permits for the Import of Small Quantities of Goods from Mainland China, Free Trade Zone enterprises can transport small quantities of Chinese goods that are not yet permitted for general import to Taiwan to taxable areas.

January 8, 2008
The Department of Investment Services under the Ministry of Economic Affairs, related bureaus, departments and research institutes of the Ministry of Economic Affairs, and various county and city government industrial development and investment promotion committees establish a service platform to help companies investing in Taiwan with the acquisition of needed land and factories, industry trend information, introduction of business opportunities, and the upgrading and transformation of services. Taiwanese businesses abroad are welcomed to invest in Taiwan and extensively use the service office.

January 9, 2008
The MAC indicates that, according to statistics compiled by the Ministry of the Interior, at present about 44,000 Chinese spouses have obtained long-term resident visas and identity cards in Taiwan. They have also been granted the right to vote and have not suffered any political interference in Taiwan.

January 14, 2008
The Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) states that it was entrusted by the responsible authority to send a letter to the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait (ARATS) demanding that the related agencies in China assist in arresting Liu Jia-chang and his wife Chang Chia-chen, both of whom are wanted criminals in Taiwan.

January 14, 2008
For this year's Lunar New Year charter flight services, 12 airline companies have arranged a total of 94 round-trip flights from six flight points, including Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Xiamen in China and Taipei and Kaohsiung in Taiwan.

January 16, 2008
Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) Vice Chairman Lin Shu-min represents the government in visiting the Chinese crew members rescued from a shipwrecked Ta-Chi-Lun, a Panamanian-registered ship. The SEF indicates that it promptly contacted the China-based Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait (ARATS) to request assistance in notifying the families of the crew members that the 13 crew members rescued are undergoing hospital treatment. The SEF will also pay close attention to the follow-up operations for rescuing the 11 missing crew members, and notify ARATS of any developments to be passed onto the families of the crew members.

January 17, 2008
China's Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait (ARATS) sends a letter to the Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) notifying that it would continue to closely watch the follow-up situation and assist in the handling of problems related to the Taiwan-flagged freighter Jin Bao that sank off Shantou en route from Hong Kong.

January 17, 2008
The Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) sends a reply letter to the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait (ARATS) expressing thanks for the assistance provided by China in the Jin Bao freighter incident. It also expresses hope that the Chinese side will continue to make every effort to search for and rescue the five crew members that are still missing and properly accommodate the rescued crew members. In addition, the SEF immediately contacted the Taiwanese Businesspeople's Association in Shantou to request that a representative visit and console the rescued crew members and provide necessary assistance.

January 18, 2008
The Investment Commission of the Ministry of Economic Affairs releases data indicating that in December 2007, approval was granted for 79 China-bound investments with a total value of US$1,521,930,000. In 2007, there were 996 approved China-bound investments with a total value of US$9,970,540,000, down 8.62% and up 30.46%, respectively, from the same period of 2006.

January 18, 2008
Shao Qiwei, director of China's National Tourism Administration, states at the China National Travel Work Conference that in 2008, the National Tourism Administration will continue to promote exchanges and cooperation with Taiwan's travel industry and hold the 11th Cross-Strait Friendship Association of Travel Agencies, the 4th Cross-Strait Travel Fair, and the 3rd Cross-Strait Taipei Travel Fair.

January 30, 2008
MAC Chairman Chen Ming-tong states that if the Chinese snow storm calamity hampers flights, airline companies can flexibly adjust their flight schedules after notifying the related agencies on the two sides.

January 30, 2008
The MAC indicates that the severe weather brought by continued heavy snow storms in central and eastern China has affected 90 million people in 17 provinces and cities. The MAC asks the Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) to send a formal letter to the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait (ARATS) expressing concern and sympathy for the Chinese people.

January 30, 2008
Yang Yi, spokesperson for the Taiwan Affairs Office under China's State Council, states that in 2007, China imported US$187 million worth of agricultural products from Taiwan, up 23% from the year before. A total of 3,143 tons of such products, valued at US$4,334,000, were imported to China tariff-free, representing a preferential tax amount of 4,862,000 renminbi.

February 4, 2008
Statistics released by the Central Bank of the Republic of China (Taiwan) indicate that transactions totaling an accumulated 4.56 million renminbi have been made in Kinmen and Matsu since renminbi cash transactions were allowed in those areas on a trial basis.

February 8, 2008
Educational departments in Fujian Province prepare to begin offering special classes for Taiwanese junior high school students in the cities of Fuzhou, Xiamen, Quanzhou, and Zhangzhou. The children of Taiwanese businesspeople can attend these classes or study in other classes if they wish.

February 11, 2008
The international cruise ship "Rhapsody of the Sea" is the first one to be approved by the MAC to bring about 70 Chinese tourists to visit Taiwan via a third country. The ship stopped first at Keelung Harbor on February 11, 2008
and in Kaohsiung Harbor on February 12, 2008.

February 11, 2008
Over 2.5 million person-trips were made by passenger traveling by ship via the Kinmen-Xiamen shipping route between January 2, 2001, and February 10, 2008.

February 14, 2008
The Straits Exchange Foundation holds the 2008 Lunar New Year gathering for Taiwanese businesspeople's associations in China. The event is attended by about 400 people, including Taiwanese businesspeople in China, members of industry associations in the Taiwan Area and related government agencies, as well as the sponsoring and supporting organizations. President Chen Shui-bian and Premier Chang Chun-hsiung attended the gathering to celebrate the Lunar New Year holidays with the Taiwanese businesspeople.

February 18, 2008
The National Tax Administration of Northern Taiwan Province under the Ministry of Finance states that the salaries of technical personnel and management cadres dispatched by a parent company in Taiwan to overseas subsidiaries or subsidiaries in China shall be calculated under the matching principle of requiring revenues to be matched with costs and expenses, and should not be reported as expenses by the parent company in Taiwan.

February 18, 2008
The 16-day period of cross-strait Lunar New Year charter flights comes to an end on February 15. The flight points for this year's Lunar New Year charter flights were Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Xiamen in China and Taipei and Kaohsiung in Taiwan. A total of six Chinese and Taiwanese airlines made 96 flights (188 sorties).

February 19, 2008
The Center for Disease Control under the Department of Health reminds people planning to go to avian flu infected areas in China of the need to take related precaution measures.

February 20, 2008
The Investment Commission of the Ministry of Economic Affairs announces that in January 2008, approval was granted for 71 China-bound investment projects with a total value of US$647.466 million, a decline of 20.05 percent from the same period of 2007.

February 25, 2008
At the "11th Cross-Strait Union of Travel Agencies," China National Tourism Administration Deputy Director Zhang Xiqin states that in 2007 Taiwan compatriots made a total of 4,627,900 China-bound person-trips, up 4.86 percent from the same period a year before.

February 28, 2008
The MAC states that the National Police Agency under the Ministry of the Interior, Straits Exchange Foundation, Red Cross Society of the Republic of China and other related agencies carried out a personnel repatriation handover operation with China at Fuao Port in Matsu according to the Kinmen Accord. The MAC expresses affirmation and appreciation for China's assistance in the arrest of economic criminals and criminal suspects that had fled to China from Taiwan, and in deporting them according to the Kinmen Accord.

February 28, 2008
Chinese hijacker Wang Zhihua is repatriated to China via Matsu after serving out a prison sentence in Taiwan. The MAC states that a total of 18 Chinese people were suspected of involvement in 13 hijackings of civil airplanes between 1993 and 1998. These hijackers were paroled, respectively, in 1997, 1999, 2001 and 2007, and specially repatriated to China. All of the hijackers have been repatriated to date.

February 29, 2008
The Taiwan Affairs Office of China's State Council announces that China will allow Taiwanese doctors to practice medicine in China. In response, MAC Spokesperson Johnnason Liu states that the flow of personnel and industries is not one-way. The best method for ensuring the rights and interests of Taiwanese professionals to work in China would be to start bilateral negotiations through the mechanism of the World Trade Organization.

March 7, 2008
The Ministry of the Interior issues the revised Permit Regulations Governing the Spouse Residency, Long-Term Residency, or Permanent Residency of the People of the Mainland Area in Taiwan. The revised Permit Regulations ease conditions on mainland spouses applying for spouse residency, long-term residency or permanent residency in Taiwan.

March 10, 2008
The Ministry of Economic Affairs issues the Review Principles for Investments or Technical Cooperation in the Mainland Area with revised stipulations in Point 3 and attached table, effective from March 10, 2008.

March 20, 2008
The Investment Commission of the Ministry of Economic Affairs announces that in January and February 2008, approval was granted for 117 China-bound investments with a combined value of US$1,152,344,000, down 25.00 percent and 5.51 percent, respectively, from the same period of 2007.

March 28, 2008
The MAC releases the results of its latest public opinion survey, showing that 68.7 percent of the public believe cross-strait relations will become more relaxed over the coming year, while only 5.5 percent of the public believe that relations will become tenser. Over 90 percent (91.1%) of the public also advocate maintaining the status quo defined in a broader sense; and 81.7 percent of the public are opposed to China's stance on developing cross-strait relations under the "one country, two systems" formula.

April 1, 2008
The National Immigration Agency under the Ministry of the Interior announces the "Notification on Submitting Documentation Certified by the Taiwanese Businesspeople's Association when Taiwanese Businesspeople with Mainland-bound Investments and their Families Apply to Enter and Exit the Mainland Area from the Trial Transportation Areas."

April 2, 2008
Mainland China's 11th National People's Congress Standing Committee of Fujian Province includes the "Statute on Promotion of Agricultural Cooperation between Fujian and Taiwan" in this year's Legislative Plan.

April 3, 2008
The Executive Yuan announces revisions to some stipulations under the "Regulations Governing the Trial Operation of Transportation Links Between Kinmen/Matsu and the Mainland Area," effective from April 1, 2008.

April 3, 2008
Cao Qingyao, spokesperson of mainland China's State Forestry Administration, states at a press conference that China has not changed its pledge to send a pair of giant pandas to Taiwan.

April 7, 2008
The Seventh Overseas Presidents' Meeting of the China Council for the Promotion of Peaceful Reunification convenes in Zhengzhou, Henan. The meeting issues a joint declaration on "Mastering Themes, Seizing Opportunities, and Jointly Promoting the Peaceful Development of Cross-strait Relations.

April 8, 2008
The National Immigration Agency under the Ministry of the Interior announces that, "Mainland spouses overstaying their period of residency may retroactively apply in person at a county or city service center of the National Immigration Agency to extend their residency period in accordance with these guidelines, if the reason for their residency continues to exist and their marriage is genuine."

April 8, 2008
The 12th China Xiamen Machinery and Electronics Exhibition (CXMEE) opens at the Xiamen International Conference and Exhibition Center. This is the first CXMEE to have a Taiwan pavilion exclusively for the display of Taiwan machinery and electronic products.

April 8, 2008
Mainland China's Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Jiang Yu states at regular press conference that Vincent Siew will attend the Boao Forum for Asia in the capacity of chairman of the Taiwan-based Cross-Straits Common Market Foundation.

April 9, 2008
The 2008 cross-strait Tomb Sweeping Festival charter flights are implemented from April 2 to 8. Eleven airlines on both sides provide a total of 21 two-way flights from Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Xiamen and Taipei, and Kaohsiung.

April 14, 2008
MAC Vice Chairman Johnnason Liu indicates during a press conference that restrictions on the investment of Chinese capital in the Taiwan Area have not yet been lifted. There are currently still "dual barriers." The first barrier is that the mainland Chinese side still prohibits mainland Chinese companies from investing in Taiwan. The second barrier is that restrictions on investments with mainland Chinese capital have not been fully lifted under Taiwan's current laws and regulations.

April 16, 2008
The Center for Disease Control under the Department of Health provides an overview of contagious diseases in China for the months of February and March and reminds Taiwan tourists planning to visit China to be on high alert.

April 16, 2008
The Ministry of the Interior announces revisions to some stipulations under the "Permit Regulations Governing the Entry of Mainland Area People into the Taiwan Area."

April 18, 2008
The Government Information Office under the Executive Yuan announces the "Notification on the Review of Application Submissions and Application Forms for the Broadcasting of Hong Kong and Macao Channel Programs in the Taiwan Area" and "Notification on the Review of Application Submissions and Application Forms for the Broadcasting of Hong Kong and Macao Television Programs in the Taiwan Area," as well as the revised "Notification on the Review of Application Submissions and Application Forms for the Broadcasting of Mainland Area Television Programs in the Taiwan Area," effective immediately.

April 18, 2008
The Investment Commission of the Ministry of Economic Affairs indicates in a press release that, in March 2008, Taiwan approved 67 China-bound investment projects with a total value of US$832,102,000.

April 22, 2008
During a press conference, MAC Vice Chairman Johnnason Liu indicates that, since the promulgation of Some Provisions of the Supreme People's Court of China Concerning the Mail Delivery of Civil Litigation Documents Involving Taiwan, the rights and interests of Taiwan litigants are not protected. Moreover, China's method, which is different from the method by which Taiwan handles litigation documents involving other countries through diplomatic systems, is tantamount to effectively "internalizing Taiwan."

April 24, 2008
During the 2008 Anhui-Taiwan Economic Development Symposium held in Chaohu City, Anhui Province, Li Yafei, secretary-general of the Taiwan Affairs Office under China's State Council, states that, since the opening of cross-strait economic and trade exchanges, Taiwan's trade surplus with China had accumulated to US$476.3 billion as of the end of 2007.

May 1, 2008
The Xiamen customs authority in China states that Xiamen has become the biggest distribution site for tariff-free Taiwanese fruit. The city accounts for over half of the tariff-free fruit and aquatic products imported to the mainland from Taiwan.

May 2, 2008
The National Immigration Agency under the Ministry of the Interior revises the "Regulations Governing the Employment and Management of Mainland Spouses During Their Spouse Residency in Taiwan."

May 3, 2008
The People's Bank of China announces that it will expand the number of trial points for renminbi-NT dollar conversion in Fujian Province.

May 6, 2008
The National Tax Administration of Northern Taiwan Province under the Ministry of Finance announces that when a person of the Taiwan Area passes away in the Mainland Area, their family should declare the estate within six months after the day of obtaining the death certificate verified by the Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF).

May 7, 2008
The Center for Disease Control under the Department of Health says it welcomes and expects that Taiwan, Hong Kong and mainland China can closely cooperate to jointly fight the enterovirus EV71.

May 13, 2008
During a press conference, Premier Chang Chun-hsiung expresses humanitarian concern over the massive 7.8 magnitude earthquake that struck Sichuan Province in China. Premier Chang also indicates that he has instructed the Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) to contact the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait (ARATS) to inform the latter of Taiwan's willingness to assist with disaster relief and to convey Taiwan's deep concern and sympathy. Premier Chang says he is also very concerned about the safety of Taiwanese businessmen, students, and tourists in the Mainland and has instructed related units to keep a close eye on matters related to the disaster and do everything in their power to safeguard the people's lives and property.

May 13, 2008
Sichuan Province in China is struck by a major earthquake on the afternoon of May 12. That evening, the Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) sends a letter to the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait (ARATS) expressing condolences to the disaster victims.

May 13, 2008
The Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait (ARATS) sends a reply letter to the Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) in Taiwan expressing sincere thanks to the SEF for its May 12 letter conveying sympathy to the victims of the Sichuan earthquake disaster.

May 13, 2008
Vice Chairman Hector Yeh of the Association of Taiwan Investment Enterprises on the Mainland (ATIEM) states to reporters in Shanghai that, on behalf of mainland-based Taiwanese businesses, the ATIEM will donate an initial amount of RMB5 million for relief work related to the Sichuan earthquake disaster.

May 14, 2008
Premier Chang Chun-hsiung announces that the Taiwan government will provide NT$2 billion package in two phases for disaster relief in Sichuan, China.

May 14, 2008
The Department of Health under the Executive Yuan states that it has prepared emergency medical aid supplies and medical and epidemic prevention personnel are geared up and ready to depart for Sichuan to assist with relief work as soon as the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait (ARATS) gives the green light.

May 14, 2008
The MAC opens a "Sichuan Earthquake Relief Donation Account" at the business department at the head office of the Bank of Taiwan to raise funds for disaster relief and reconstruction work in China.

May 15, 2008
The National Immigration Agency under the Ministry of the Interior revises the "Permit Regulations Governing the Entry of Mainland People into Taiwan Area."

May 15, 2008
During a press interview, Chen Yunlin, director of the Taiwan Affairs Office under China's State Council, states that China agrees to allow the Red Cross Society of the ROC to send a search team to participate in the Sichuan earthquake rescue effort.

May 15, 2008
The Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait (ARATS) sends a letter to Taiwan's Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) expressing sincere thanks to the Red Cross Society of the ROC for sending search and rescue personnel to the Sichuan earthquake disaster area and to various circles in Taiwan for their generous donation of money and supplies to support relief work in the disaster area.

May 15, 2008
The Taiwan Work Office of the Communist Party of China Ningde Municipal Party Committee states that Matsu County Magistrate Chen Hsueh-sheng and Speaker Chen Chen-ching led an inspection delegation to Ningde and jointly discussed the opening of air routes between Ningde and Taiwan.

May 17, 2008
Taiwan Affairs Office Deputy Director Zheng Lizhong states that various sectors of Taiwan society have donated RMB600 million to the Sichuan earthquake disaster area.

May 18, 2008
The 10th Cross-Straits Fair for Economy and Trade is held at the China (Fuzhou) Exhibition Center. Nearly 10,000 local and overseas merchants from 31 countries and areas participate in the fair.

May 19, 2008
The National Immigration Agency under the Ministry of the Interior issues a press release informing due to the major earthquake in Sichuan Province, it would process exit extensions for Sichuan residents in Taiwan.

May 20, 2008
The Investment Commission of the Ministry of Economic Affairs issues statistics indicating that in April 2008, it approved 73 mainland China-bound investments with a total investment value of US$961,812,000. In January to April 2008, approval was granted for 257 China-bound investments with a combined value of US$2,946,258,000, a decrease of 20% and increase of 11.84%, respectively, from the same period of 2007.

May 20, 2008
China's Civil Aviation Administration grants approval for Taiwan's Mandarin Airlines and China Airlines to apply to arrange special cargo charter flights from Taipei to Chengdu to deliver disaster relief supplies.

May 21, 2008
The latest statistics from the Department of Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macao Affairs under mainland China's Ministry of Commerce show that from January to April 2008, the value of indirect cross-strait trade reached US$43.91 billion, an increase of 21.7% from the same period last year. Mainland exports to Taiwan amounted to US$8.17 billion, an increase of 16.9% from the same period last year; and mainland imports from Taiwan amounted to US$35.74 billion, an increase of 22.8% from the same period last year.

May 26, 2008
The Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) completes its personnel reshuffle. Chiang Pin-kung is appointed as SEF Chairman and Kao Koong-lian is concurrently appointed as vice chairman and secretary-general. Chiang states that the SEF has been authorized by the government to begin negotiations with the Beijing-based Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait (ARATS) as soon as possible on issues related to opening-up policies.

May 26, 2008
The MAC formally authorizes the Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) to hold negotiations with China's Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait (ARATS) on the three issues of weekend passenger and cargo charter flights and mainland tourist visits to Taiwan.

May 26, 2008
The Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) sends a fax informing the ARATS of the personnel reshuffle at the SEF and indicating that "the SEF has been authorized by the responsible authority in the ROC to conduct negotiations with the ARATS on the two issues of direct cross-strait weekend charter flights and mainland tourist visits to Taiwan." In the letter, the SEF also expresses hope that institutionalized negotiations can be promptly resumed on the basis of the "1992 Consensus."

May 29, 2008
The Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait (ARATS) sends a letter to the Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) inviting SEF Chairman Chiang Pin-kung and Vice Chairman and Secretary-general Kao Koong-lian to lead a delegation to visit Beijing on June 11 to 14, 2008. It also expresses hope that, based on the "1992 Consensus," the two sides can promptly hold negotiations on matters related to cross-strait weekend charter flights and the visits to Taiwan by Mainland residents.

May 30, 2008
The Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) sends a reply letter to the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait (ARATS), stating that it agrees to have SEF Chairman Chiang Pin-kung lead a delegation to visit Beijing.

June 3, 2008
A meeting of China's Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait (ARATS) convenes to elect Chen Yunlin as ARATS chairman, Zheng Lizhong as permanent vice chairman, Sun Yafu as executive vice chairman, Li Bingcai as resident vice chairman, Wang Fuqing, Wang Zaixi, An Min and Zhang Mingqing as vice chairmen, and Li Yafei as secretary-general.

June 6, 2008
The National Immigration Agency of the Ministry of the Interior repatriates 87 illegal Mainland stowaways from Matsu.

June 8, 2008
On June 11 to 14, a Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) delegation led by Chairman Chiang Pin-kung will hold negotiations in mainland China. The delegation will be composed of 19 persons, including 12 personnel of the SEF.

June 9, 2008
The Council of Agriculture under the Executive Yuan announces revisions to Article 2 of the "Permit and Management Regulations Governing Mainland Chinese Seamen Employed Offshore and Sheltered by Owners of Taiwanese Fishing Vessels."

June 10, 2008
At a press conference before departing Taiwan to resume institutionalized negotiations between the Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) and mainland China's Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait (ARATS), SEF Chairman Chiang Pin-kung emphasizes that the SEF has always adhered to the principles of parity and dignity, safeguarding the rights and interests of the people on both sides, and seeking mutual benefit in cross-strait negotiations. The current round of negotiations will be no different and the SEF will not fail the people's trust.

June 11, 2008
The MAC indicates that since the government began allowing visits to Taiwan by Category-2 and Category-3 Mainland tourists up to late April, a total of 288,420 person-trips to Taiwan have been made by such tourists in 22,956 groups. In addition, there have been a total of seven holiday cross-strait charter flight programs with a combined 301 flights, carrying 105,682 passengers.

June 11, 2008
The Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) delegation led by Chairman Chiang Pin-kung embarks for mainland China for negotiations. After a meeting between the chairmen of the SEF and the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait (ARATS) on the morning of June 12, SEF Vice Chairman and Secretary-general Kao Koong-lian and ARATS Executive Vice Chairman (ARATS) Sun Yafu jointly preside the SEF-ARATS negotiations. On June 13, SEF Chairman Chiang Pin-kung and ARATS Chairman Chen Yunlin sign the "SEF-ARATS Minutes of Talks on Cross-Strait Charter Flights" and the "Cross-Strait Agreement Signed Between SEF and ARATS Concerning Mainland Tourists Traveling to Taiwan."

June 12, 2008
During a meeting between Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) Chairman Chiang Pin-kung and Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait (ARATS) Chairman Chen Yunlin, the two sides exchange views on promptly resolving the two issues of cross-strait weekend charter flights and travel to Taiwan by Mainland residents. They also discuss matters related to promoting negotiations and enhancing contacts between the SEF and the ARATS. Chen Yunlin states at the meeting that the ARATS is willing to adhere to the spirit of "building mutual trust, shelving controversies, seeking common ground while reserving differences, and jointly creating a win-win outcome." Through negotiations with the SEF on an equal footing, the ARATS will also seek to pragmatically resolve issues of concern to compatriots on both sides of the Strait.

June 14, 2008
China Eastern Airlines President Cao Jianxiong leads a business mission to Taiwan to discuss ground service agency, marketing, aircraft maintenance guarantee, service standards, in-flight meal service, and other issues related to opening up aviation links.

June 16, 2008
China's Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait (ARATS) sends a letter to Taiwan's Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) informing the SEF of a bus accident involving Taiwan tourists in Tongjiang City, Heilongjiang Province, and follow-up handling of the situation.

June 16, 2008
A 39-member delegation from mainland China arrives in Taipei to begin an 11-day on-site inspection tour.

June 16, 2008
Representatives and negotiation groups from Mainland air carriers!DChina Eastern Airlines, China Southern Airlines, and Air China!Darrive in Taiwan for discussions with Taiwan's airline companies on related issues.

June 17, 2008
The Civil Aeronautics Administration announces the distribution plan for weekend charter flights by Mainland carriers. In the initial phase, the main passenger carriers will be Air China, China Eastern Airlines, China Southern Airlines, Hainan Airlines, Xiamen Airlines, and Shanghai Airlines.

June 17, 2008
China's Cross-Strait Tourism Exchange Association (CTEA) announces a list of the first batch of 33 travel agencies in 13 provinces and cities designated to provide Taiwan-outbound travel services for Mainland tourists.

June 18, 2008
During the period of June 3 to 15 when the 2008 Dragon Boat Festival charter flights were implemented, a total of 10 airlines on both sides across the Strait provided 19 roundtrip flights.

June 19, 2008
The Executive Yuan approves revisions to the "Regulations Governing the Trial Operation of Transportation Links Between Kinmen/Matsu and the Mainland Area." The revised regulations allow all people of the Taiwan Area, foreign nationals, and residents of Hong Kong and Macao holding valid entry/exit documentation to travel to/from the Mainland Area via Kinmen and Matsu after receiving permission from the National Immigration Agency under the Ministry of the Interior.

June 20, 2008
The Ministry of the Interior announces the quota and implementation scope and method for Mainland people applying to visit Taiwan for tourism activities, to be implemented from June 23, 2008.

June 20, 2008
The Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of Transportation and Communications instruct that the revised "Permit Regulations Governing the Sightseeing Activities in Taiwan by Mainland Tourists" will be implemented from June 23, 2008.

June 20, 2008
MAC Vice Chairman Fu Don-cheng states that, initially, Category-1 Mainland tourists visiting Taiwan will need to enter and exit as a group. The Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) and Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait (ARATS) have reached a consensus that Mainland tour groups may stay in Taiwan for up to 10 days. However, the effective allowable period of stay will be 12 days since a one-day extension is allowed and stays are calculated from the day after arrival.

June 20, 2008
The Investment Commission of the Ministry of Economic Affairs issues statistics indicating that in May 2008, approval was granted for 55 Mainland-bound investments with a total approved investment amount of US$1,157,923,000.

June 21, 2008
The Ministry of the Interior announces that Taiwan will daily process up to 4,311 applications by Mainland people intending to visit Taiwan for tourism.

June 21, 2008
Mainland China's Cross-Strait Tourism Exchange Association (CTEA) announces the "Matters Needing Attention for Travel by Mainland Residents to the Taiwan Area," the "Regulations on the Management of Tour Guides for Mainland Residents Traveling to the Taiwan Area," and the "Regulations on the Management of the 'Name List of Mainland Tour Groups Traveling to the Taiwan Area'."

June 22, 2008
Premier Liu Chao-shiuan convenes an inter-ministerial meeting to confirm all accompanying measures governing Mainland tourist visits to Taiwan. The meeting also establishes a task force, operational immediately, in charge of coordinating affairs among ministries.

June 25, 2008
The National Immigration Agency under the Ministry of the Interior states that it has strictly examined interview cases involving Mainland spouses entering Taiwan. It has also conducted on-site inspections of the living situation of the involved parties, bolstered interview mechanisms, and required the involved parties to prepare relevant income or financial statements as evidence during the interview.

June 27, 2008
The Financial Supervisory Commission of the Executive Yuan and the Central Bank of the Republic of China (Taiwan) revise the "Permit Regulations on Bringing Currency Issued in the Mainland Area to the Taiwan Area."

June 27, 2008
The Central Bank of the Republic of China (Taiwan) and the Financial Supervisory Commission of the Executive Yuan formulate the "Regulations Governing the Management and Currency Clearance of Renminbi in the Taiwan Area."

June 29, 2008
MAC Vice Chairman Fu Don-cheng states that mainland tourists can visit Taiwan via charter flights or flights transiting in a third area. The limited seating of charter flights will therefore not restrict the number of mainland tourists that can visit Taiwan.

June 30, 2008
The Bank of Taiwan begins buying and selling renminbi on Taiwan proper from June 30, 2008.

June 30, 2008
China National Tourism Administration (CNTA) Spokesperson Zhu Shanzhong announces that a total of 760 people will join the first Mainland group and exchange mission to Taiwan. The mission will be led by CNTA Director Shao Qiwei as chairman of the Cross-Strait Tourism Exchange Association (CTEA). The exchange mission will tour Taiwan for seven days, and the tour group will stay in Taiwan for 10 days.

July 2, 2008
In conjunction with the government's policy of cross-strait direct transportation links, the Taipei Customs Office on July 1 officially dispatches personnel to its Songshan Airport office. On July 4, the office will officially begin providing immigration and customs counter services for passengers at the airport.

July 3, 2008
The National Immigration Agency under the Ministry of the Interior announces the results of a review regarding the first group of Mainland tourists applying to visit Taiwan. It states that 752 Mainland tourists will be approved to visit Taiwan.

July 4, 2008
The Xinhua News Agency and the People's Daily re-station their reporters in Taiwan. Four correspondents from the two media agencies arrive in Taiwan to cover news events for three months.

July 7, 2008
The Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait (ARATS) and Taiwan-based "Foundation for the Promotion of China's Modernization" jointly hold the 13th "Cross-Strait Academic Symposium on China's Modernization" in Taipei. ARATS Vice Chairman Wang Zaixi arrives in Taiwan on July 6 to attend the symposium and present the opening address.

July 18, 2008
Tourist visits to Taiwan by the people of the Mainland Area are normalized on July 18.

July 18, 2008
Mainland China's Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait sends a letter to Taiwan's Straits Exchange Foundation expressing condolences to counties and cities in Taiwan struck by typhoon.

July 22, 2008
The MAC opens up the conversion between renminbi (RMB) and New Taiwan dollars in Taiwan. As of July 15, a total of 1,570 main offices and branches of 19 banks were approved to provide RMB purchase and sale services.

July 29, 2008
According to statistics released by the Bureau of Foreign Trade!AMinistry of Economic Affairs, from January to May 2008, Taiwan's total trade with mainland China amounted to US$46.39 billion, accounting for 21.7% of Taiwan's total external trade. Imports amounted to US$13.21 billion, or 12.7% of Taiwan's total import, netting Taiwan a US$19.96 billion trade surplus, up 20.8% from the same period a year before.

August 5, 2008
The Civil Aeronautics Administration of the Ministry of Transportation and Communications states that a total of 144 cross-strait weekend charter flights were implemented from the time of the launch of such flights in July 4, 2008, to the end of July 2008 (four weekends). On the Taiwan side, Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport handled the largest number of flights (71), followed by Songshan Airport (61), and Kaohsiung Airport (six). As for Mainland flight points, Shanghai Pudong Airport handled the most flights (70), followed by Guangzhou Airport (31).

August 6, 2008
Over 7,000 passengers underwent entry-exit inspection and quarantine on the Mawei-Matsu sea route in July, setting a new monthly record.

August 12, 2008
Premier Liu Chao-shiuan states that the government places considerable importance on the many violations of regulations and law by mainland Chinese visitors to Taiwan, as reported by the Ministry of the Interior (MOI). He instructs the MAC and the MOI to pay special attention to this matter and, if the need for legal or regulatory revisions arises, coordinate with other ministries to provide suggestions for inclusion in discussions through the cross-strait negotiation mechanism.

August 13, 2008
The MAC announces that, effective from today, the itineraries of Mainland tourists visiting Taiwan may include up to one and a half days of medical or cosmetic treatment. Tour members who do not wish to participate in such treatments will be free to engage in other tourist activities.

August 20, 2008
According to statistics from the Investment Commission under the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA), 26 mainland China-bound investments valued at US$387.645 million were approved in July 2008.

August 22, 2008
The MAC states that as of August 22, various sectors in Taiwan had donated over NT$1 billion for earthquake relief in Sichuan Province, China. Through the Straits Exchange Foundation, the government continues to express its willingness to assist in disaster relief and reconstruction work.

August 22, 2008
Straits Exchange Foundation Chairman Chiang Pin-kung states that the emphasis of next year's cross-strait negotiations will be placed on economic and trade issues, including the issue of establishing a mechanism for cross-strait banking supervision and management cooperation.

August 24, 2008
MAC Spokesperson Johnnason Liu states that in Kinmen, President Ma Ying-jeou clearly indicates that he hopes that an agreement with Beijing on expanding the "Mini-Three-Links" can be reached promptly. This would enable mainlanders residing outside of Fujian to visit the Kinmen and Matsu areas for sightseeing via the "Mini-Three-Links" route. This issue will also be included as one of the objectives of this year's communications between the Straits Exchange Foundation and the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait.

August 25, 2008
The Executive Yuan approves revisions to the "Permit Regulations Governing Investment and Technical Cooperation in the Mainland Area" and the "Principles for Review of Investment or Technical Cooperation in the Mainland Area."

August 26, 2008
MAC Deputy Minister Fu Don-cheng indicates that the "Mini-Three-Links" will be normalized in Penghu before cross-strait direct sea transportation links are implemented.

September 2, 2008
The Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) sends a formal letter to the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait (ARATS) stating that the NT$1.2 billion donation from various sectors in Taiwan is designated for use in rebuilding communities and schools in areas devastated by the Sichuan earthquake.

September 3, 2008
The Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait (ARATS) sends a reply letter to the Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) thanking various sectors in Taiwan for the large donation to support reconstruction in the Sichuan earthquake disaster area.

September 4, 2008
The Ministry of Economic Affairs invites various units to discuss the establishment of a task force to assist Taiwanese businesspeople through closer interaction with mainland chapters of the Taiwanese Businessmen's Association.

September 5, 2008
The MAC Chinese Development Fund and the Ministry of Education jointly hold the "2008 Beach Cleaning Activity Participated in by Taiwan, Hong Kong and Mainland China University Students."

September 5, 2008
A total of 228 travel operators in the Taiwan Area participate in the "Fourth Cross-Strait Travel Fair" held in Xiamen. The first-time participants include the delegations respectively formed by the tourism bureaus of Taipei County, Tainan City, Nantou County and Changhua County.

September 5, 2008
A total of eight airlines on the two sides of the Taiwan Strait offered 16 round-trip charter flights from Shanghai, Xiamen and Taipei during the Mid-Autumn Festival period.

September 7, 2008
The Shuzhuang Garden on Gulang Island, Xiamen and the Lin Family Garden in Taipei County signed an exchange and cooperation agreement at the "Round Table Meeting of the Fourth Cross-Strait Travel Fair" in Xiamen.

September 9, 2008
MAC Deputy Minister Fu Don-cheng states that the timing and method of sending Mainland pandas to Taiwan need to be negotiated between the two sides. However, it is not yet clear if negotiations will be handled between the Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) and the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait (ARATS) or between the Council of Agriculture and Taipei Zoo. Although negotiations will be required before the pandas can come to Taiwan, the two sides will not necessarily have to sign an agreement.

September 12, 2008
Regarding the melamine contamination of infant formula produced by the Sanlu Group in Hebei Province, China, mainland China's General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine indicates that 25 metric tons of milk powder from the same production batch was exported to Taiwan in June. The Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait (ARATS) notified the Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) about this matter. The Mainland side also requests that the milk powder be destroyed on site.

September 14, 2008
MAC Deputy Minister Fu Don-cheng states that the Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) has been instructed to send a letter to the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait (ARATS) demanding that the Mainland side promptly conduct an investigation into the facts about the contaminated Sanlu-brand milk powder exported from the Mainland to Taiwan. The letter also demands that the Mainland side duly punish the company for food safety negligence and demand that it make an apology and pay compensation.

September 14, 2008
Regarding the information released by related Mainland agencies about the melamine-contaminated milk powder made by China's Sanlu Group, the Department of Health states that it has conducted a thorough examination of the flow of contaminated imported products and has an initial understanding of where the contaminated products were sold.

September 15, 2008
In response to the melamine-contaminated milk powder made by China's Sanlu Group, the Bureau of Standards, Metrology and Inspection under the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) begins label inspection for products made with Mainland- produced milk powder. All products made by the Sanlu Group are prohibited from import to Taiwan, and other products should have a melamine examination report by China's General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine certifying that the products are up to standard before they can be allowed to be imported.

September 16, 2008
The Civil Aeronautics Administration of the Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC) issues a press release indicating that during the first 10 weeks of cross-strait weekend charter flights, a total of 180 flights were operated. The total passenger capacity of these flights was 160,848 seats, and actual passenger volume was 138,395, equal to an average load factor of 86%.

September 17, 2008
The Department of Health under the Executive Yuan announces that the government has decided to prohibit the import of all dairy products made by 22 mainland Chinese enterprises.

September 17, 2008
The Salvage Committee of the China Navigation Institute of China and the Taiwan-based Chinese Search and Rescue Association sign a "Letter of Intent to Strengthen Cooperation on Sea Rescue and Salvage."

September 17, 2008
The Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait (ARATS) sends a letter to the Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) expressing sympathy for victims in Taiwan areas struck by typhoon disaster.

September 19, 2008
Statistics from the Investment Commission of the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) indicate that 21 Mainland-bound investments with a total capital amount of US$461,263,000 were approved in August 2008.

September 20, 2008
The Ministry of Education (MOE) revises the University Act and Junior College Act to provide a legal basis for students from Hong Kong, Macao and the Mainland Area to study in Taiwan.

September 23, 2008
The Department of Health orders Mainland-produced milk powder and other raw materials off the market due to serious contamination.

September 23, 2008
The Tourism Bureau of the Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC) issues a press release stating that Mainland tourists can still engage in free activities under the "group entry and exit" rules.

September 23, 2008
In response to questions from the media at the Legislative Yuan, Premier Liu Chao-shiuan states that the government has instructed the Department of Health to form a delegation of experts to visit the Mainland with assistance from the Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) to thoroughly understand matters related to the contaminated milk powder incident.

September 23, 2008
Immigration units of public security agencies in mainland China introduce three facilitation measures, including adjusting the number arrangement rules for current five-year Mainland Travel Permits for Taiwan Residents (Taiwan Compatriots Certificate), increasing the number of units able to replace or exchange Taiwan Compatriots Certificates, and allowing applications for Taiwan Compatriots Certificates at ports of arrival.

September 25, 2008
The spokesperson of the Taiwan Affairs Office under the State Council states that the Mainland side agrees to allow experts from Taiwan to visit the Mainland to understand and communicate the situation regarding contaminated milk powder. The Mainland also agrees to appropriately handle issues involving cross-strait food safety through the direct liaison channel under the framework of the Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) and the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait (ARATS).

September 26, 2008
Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) Chairman Chiang Pin-kung and SEF Deputy Secretary-general Chang Shu-ti convene a press conference to announce the formal formation of a team of Taiwan food health experts. The team will go to Beijing on September 27 to communicate with experts at related agencies in mainland China on issues regarding the melamine-contaminated dairy products.

September 26, 2008
The MAC announces that five local media organizations in the Mainland will be allowed to station reporters in Taiwan. Applications will be accepted up to September 30.

September 26, 2008
The Department of Health begins processing applications for "certificates of melamine-free mainland Chinese products or raw materials."

September 28, 2008
Through communication between the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait (ARATS) and the Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF), food health officials on the two sides reach a consensus to promptly establish a cross-strait food safety liaison mechanism under the SEF-ARATS framework.

September 29, 2008
SEF Deputy Secretary-general Chang Shu-ti states that during his visit to mainland China for discussions with mainland Chinese health officials on the handling of the contaminated milk powder incident, the two sides also discussed food safety issues. Both sides hope to establish a mechanism for cross-strait food safety notification and liaison.

September 30, 2008
Amidst the worsening situation with the contaminated dairy product incident in mainland China, MAC Minister Lai Shin-yuan states that the Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) and the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait (ARATS) would establish a notification window for special handling of this matter.

September 30, 2008
MAC Spokesperson Johnnason Liu states that contaminated milk powder imported from mainland China to Taiwan has created injury. The Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) will apply for compensation through the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait (ARATS). It will also use the SEF-ARATS framework to submit a class action suit against the Mainland side.

September 30, 2008
A total of 257 travelers in nine groups become the first Mainland residents to travel to Taiwan for tourism via Kinmen, Matsu and Penghu.

October 1, 2008
Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) Chairman Chiang Pin-kung meets with a mainland Chinese delegation led by Wang Rong, member of the Standing Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Jiangsu Provincial Committee and secretary of the CPC Suzhou Municipal Committee.

October 1, 2008
The Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) receives a letter from mainland China's Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait (ARATS) informing that, excepting the 25 tons of whole milk powder previously exported by Sanlu Group, no other related products have been exported to Taiwan.

October 2, 2008
The Department of Health (DOH) under the Executive Yuan states that milk powder manufactured in Heilongjiang Province of mainland China was found to have contained trace amounts of melamine. The DOH has demanded that the said products be removed from the shelves to safeguard the consumer rights.

October 3, 2008
According to the latest statistics from the Tourism Bureau under the Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC), as of October 2, a total of 20,994 mainland Chinese tourists have visited Taiwan since such visits were officially opened on July 18.

October 6, 2008
The Ministry of Economic Affairs announces that it will allow products made in parts of Taiwan other than Kinmen and Matsu to be exported to mainland China via Kinmen and Matsu, effective immediately.

October 6, 2008
The Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) sends a letter to mainland China's Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait (ARATS) informing that the Taiwan side has designated the Bureau of Food Safety under the Cabinet-level Department of Health (DOH) and the Bureau of Standards, Metrology and Inspection under the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) as the contact windows for direct reporting of emergencies between the competent agencies across the Strait for food health issues. The ARATS sends a return letter notifying that the Mainland side has designated the Department of Medical Administration under the Ministry of Health and the Bureau of Import and Export Food Safety under the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine as the counterpart contact windows on the Mainland side.

October 6, 2008
Results of a MAC survey indicate that, among mainland Chinese cultural and education personnel visiting Taiwan, 99% are satisfied with the itinerary arrangements and 89% say that the visits have a positive impact on their field of specialization.

October 7, 2008
The Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) sends a letter to mainland China's Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait (ARATS) expressing condolences over the earthquake disaster in Xinjiang and Tibet.

October 8, 2008
As chairperson of the Taiwan Strait Tourism Association (TSTA), Director-general Janice Lai of the Tourism Bureau under the Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC) leads a group of over 100 tourism business representatives to Beijing and Nanjing to hold introduction seminars.

October 9, 2008
The Kaohsiung Customs Office states that, according to an announcement by the Ministry of Economic Affairs, goods from areas in Taiwan other than Kinmen and Matsu may be exported to mainland China via Kinmen and Matsu, effective from September 30, 2008. The requirement that exports with an FOB (free on board) value of over US$100,000 have an affidavit of examination certificate issued by the Taiwanese Businessmen's Association will also be eliminated.

October 15, 2008
A MAC public opinion survey indicates that 52% of the respondents support the position that mainland China should issue a public apology over the export of contaminated milk to Taiwan before Chen Yunlin, chairman of the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS), is allowed to visit Taiwan. A total of 64.29% of the respondents approve of holding the Second Chiang-Chen Talks in Taiwan and allowing the institutionalized negotiations to smoothly proceed.

October 15, 2008
The MAC holds the Award Ceremony and Symposium for the 7th Award for Outstanding Groups Promoting Cross-Strait Professional Exchanges.

October 16, 2008
The National Immigration Agency under the Ministry of the Interior revises regulations to allow people of the Mainland Area holding an identity card issued in the Mainland Area and a valid travel permit to visit Penghu for tourism purposes.

October 17, 2008
The Taipei Customs Office states that the Department of Health under the Executive Yuan has placed a comprehensive ban on milk powder and related products imported from mainland China. The measure is aimed at blocking the import of Mainland products contaminated with melamine, such as milk powder, other dairy products, non-dairy creamer, and vegetable protein.

October 17, 2008
The Department of Health states that from October 17, 2008, Taiwan will prohibit the import of ammonium bicarbonate raw materials from mainland China.

October 19, 2008
Zhang Mingqing, vice chairman of the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait (ARATS), leads a delegation to visit Taiwan as dean of the School of Journalism and Communication at Xiamen University.

October 20, 2008
The Investment Commission under the Ministry of Economic Affairs announces that 34 mainland China-bound investment cases were approved in September 2008, with a total approved investment amount of US$1,263,382,000.

October 21, 2008
Zhang Mingqing, vice chairman of the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait (ARATS), sends a letter to the Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) expressing intense outrage and condemnation over the attack against him during a visit to Tainan City.

October 21, 2008
The Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) sends a reply letter to the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait (ARATS) regarding the security incident involving ARATS Vice Chairman Zhang Mingqing. It states that the competent authorities in Taiwan are investigating the troublemakers and taking rigorous measures to protect the security of Vice Chairman Zhang during the remainder of his itinerary. A recurrence of this type of incident will not be allowed.

October 21, 2008
A spokesperson of the Taiwan Affairs Office under mainland China's State Council issues a statement expressing intense outrage and condemnation over the attack against Zhang Mingqing during his visit to Taiwan. The Mainland side demands that Taiwan severely punish the troublemakers and uphold the rights of the people on both sides for normal exchanges.

October 22, 2008
The National Immigration Agency under the Ministry of the Interior repatriates 72 illegal mainland Chinese stowaways on Matsu back to the mainland.

October 22, 2008
Based on the Kinmen Accord, the Red Cross Society of Fujian Province makes arrangements for repatriation of Mainland stowaways in Matsu with the Red Cross Society of the Republic of China. It also hands over to the Taiwan side 13 Taiwan residents suspected of involvement in fraud, robbery and illegal immigration.

October 24, 2008
The list of finalists for the "12th Awards for News Reporting on Cross-Strait Relations" is announced at a ceremony sponsored by the Chinese Development Fund and co-sponsored by Ming Chuan University. The finalists included 21 news reports and 50 news personnel.

October 27, 2008
The Ministry of Education proposes two plans to "extend the maximum period of study in Taiwan for mainland Chinese students to one year" and "ease regulations on universities promoting extension education programs in mainland China, Kinmen and Matsu."

October 27, 2008
Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) Vice Chairman and Secretary-general Kao Koong-lian leads an 11-person delegation to visit Shenzhen in mainland China for holding preparatory talks with representatives of the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait (ARATS) on Chen Yunlin's visit to Taiwan.

October 27, 2008
The SEF receives a letter from mainland China's Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait (ARATS) apologizing to consumers and businesses in Taiwan affected by the tainted milk powder incident.

October 28, 2008
The Department of Health announces that from today all protein powder made in mainland China will be prohibited from import into Taiwan.

October 31, 2008
Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS) Standing Vice Chairman Zheng Lizhong leads a delegation composed of Secretary-general Li Yafei and others to visit Taipei to plan arrangements for the itinerary, negotiations and agreement signing venue during the Chiang-Chen Talks.

November 1, 2008
The ARATS sends advance personnel for discussions with related personnel of the SEF regarding the SEF-ARATS talks in Taipei on November 3.

November 3, 2008
ARATS Chairman Chen Yunlin arrives with a Mainland negotiation delegation at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport. He delivers a prepared speech expressing thanks to the reception arranged by people from various sectors in Taiwan.

November 3, 2008
The SEF and the ARATS held a second round of preparatory consultations on the related agreements to be signed at the upcoming Second Chiang-Chen Talks. SEF Vice Chairman and Secretary-general Kao Koong-lian states that the four issues discussed are all related to people's livelihood and economy and are entirely nonpolitical in nature.

November 3, 2008
During a welcome ceremony held at the SEF, ARATS Chairman Chen Yunlin states that the Mainland delegation has two major tasks during its visit to Taiwan: 1) to hold negotiations and sign agreements with the SEF on the four issues of direct cross-strait air transport, direct cross-strait sea transport, postal cooperation, and food safety; and 2) to exchange views on how to deal with the impact caused by the global financial storm on the cross-strait economy.

November 4, 2008
SEF Chairman Chiang Pin-kung and ARATS Chairman Chen Yunlin meet for the Second Chiang-Chen Talks, marking the first meeting in Taiwan between leaders of the SEF and the ARATS. The two sides signed four agreements on direct cross-strait air transport, direct cross-strait air transport, postal cooperation, and food safety. In addition, they discussed ways to promote Mainland tourist visits to Taiwan, cooperatively respond to the international finance crisis, and strengthen cross-strait economic exchanges. The two sides also exchanged views on issues to be included in the next stage of SEF-ARATS negotiations as well as on strengthening contacts between the two organizations and developing exchanges and cooperation.

November 5, 2008
The SEF and the ARATS jointly hold the "Cross-Strait Industrial, Commercial and Shipping Seminar" and "Cross-Strait Financial Symposium" to conduct discussions and exchanges on ways to jointly respond to the international financial crisis and strengthen financial cooperation.

November 7, 2008
ARATS Chairman Chen Yunlin and the ARATS delegation complete their visit to Taiwan and return to Beijing.

November 9, 2008
The MAC announces the results of a public opinion survey. The survey results indicate that over 70 percent of the public support the institutionalized mechanism for negotiations across the Taiwan Strait. Between 70 and 80 percent of the public also feel satisfied with the four agreements signed during the latest round of cross-strait talks, and over 60 percent of the public believe the concrete results of the talks will have a positive impact on Taiwan's economic development. In addition, a considerable majority (67 percent) of the public disagree with the statement that Chairman Chen Yunlin's visit to Taiwan will undermine Taiwan's national dignity.

November 20, 2008
SEF Vice Chairman and Secretary-general Kao Koong-lian leads a delegation to Shenzhen and Dongguan for meetings with officials of Guangdong's Taiwan Affairs Office and the secretary of the Dongguan Municipal Committee of the Communist Party of China to discuss ways to help Taiwanese businesses transform and upgrade their operations. During the visit, Vice Chairman Kao also seeks to encourage Mainland-based Taiwanese businesses to reinvest in Taiwan.

November 23, 2008
SEF Deputy Secretary-general Lin Shu-min leads an SEF notary delegation to mainland China for visits and exchange activities in Guangzhou, Shanghai, and Beijing.

November 27, 2008
ARATS Secretary-general Li Yafei meets in Beijing with SEF Deputy Secretary-general Lin Shu-min and the Mainland Mission for Cross-Strait Notary Affairs.

November 27, 2008
At the Cross-Strait Financial Academic Research Seminar, ARATS Vice Chairman Sun Yafu states that the two sides should accelerate progress on financial cooperation and confirm the financial issues to be discussed at the next Chiang-Chen Talks.

December 5, 2008
The SEF sends a letter to ARATS requesting prompt assistance in coordinating the related agencies to grant approval and provide necessary administrative convenience for Amway employee to visit Taiwan to attend a company seminar.

December 10, 2008
The SEF receives documentation from mainland China's Endangered Species Import and Export Management Office for the export of pandas to Taiwan.