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President Ma meets American Legion National Commander Michael D. Helm and American Legion Auxiliary National President Janet Jefford

With respect to cross-strait relations, the president explained that over the past six years the Taiwan government has sought to maintain a peaceful relationship with mainland China. To date, the two sides have signed 21 agreements covering a wide range of issues, including economic and trade ties, culture, crime-combatting, and nuclear energy safety, he said. President Ma noted that even though the two sides have not signed any form of a peace agreement, the 21 agreements signed constitute a peace agreement in substance, and ties are at their most stable and peaceful since the two sides came under separate rule. Even more importantly, the president added, Minister Wang Yu-Chi (王郁琦) of the ROC's Mainland Affairs Council and Minister Zhang Zhijun (張志軍) of mainland China's Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council have met four times over the past year and referred to each other by their official titles in their discussions. This, the president remarked, was the first time this has occurred in the 65 years that the two sides have been under separate rule.
Discussing Taiwan's national defense policy, President Ma commented that over the past six years Taiwan's purchases of arms from the United States have increased substantially to a total of US$18.3 billion. Apart from emphasizing military preparedness and strengthening its relations with mainland China, the government here has also increased its contributions to the international community, the president said.
【Source: Office of the President】