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President Tsai delivers 2017 National Day Address(excerpt:cross-Strait relations)

  • Date:2017-10-10

Although we are strengthening our military capabilities, we do not seek war. We remain committed to maintaining peace and stability both in the Taiwan Strait and across the region. Meanwhile, we will continue to safeguard Taiwan's freedom, democracy, and way of life, as well as ensure the Taiwanese people's right to decide our own future.

Cross-strait relations are an issue that affects Taiwan's future and the long-term welfare of our 23 million people. Since May 20 last year, we have exerted maximum goodwill in order to safeguard the peaceful and stable development of cross-strait relations. Although political differences between the two sides have led to some complications, we have nevertheless worked to maintain the basic stability of cross-strait relations.

As I have stated on many occasions: "Our goodwill will not change, our commitments will not change, we will not revert to the old path of confrontation, and we will not bow to pressure." This has been my consistent position on cross-strait relations.

This year marks the 30th anniversary of cross-strait exchanges. Over the past 30 years, hostility between the two sides of the strait has been replaced by peaceful development. A new chapter has been written in cross-strait relations. Key to this was that both sides were able to put aside political differences in order to be pragmatic and realistic. In the course of exchanges and interactions, both sides accumulated goodwill and established new interactions and ways of thinking.

We should treasure these hard-fought results and the accumulated goodwill from the past 30 years. On this existing basis, we hope for more breakthroughs in the cross-strait relationship.

This year also marks the 30th anniversary of Taiwan allowing familial visits to the mainland. Even today, footage of family members reuniting for the first time continues to be emotional. 

In 2011, Taiwan also opened up to students from the mainland. Since then, young people from both sides of the strait have started to live, study, and think together. In this process, they started to gradually understand the differences in each other's backgrounds. 
They have started to develop mutual understanding, so that they can work together to build a more prosperous and peaceful world.

As we face new circumstances in cross-strait and regional relations, leaders from both sides should together work to display the political wisdom that has carried us through over the years. We should search for new modes of cross-strait interactions with determination and patience. This will lay a more solid basis for long-term peace and stability in the cross-strait relationship.

【Source: Office of the President】