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Mainland Affairs Council

Talks between the SEF and the ARATS in 2008

MAC: Pragmatic cross-strait negotiations are a major step toward establishing mutual trust

May 28, 2008, No. 029

The Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) welcomes the positive attitude on resuming negotiations between the Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) and the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait (ARATS) expressed today (May 28, 2008) during a meeting between leaders of the ruling Kuomintang (KMT) and the Communist Party of China (CPC). The MAC emphasizes that the ROC side has always insisted on the policy position of resuming institutionalized cross-strait negotiations. In the future, cross-strait negotiations and interactions will be administered according to law and return to institutional norms. This will facilitate cross-strait relations to be gradually developed in a direction that is conducive to the establishment of mutual trust between the two sides.

The MAC indicates that the government will be pleased to witness the success of any cross-strait civilian exchanges as long as it is beneficial to the normal development of cross-strait relations and conforms to laws and norms. In the future, the government will continue to promote its cross-strait policies under the principle of putting Taiwan first for the benefit of the people. Moreover, the government appeals to China to fully respect Taiwan's space for survival in the international community.

The MAC reiterates that the SEF is the only organization authorized by the government to hold negotiations with mainland China on issue involving government authority. On May 26, 2008, the government formally authorized the SEF to negotiate with the ARATS on three issues, including the implementation of cross-strait passenger and cargo charter flights and the opening of Taiwan to Chinese tourists. This is the first step toward establishing mutual trust between the two sides and promoting benign cross-strait interactions. The MAC emphasizes that the SEF also sent a letter to the ARATS on May 26. The ROC side hopes that the ARATS will promptly give us a reply so as to turn a new page for resuming institutionalized cross-strait negotiations. It is also hoped that both sides across the Strait can make joint efforts to realize cross-strait charter flights and the opening of Taiwan to Chinese tourist in the coming July, with the aim of heralding a new phase for the welfare of the people on both sides of the Strait and cross-strait relations, so that both sides can jointly create new prospects for mutual benefit and a win-win situation.