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Mainland Affairs Council

President Ma's Remarks

President Ma meets Jelka Godec, Vice President of Slovenian Democratic Party (excerpt: cross-strait relations)

Since taking office in 2008, stated the president, he has actively sought to improve cross-strait relations. 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, which was unprecedented. And on November 7 of last year, he met in Singapore with mainland Chinese leader Xi Jinping (習近平) in an atmosphere of equality and dignity. That meeting could justifiably be called a historic turning point after 70 years of cross-strait contention. All of these developments demonstrate that the two sides have built up a foundation for sufficient mutual trust.
The president also mentioned a special trip that he had made a week before to Kinmen, an offshore island of Taiwan, to attend an event marking the 23rd anniversary of the Koo-Wang Talks, and to unveil a monument to cross-strait peace. The two sides of the Taiwan Strait have been under separate rule for many decades now, and armed conflict has broken out on several occasions, most notably the August 23 Artillery War of Kinmen in 1958, when the offshore island was bombarded by 470,000 artillery shells. Today, however, Kinmen sees over 500,000 tourist arrivals per year from the mainland, and the most popular gift item that mainlanders purchase in Kinmen are kitchen knives fashioned from the metal of shells left on the island after the 1958 artillery bombardment. Quite clearly, Kinmen has been transformed from the killing field of the past into a peace boulevard, which is deeply significant.
【Source: Office of the President】