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January 8, 1999
ARATS Deputy Secretary-general Yang Xiaoming leads a delegation to take part in a seminar in Taiwan.

January 9, 1999
While meeting with representatives of the Liberal-Democratic Party of Japan, ARATS Chairman Wang Daohan says he is prepared to visit Taiwan this year to advance cross-strait exchanges.

January 10, 1999
ARATS Chairman Wang Daohan publishes an article on Cross-strait Relations Magazine with the title of "Glorious Document, Historical Chapter", asking the two sides to launch a political dialogue.

January 11, 1999
In a letter to ARATS, SEF asked ARATS to assist in the repariation of nine Mainland hijackers and two children in accordance with the principles of humanitarianism, safety and comfort. ARATS replied on January 20 its willingness to do so.

January 12, 1999
ARATS sends representatives to U.S., Japan, Singapore and Thailand to promote its policy propaganda.

January 15, 1999
In a letter to SEF, ARATS invites the SEF deputy secretary-general to lead a delegation to visit the Mainland in late February or early March to exchange opinions on SEF-ARATS dialogues.

January 22, 1999
In a letter to ARATS, SEF welcomes ARATS Chairman Wang to visit Taiwan in spring to resume constructive dialogues. SEF also invites the ARATS deputy secretary-general to visit Taiwan in late February for pre-arrangement discussions.

January 29, 1999
ARATS consultant Lin Liyun leads a delegation of the Mainland Minority Artists to visit Taiwan for 10 days.

February 1, 1999
In letter to SEF, ARATS proposes having SEF-ARATS political and economic dialogues.

February 4, 1999
During visits to the Buddhist Tziyun Temple, in Chinshui, and meeting with relatives, ARATS consultant Lin Liyun insists on the removal of the ROC national flag.

February 5, 1999
Regarding the issues related to ARATS consultant Lin Liyun and the ROC national flag, MAC Chairman Su Chi says such an incident would be negative to cross-strait exchanges and friendly interactions. The government has adopted laws and regulations governing the Mainland professionals' visits to Taiwan, but it did not strictly enforce regulations. Su said no similar event should happen in the future.

February 9, 1999
SEF and the Mainland China Red Cross sign the "Delivery Agreement" in Kinmen to send back to Mainland China five Mainland Chinese hijackers -- Liu Baocai, Lo Changhua, Wang Yuying, Zo Weijiang, and Li Xiangyu -- who have completed the jail terms in Taiwan.

February 12, 1999
SEF sends a New Years greetings to ARATS, urging ARATS to send representatives to discuss issues related to Wang's visit as soon as possible.

February 13, 1999
In a letter to SEF, ARATS says it will send a deputy secretary-general to lead a delegation to visit Taiwan and exchange opinions with SEF on the timing for Wang's visit.

February 26, 1999
In a letter to ARATS, SEF suggests to ARATS that the deputy secretary-general visit Taiwan during March 15-17.

March 2, 1999
In a letter to SEF, ARATS says that Deputy Secretary-general Li Yafei will lead a delegation to Taiwan during March 17-19.

March 17-19, 1999
ARATS Deputy Secretary-general Li Yafei arrives Taiwan to discuss with SEF regarding Wang's visit to Taiwan, which was one of the four agreements reached during the Koo-Wang Meeting last October. Both sides reach an agreement in principle that Wang will pay a five or six-day visit to Taiwan this fall.

March 28, 1999
Yu Xiaosong, chairman of the PRC International Trade Promotion Committee, leads a delegation to participate in the "Seminar for Cross-strait Cooperation in Distribution Industry" in Taiwan.

April 2, 1999
In a letter to ARATS, SEF suggests that for the purposes of enhancing cross-strait dialogues, those at the level of deputy secretary-general and directors of the two associations conduct parallel negotiations in Beijing on the preparation for Wang's visit to Taiwan this fall as well as on practical issues such as the repatriation of hijackers.

April 16, 1999
Replying to a SEF letter on April 2, ARATS agrees that SEF may send representatives at a proper time to exchange opinions with ARATS on Wang's visit to Taiwan. ARATS says that SEF-ARATS contacts right now should be oriented toward realizing the four agreements reached at the Koo-Wang meeting. ARATS hopes SEF to respond at an early date on making arrangements for resumption of the cross-strait dialogue.

April 16, 1999
ARATS explains in a letter reasons for denying SEF Vice Chairman Chang Liang-jen from participating in Taiwan businessmen's golf tournaments in Guilin and Fuzhou.

April 23, 1999
In a letter to ARATS, SEF expresses the view that the two associations may enter into constructive dialogue during Wang's visit to Taiwan. SEF suggests again having meetings in mid-May to discuss Wang's trip and repatriation of hijackers and stowaways.

June 27-29, 1999
A delegation led by Jan Jyh-horng, deputy secretary-general of SEF, visits Mainland China to settle matters for ARATS Chairman Wang Daohan's visit to Taiwan. The delegation includes Director of Department of Legal Service Hsieh Fu-yuan, Section Chief Ho Wu-liang, Specialists Kao Fu-yueh, Liu Hui-ling, Wang Cheng-lei, and Lu Cheng-kai, staff member Chang Feng-ching, and MAC Section Chief James Chang.

July 15, 1999
Sending a letter to ARATS, SEF requests ARATS to promptly coordinate with other Mainland authorities to arrange the repatriation of illegal Mainland stowaways now in Taiwan. In a news release, SEF says government statistics show that as of July 14, there are more than 500 illegal Mainland stowaways pending repatriation, who have been detained for more than four months here. Their stay not only causes many problems, but also incurs a huge social cost and a waste of manpower and resources. Expenditures for the care of these Mainland Chinese stowaways exceed NT$600 million.

July 30, 1999
In a SEF-arranged briefing, Chairman Koo Chen-fu elaborates on President Lee Teng-hui's statement that the cross-strait relationship is a "special state-to-state relationship." Koo emphasizes that the "special state-to-state relationship" is the ROC government's position made in line with the consensus in 1993 that "One China principle can be subject to the interpretation of the two sides respectively." Koo's remarks are faxed to ARATS right away. However, ARATS sends it back to SEF in two hours, claiming that Koo's remarks "seriously violate the 'one China' principle."

July 30, 1999
ARATS makes a statement in the name of its person-in-charge that SEF Chairman Koo Chen-fu's remarks are "unbecoming," adding that "the basis for ARATS-SEF exchanges and dialogue no longer exists."

August 3, 1999
The seventh Academic Seminar on the Promotion of China's Modernization, co-sponsored by ARATS, is held in Taipei.

August 4, 1999
SEF Vice Chairman and Secretary-general Shi Hwei-yow says that there is a 75% chance ARATS Chairman Wang Daohan will visit Taiwan.

August 4, 1999
ARATS Deputy Secretary-general Li Yafei says there is no final decision on whether ARATS Chairman Wang Daohan will visit Taiwan. The PRC is waiting for Taiwan's next move.

September 8, 1999
Mainland China President Jiang Zemin says that there are two conditions for a visit to Taiwan by Wang Daohan. One is that Lee Teng-hui must publicly retract the "two states" theory. The other is that Lee Teng-hui may receive Wang Daohan only in his capacity as Chairman of the KMT.

September 9, 1999
MAC Chairman Su Chi says that the two conditions for a visit to Taiwan by Wang Daohan set by Jiang Zemin amount to creating artificial barriers.

September 10, 1999
Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait (ARATS) Standing Vice Chairman Tang Shubei says that Wang Daohan will not be able to visit Taiwan until Lee Teng-hui retracts the "two states" theory.

September 11, 1999
ARATS Standing Vice Chairman Tang Shubei says that he hopes that after the presidential election in Taiwan, the new president will abandon the "two states" theory. Tang also says that there is a possibility of Wang Daohan visiting Taiwan after March.

September 13, 1999
ARATS Standing Vice Chairman Tang Shubei says that Wang Daohan had originally planned to visit Taiwan in the autumn of 1999, but that now, because of the "two states" theory, it is no longer convenient for him to make the visit, because for Wang to visit Taiwan at this time would amount to abandoning the foundations of mainland China's "one country, two systems" policy.

September 17, 1999
An official of the Taiwan Affairs Office in mainland China says the door has not yet been completely closed on the possibility of Wang Daohan visiting Taiwan.

September 23, 1999
ARATS sends a letter to the Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) stating that mainland China is willing to make a donation to disaster relief in Taiwan following the Chi-chi Earthquake, and that they are also willing to send experts to Taiwan to assist in disaster relief. SEF Deputy Secretary General Jan Jyh-horng says that the Taiwanese government is grateful for mainland China's offer, and is willing to accept the donation, but that regarding the offer of material assistance and expert personnel, mainland China will be notified of the government's decision after further evaluation has been undertaken.

September 24, 1999
ARATS sends a further letter asking whether Taiwan wishes to "go through mainland China" to request help from the United Nations. The SEF immediately responds to this highly provocative action by sending a letter in reply thanking mainland China for their offer but refusing it.

September 29, 1999
In an interview with the "Voice of America," ARATS Standing Vice Chairman Tang Shubei says that cross-strait relations cannot return to normal until Taiwan retracts the "two states" theory.

October 14, 1999
MAC Chairman Su Chi says that the SEF and ARATS are the mechanisms for negotiation authorized by the governments of Taiwan and mainland China, and that their negotiating function should not be broken off lightly.

October 14, 1999
In an address given on the anniversary of the Koo-Wang talks in Shanghai, SEF Chairman Koo Chen-fu notes that Taiwan would welcome a visit to Taiwan by ARATS Chairman Wang Daohan at a proper time, and that if necessary he is willing to go to Beijing or Shanghai to invite Wang Daohan to visit Taiwan.

October 27, 1999
ARATS Standing Vice Chairman Tang Shubei says that mainland China's demand that Taiwan formally retract the "two states" theory will not be relaxed when President Lee Teng-hui completes his term of office next year. Tang goes on to say that the "two states" theory has already destroyed the plans for Wang Daohan to visit Taiwan this autumn, and that Beijing cannot accept the suggestion that Koo Chen-fu visit mainland China instead.

October 28, 1999
The MAC appeals to the authorities in mainland China to recommence cross-strait negotiation as early as possible, so as to reach agreement on the return of mainland Chinese citizens who have entered Taiwan illegally.

October 30, 1999
The SEF convenes a preparatory meeting for the Conference on Cross-strait Earthquake Related Exchange and Collaboration.

November 2, 1999
In the selection of the fourth term of directors and supervisors of the SEF, although a small number of directors and supervisors are appointed to new posts, the SEF's membership structure and representativeness remains largely unchanged.

November 3, 1999
In July, the Bureau of Immigration, National Police Administration had already authorized the issuing of Taiwan entry permits to mainland China citizens in Macao; however, the officials on mainland China had not yet received any instructions on the matter. The SEF say that they will consider sending a letter to ARATS, asking them to notify the relevant departments in mainland China of this decision by Taiwan.

November 3, 1999
ARATS Standing Vice Chairman Tang Shubei says that a meeting between Koo Chen-fu and Wang Daohan at the time of the hand-over of Macao to mainland China cannot be ruled out.

November 9, 1999
In an interview, a mainland China official with responsibility for Taiwan affairs says that "there is no room for optimism about developments in cross-strait relations in the near future." The official expresses the hope that Koo Chen-fu and Wang Daohan will be able to meet in Macao, but says that even if the meeting does take place cross-strait relations will not improve in the short term.

November 16, 1999
Executive Yuan Premier Vincent Siew says that Taiwan has always taken a positive attitude towards cross-strait talks, and that if mainland China is also interested in holding talks as the rumors go, the government could consider sending Koo Chen-fu to Macao to meet with Wang Daohan.

November 29, 1999
Zhang Nianchi, a member of Wang Daohan's brains trust, recently had an article published in Hong Kong monthly China Review in which he suggested that the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party should establish a National Unification Committee. He also said that the most important task in cross-strait relations at the beginning of the new century is for the two sides to sign a treaty to end the state of hostility, and to work together to draft a "Basic Law for Taiwan."

December 1, 1999
MAC Chairman Su Chi says that there is no need to issue a further letter inviting Wang Daohan to Taiwan.

December 1, 1999
ARATS issues letters of invitation to various persons in Taiwan inviting them to attend the ceremony being held to mark the hand-over of sovereignty in Macao and the swearing-in ceremony for the members of the new government of the "Macao Special Administrative Region, People's Republic of China."

December 2, 1999
SEF Chairman Koo Chen-fu says that entry into the WTO for Taiwan and mainland China will provide an opportunity for negotiation between the two sides. Koo says that after the two sides join the WTO, there will be some adjustments in the SEF's functions, in order to deal with the new situation in cross-strait relations. Koo expresses the hope that joining the WTO will help to create an opportunity for Wang Daohan to come to Taiwan.

December 2, 1999
The SEF and MAC both say that, with regard to the release of the vessel Hsin Hua and the declarations made by members of the crew, they hope that the detained crew members will be released as soon as possible. They also express regret over the improper treatment given to members of the crew, and say that the incident has no bearing on the issue of direct shipping links between Taiwan and mainland China.

December 2, 1999
The senior officials of the SEF are re-elected. Koo Chen-fu is re-appointed Chairman for a fourth term; Hsu Hui-you is re-appointed Secretary General.

December 17, 1999
The SEF sends a letter to ARATS concerning the murder of Taiwanese businessman Li Tsung-pai in Kunming, asking that mainland China investigate the case thoroughly in accordance with the wishes of the victim's family.

December 17, 1999
ARATS sends a reply to the SEF expressing appreciation for their invitation for mainland China earthquake experts to visit Taiwan.

December 21, 1999
ARATS Vice Chairman Tang Shubei says that the return of Macao to China has once again demonstrated that "One country, two systems" is the framework for solving the Taiwan issue.

December 23, 1999
ARATS Standing Vice Chairman Tang Shubei says that the system applied in Taiwan will differ from that applied in Hong Kong and Macao, and that the relationship between Taiwan and mainland China is a special one based on the "One China" principle.

December 23, 1999
ARATS Chairman Wang Daohan expresses a desire to visit Taiwan as soon as possible, and expresses regret that he will not be able to make the journey this autumn.

December 28, 1999
The SEF's Southern Region Service Center is established in Kaohsiung.