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Mainland Affairs Council

Talks between the SEF and the ARATS in 2008

The MAC and the SEF hold a high-level joint meeting

June 2, 2008, No. 030

The Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) and the Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) held a high-level joint meeting this afternoon (June 2, 2008). Jointly presided by MAC Chairperson Lai Shin-yuan and SEF Chairman Chiang Pin-kung, the meeting established contact windows, information exchange mechanisms, and principles for the joint handling of affairs between the MAC and the SEF. Chairperson Lai and Chairman Chiang both believe that establishing basic principles for interactions between the MAC and the SEF will make the day-to-day affairs and contacts between the two agencies more direct and smooth.

The MAC indicates that the high-level meeting between the MAC and the SEF was held soon after the new government assumed office and at a time when the SEF is fully engaged in resuming talks with the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait (ARATS) and in preparing for negotiations on cross-strait charter flights and opening Taiwan to mainland Chinese tourists. In order to make interactions between the MAC and the SEF more smooth and effective, Chairman Chiang and Chairperson Lai decided with one accord to prioritize the holding of the joint meeting between the two agencies at this busy time. The meeting was held within one week after the SEF has completed its high-level personnel reshuffle.

The MAC further indicates that although the high-level joint meeting between the MAC and the SEF is not prescribed by law, it has become an important basis for contacts and interactions between the two agencies since their successive establishment from 1991.

During this joint meeting, the MAC and the SEF jointly established contact windows between them at all levels, general and confidential information exchange mechanisms, principles for jointly handling affairs, principles for contacts between the SEF and various government agencies, and procedures for handling contacts between the SEF and the mainland Chinese side.

The MAC’s three vice chairmen, SEF Vice Chairman and Secretary-General Kao Koong-lian, and the deputy secretaries- general of the SEF all attended the joint meeting.