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Mainland Affairs Council

President Ma's Remarks

President Ma meets former US Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage (excerpt: cross-strait relations)

Turning to the topic of cross-strait ties, President Ma stated that since he took office Taiwan has sought under the framework of the ROC Constitution to maintain the status quo of "no unification, no independence, and no use of force" in the Taiwan Strait, and seek peaceful cross-strait relations in line with the 1992 Consensus—whereby each side acknowledges the existence of "one China" but maintains its own interpretation of what that means. The two sides have signed 23 agreements, and the ministers in charge of cross-strait affairs from each side have met seven times, addressing each other using their official titles during the meetings. Over the past seven-plus years, the number of regularly scheduled, direct cross-strait flights has risen from zero to 890 per week, and cumulative tourist arrivals from the mainland has topped 18 million. Meanwhile, there are now about 42,000 mainland students studying in Taiwan, over 50 times more than the 823 students who had been studying here before he took office. It is thus clear, he said, that the Taiwan Strait has been transformed from a flashpoint of conflict into an avenue of peace.
Regarding his meeting on November 7 last year in Singapore with mainland Chinese leader Mr. Xi, President Ma stated that the two sides exchanged views on how to consolidate cross-strait peace and maintain the status quo in the Taiwan Strait. The day after the meeting, the US government issued a statement, saying that "The United States welcomes the meeting between leaders on both sides of the Taiwan Strait…, and we encourage further progress by both sides toward building ties, reducing tensions, and promoting stability on the basis of dignity and respect."
President Ma stated that the Ma-Xi meeting was an event of symbolic significance, to be sure, but also yielded substantive results. More importantly, the US, Taiwan, and mainland China have established a virtuous cycle in which each of the three parties can interact well with either of the other parties without worrying about negative consequences. "This is an extremely important breakthrough that we've achieved over the past eight years."
Commenting on the ROC's external relations, President Ma stressed that the government has improved cross-strait ties and pursued a "viable diplomacy" policy. He also hopes that improved cross-strait ties can bring peace to the East and South China Seas, achieving the goal of "Peace in the Three Seas."
【Source: Office of the President】