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President Tsai's 2016 National Day Address(excerpt: cross-Strait relations)

  • Date:2016-10-10

In the process of regional development, our role is different from that of mainland China. Taiwan has substantial experience and advantages in talent cultivation, agricultural development, science and technology innovation, medical care, SMEs and other fields, and we will take full advantage of these to contribute actively to regional development. On regional infrastructure development and in multilateral economic and trade cooperation, we are also willing to negotiate and cooperate with the other side of the Taiwan Strait, to jointly forge historical milestones.

On cross-strait relations, I once again reiterate the immovable position of the new government, and that is to establish a consistent, predictable and sustainable cross-strait relationship, and to maintain both Taiwan’s democracy and the status quo of peace across the Taiwan Strait.

Maintaining the status quo is the pledge I made to voters. Not a single sentence from my inaugural address on May 20 has ever changed. The new government will conduct cross-strait affairs in accordance with the Constitution of the Republic of China, the Act Governing Relations between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area, and other relevant legislation. And we will spare no effort in maintaining mechanisms for dialogue and communication across the Taiwan Strait.

We respect the historical fact that in 1992, the two institutions representing each side across the strait (SEF & ARATS) met, and we advocate that both sides must collectively cherish and sustain the accumulated outcomes enabled by over twenty years of cross-strait interactions and negotiations since 1992, and continuously promote the stable and peaceful development of the cross-strait relationship based on such existing political foundations. I also call on the two governing parties across the strait to set aside the baggage of history, and engage in positive dialogue for the benefit of people on both sides.

Although cross-strait relations have seen certain ups and downs in the past months, our position remains consistent and firm. Our pledges will not change, and our goodwill will not change. But we will not bow to pressure, and we will of course not revert to the old path of confrontation. This is our fundamental attitude toward maintaining the status quo, and it is based on the collective hope for peace across the Taiwan Strait.

I want to stress that maintaining the status quo has a more proactive meaning: With deepening democracy as foundation, we will take proactive and forward-looking measures to promote constructive exchanges and dialogue across the strait, in order to build a peaceful and stable cross-strait relationship that endures.

I call upon the authorities of mainland China to face up to the reality that the Republic of China exists, and that the people of Taiwan have an unshakable faith in the democratic system. The two sides of the strait should sit down and talk as soon as possible. Anything can be included for discussion, as long as it is conducive to the development of cross-strait peace and the welfare of people on both sides. Leaders on both sides should jointly display wisdom and flexibility, and with a calm attitude, bring together a divided present toward a win-win future.

【Source: Office of the President】