Only mutual non-denial advances cross-strait ties: Ma
By Adam Tyrsett Kuo, The China Post
December 26, 2013, 12:13 am TWN
TAIPEI, Taiwan -- President Ma Ying-jeou said yesterday that the principle of mutual non-recognition of sovereignty and mutual non-denial of jurisdiction between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait is the only way at present to push cross-strait ties forward.
Ma, who doubles as chairman of the Kuomintang, made the comments at the ruling party's weekly Central Standing Committee meeting at which Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) Minister Wang Yu-chi (王郁琦) gave a report on the present circumstances of cross-strait ties after the third plenary session of the Chinese Communist Party's 18th National Congress.
Wang is scheduled to meet his mainland Chinese counterpart, Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO) Director Zhang Zhijun (張志軍), in February.
The president said that several cross-strait negotiations have reached bottlenecks, including those related to the issues of cross-strait representative offices and humanitarian visitations.
If issues such as these, which are relatively less sensitive — politically speaking — than others, can't be resolved, other issues that have political aspects are less likely to see a breakthrough in the short term, Ma said, adding that he hoped the meeting between Wang and Chang will help solve some of these problems.
Since cross-strait ties began improving five years ago, trade volume between Taiwan and mainland China, including Hong Kong, has surpassed US$160 billion, the president said, adding that the number of Taiwanese traveling to mainland China now stands at 6 million, whereas the number of mainland Chinese traveling to Taiwan now stands at 3 million.
Given the massive movement of people, goods and capital between the two sides of the strait, interaction between the heads of the MAC and TAO should be seen as a normal phenomenon, Ma said.
Members of various sectors expect mainland China to reach out further to Taiwan over political negotiations, Ma said, adding that the government's basic attitude is not to avoid political issues but to prioritize negotiations according to urgency.
The president said that since he took office five years ago, the administration has signed 19 agreements and reached two points of consensus with mainland Chinese authorities, such as the Cross-Strait Joint Crime-Fighting and Judicial Mutual Assistance Agreement.
Ma cited the Cross-Strait Joint Crime-Fighting and Judicial Mutual Assistance Agreement and explained that since it touches upon the issue of jurisdiction, the agreement itself has a political aspect.
Following the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear disaster, Taiwan and mainland China signed an agreement related to nuclear safety, which is not ostensibly an economic issue either, the president said.
Regarding issues that are urgent, Ma referred to mainland China's demarcation of its Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) over the East China Sea on Nov. 23.
The president pointed out that the National Security Council and the Executive Yuan issued stern statements in response to the move because the Taiwanese government was not consulted beforehand and because of an overlapping ADIZ region of 23,000 square kilometers.
The administration urged all related parties to resolve the issue through dialogue and negotiations, Ma said, adding that the government has not excluded the possibility of touching upon the issue in future cross-strait negotiations.
Since 1992, the basis of cross-strait relations has been the principle of “one China with different interpretations,” and the 1992 Consensus should be used as a platform to further expand and deepen cross-strait ties, Ma said, adding that it is through this method that cross-strait ties can gradually develop under stability.