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Mainland Affairs Council

General Policy Archives(2008-2016)

President Ma's New Year's Day Address(excerpt: cross-strait relations)

IV. Building a peaceful and friendly environment
Cross-strait peace is one of the keys to peace in the Asia-Pacific region, and a prerequisite for economic development and increased willingness to invest. The past four-and-a-half years have shown that improving cross-strait relations and gaining expanded room for maneuver in the international community go hand-in-hand. In the future, the ROC will continue to play a constructive role in the promotion of peace and prosperity in East Asia.
As for our relations with other parts of the world, we have always treasured our long-term friendship with the United States. We therefore were pleased that President Obama chose to visit Asia right after his re-election, and that Washington has continued to play a key role in maintaining security and order in East Asia. We intend to move up the date for a resumption of negotiations with the US under our Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) in order to expand and deepen the bilateral economic and trade relationship. Regarding recent disputes over the Diaoyutai Islets, Taiwan recently proposed the East China Sea Peace Initiative, urging all parties to shelve disputes over sovereignty and promote the joint exploration of resources, thereby making the East China Sea a sea of peace and cooperation. The fishing negotiations currently underway between the ROC and Japan represent an important first step. We look forward to working with the new leaders of mainland China, Japan, and South Korea to ease tensions so that economic cooperation will once again be the main focus of relations in East Asia, as it should be.
I also hope to cooperate with the new leader of mainland China, Mr. Xi Jinping, in continuing to promote peaceful development across the Taiwan Strait on the basis of the "1992 Consensus," whereby each side acknowledges the existence of "one China" but maintains its own interpretation of what that means. We intend to accelerate the pace of follow-up negotiations under the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) in order to expand and deepen all aspects of cross-strait ties. We will also seek to further loosen restrictions on investments from mainland China, and will further open our borders to mainland students and free independent travelers. To this end, we will soon begin a comprehensive review of the "Act Governing Relations between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area" and amend it to eliminate certain out-of-date restrictions and discriminatory provisions. In addition, we will promote the establishment of administrative offices in each other's territory so as to better serve the needs of the several million people who travel across the Taiwan Strait each year. This will also lay a stronger foundation for the institutionalization of peaceful cross-strait ties.
The people of the two sides of the Taiwan Strait are all ethnic Chinese. We are all descended from the legendary Emperors Yan and Huang. Therefore, the leaders of the two sides should always keep long-term peace across the Taiwan Strait as a top priority. The further institutionalization of cross-strait ties fosters deeper understanding between our people and consolidates cross-strait peace. This goal is always uppermost in mind for me, and I pursue it with every means at my disposal.
【Source: Office of the President】

Category

2013