Ma lauds peaceful development of cross-strait ties
ROC President Ma Ying-jeou reaffirmed May 3 the importance of peace in the positive development of cross-strait relations.
“Since taking office in May 2008, my government has strived to improve cross-strait ties and we have now achieved a certain level of peace and prosperity,” Ma said.
The key to this positive development, the president said, is the government’s goal of maintaining the cross-strait status quo through a policy of no unification, no independence and no use of force. This is based on the ROC Constitution and the 1992 consensus, he added.
Ma made the remarks while receiving a group of mainland Chinese academics, businessmen and writers at the Presidential Office in Taipei City. The delegation was visiting Taiwan for a two-day cross-strait peace forum that wrapped up the same day.
According to the president, the 1992 consensus—an informal, oral understanding that there exists only one China, inclusive of the mainland and Taiwan, with both sides agreeing to differ on its precise political definition—has helped deliver 16 Taipei-Beijing agreements over the past four years, including the landmark Cross-Straits Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA).
“Our mainland China policy ensures that cross-strait exchanges are conducted with dignity, peace and reciprocity, and it has also enabled Taiwan to have more international space, creating an unprecedented virtuous cycle,” Ma said.
The president said the government’s cross-strait policy is broadly supported by the Taiwan public, citing a recent opinion poll conducted by the ROC Mainland Affairs Council.
The MAC found that 86 percent of respondents favor the government’s approach of maintaining the cross-strait status quo, while 71 percent support its strategy of resolving cross-strait issues through institutionalized consultation. In addition, 45 percent said they are satisfied with the pace of improvement in Taipei-Beijing exchanges, with 32 percent describing it as too fast and 11 percent too slow.
One of the visiting mainland Chinese, Lee Kai-fu, founder of Beijing-based investment company Innovation Works, said the Ma administration’s mainland China policy is also well-received on the other side of the strait. An online poll he conducted on Sina Weibo, mainland China’s largest microblog service, shows that 80 percent of respondents have warmer sentiments for Taiwan than five years ago.
“The reason Taiwan is viewed so positively is largely because of the Ma administration’s efforts to improve cross-strait ties through peaceful cooperation and exchanges,” Lee said. (JSM)