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President Ma meets delegation from International Young Democrat Union(excerpt: cross-strait relations)

The president noted that he himself is not only a champion of democracy and freedom, but also an advocate for peace, thus promoting peace in the Taiwan Strait. This has enabled cross-strait relations to be more stable and peaceful now than at any time since the two sides came under separate rule 67 years ago. He also unveiled the East China Sea Peace Initiative on August 5, 2012, stressing the principle of shelving sovereignty disputes, as well as exploring and developing resources on a cooperative basis. Then in 2013 Taiwan and Japan signed a fisheries agreement that resolved a 40-year old dispute between the two countries, and increased the volume of high-quality catches by fishermen from both countries.
President Ma stated that following the success of the East China Sea Peace Initiative, he announced the South China Sea Peace Initiative last May, reiterating the principles of "safeguarding sovereignty, shelving disputes, pursuing peace and reciprocity, and promoting joint exploration and development." This initiative urges all parties concerned to exercise self-restraint, increase dialogue and consultations, and resolve disputes in a peaceful manner. The ROC and the Philippines then signed the Agreement Concerning the Facilitation of Cooperation on Law Enforcement in Fisheries Matters, establishing the following three principles: avoiding the use of violence or unnecessary force in maritime law enforcement actions; establishment of a mutual notification system for Taiwan and the Philippines for law enforcement actions against each other's fishing vessels; and prompt release of detained fishing vessels and arrested crew members. This accord will ensure that fishery disputes between the two countries in their overlapping exclusive economic zones will not be as acrimonious as they were over the past few decades, and safeguard the lives and property of Taiwan's fishermen.
President Ma mentioned that Taiwan and mainland China have signed 23 cross-strait agreements over the past seven-plus years, an indication that mutual trust is gradually being established. Acting on the basis of this steadily growing trust, said the president, he met last November 7 in Singapore with mainland Chinese leader Xi Jinping (習近平). During the meeting, the two leaders did not use each other's formal titles, but instead addressed each other as "Mister" and each paid for his own meal in order to abide by the principles of equality and dignity, and to build a "bridge of peace between the two sides" for the sake of better cross-strait relations.
【Source: Office of the President】