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President Ma Meets Delegations from Taiwan's Straits Exchange Foundation and Mainland China's Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits

November 6, 2008
President Ma Ying-jeou on the morning of November 6 at the Taipei Guest House met with delegations from Taiwan's Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) and Mainland China's Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS). The president thanked representatives from both agencies for their hard work recently. After making brief remarks, President Ma exchanged gifts with ARATS Chairman Chen Yunlin.
President Ma said that over the past few days the SEF and the ARATS have engaged in intensive negotiations and have signed four agreements on direct flights between the two sides, direct shipping, postal cooperation, and food safety. The president said the two sides have also held in-depth discussions on topics associated with cross-strait financial cooperation. President Ma said that all of these agreements will have such benefits as providing more convenient transportation for people traveling between the two sides, fostering bilateral economic and trade exchanges, strengthening food safety, and coping with the international financial turmoil in a more effective way.
President Ma said this is the first time that SEF Chairman Chiang and ARATS Chairman Chen have met in Taiwan, carrying great significance. This demonstrates, he said, that relations between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait have taken a giant step forward. In addition to reflecting the desires of the people on both sides, the talks are making a contribution to fostering stability and prosperity between Taiwan and Mainland China, he said. However, it is undeniable that differences and challenges still exist between the two sides, especially with regards to Taiwan's security and space for Taiwan in the international community. President Ma hopes the two sides in the future will handle these differences and expand bilateral cooperation based on the foundation of "facing up to the reality, mutual non-denial, working for the benefits of the people, and cross-strait peace." The president also expressed his desire for even higher level visits between the two sides in the future. He encouraged the SEF and the ARATS to continue to work hard to make an even greater contribution to the wellbeing of the people of both sides.
President Ma presented Chairman Chen with a ceramic replica of a Dawu tribe canoe that was made in Taiwan's ceramics center of Yingge. Painted on the canoe were Taiwan Phalaenopsis, symbolizing the three direct links between the two sides, a blossoming relationship, and bright prospects. President Ma presented Mrs. Chen with a glass art object. Meanwhile, Chairman Chen presented President Ma with a painting by the famous Mainland Chinese artist Han Meilin, renowned for his painting of horses.
【Source: Office of the President】