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President Ma holds discussions with experts on PRC military affairs

President Ma Ying-jeou met on the morning of October 28 with
an international group of scholars currently in Taipei to attend the 2010 International
Conference on PLA Affairs. During the meeting, the president reiterated his stance
of "no unification, no independence, and no use of force" and his intention to continue
conducting cross-strait relations on the basis of the "1992 Consensus."

The president noted that the cross-strait military imbalance
has been growing steadily more lopsided in favor of mainland China since 2005, and
this has elicited close scrutiny from Taiwan, neighboring nations, and the entire
world. Accordingly, since taking office as president he has taken a series of measures
to improve cross-strait relations, reduce tensions, and enhance Taiwan's ability
to respond to contingencies and handle problems.

The president stated his view that, from a long-term perspective,
Taiwan must shore up its national defense, but will not engage in an arms race with
mainland China. In his inaugural address two years ago, the president stressed that
he would act within the framework of the ROC Constitution to maintain the status
quo of "no unification, no independence, and no use of force," and that he would
conduct cross-strait relations on the basis of the "1992 Consensus." The term "no
unification" means that he will not discuss the subject of cross-strait unification
with mainland China during his term in office as president; the term "no independence"
means that the Republic of China will not support a policy of de jure independence
for Taiwan; and the term "no use of force" means opposition to the use of force
to settle the Taiwan Strait issue.

As for the "1992 Consensus," President Ma emphasized that the
two sides reached a consensus in 1992 whereby, with regard to the meaning of the
term "one China," our side understands there to be "one China, respective interpretations."
Mainland China officials also mentioned this consensus when they were recently in
Taiwan to attend a meeting, and the president is confident that there is a common
understanding regarding the consensus. On this basis, the two sides have concluded
14 agreements over the past two-plus years covering such matters as: direct postal,
transportation, and trade links; visits to Taiwan by mainland tourists; hiring of
mainland Chinese crews by Taiwan fishing vessels; mutual judicial assistance; financial
supervisory cooperation; reduction and elimination of tariffs; and protection of
intellectual property rights. Such a positive atmosphere has seldom been seen in
the past 60 years, but it has come about at this time because both sides are willing
to seize this historic opportunity to improve relations.

The president stated that his approach is to try and establish
a systematic model that will give the people on both sides of the Taiwan Strait
an extended period for engaging in in-depth interaction. He stressed that the people
on both sides are all ethnically Chinese, and ought to be able to draw upon their
common Chinese cultural heritage to find the best way to resolve their dispute.

The president commented that our defense forces are not the only
means for safeguarding security in the Taiwan Strait, which is why the government
is also actively promoting cross-strait economic and cultural ties. At the same
time, however, we continue to engage in national defense cooperation with the United
States and other nations. In particular, Taiwan has purchased roughly US$13 billion
worth of defensive arms from the United States in the past two years, the largest
sale of arms to Taiwan in the past decade. The purpose of the acquisitions is to
replace aging armaments and maintain Taiwan's needed defense capabilities. In other
words, even as we expand cross-strait ties and maintain bilateral peace and prosperity,
we do not for one minute slack off in our efforts to maintain the defensive capabilities
upon which our national security depends.

Looking back on all the efforts put forth over the past two-plus
years, the president opined that the two sides have effectively reduced tensions
in the Taiwan Strait and established a certain degree of mutual trust. This year
marks the 60th anniversary of the outbreak of the Korean War, and war clouds still
hover over the Korean Peninsula today, but in the Taiwan Strait, said the president,
we see incipient signs of peace, which is deeply gratifying. Elsewhere, Taiwan is
also building deeper ties with other nations throughout the world. Since signing
the cross-strait Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) with mainland China
last June, our nation has begun discussing the possibility of entering into an economic
cooperation agreement with Singapore, and the improvement in cross-strait relations
has also made many other nations feel more confident about exploring contacts with

Commenting on the concern that many observers have recently voiced
about whether the two sides intend to engage in confidence building measures (CBM),
the president pointed out that the ECFA is itself a kind of CBM, and if there existed
no confidence between the two sides they would never have been able to enter into
such a complex and long-term agreement.

The scholars, led by China analyst Kenneth W. Allen, were accompanied
to the Presidential Office in the morning by Deputy Minister of National Defense
Chao Shih-chang to meet with President Ma. Also attending the meeting was National
Security Council Deputy Secretary-General Ko Kuang-yueh.

【Source: Office of the President】