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May, 1, 2016

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Taiwan > China-Taiwan Relations
China will allow its travelers to make transit stops in Taiwan, according to an official agency charged with conducting affairs with the island. The news was met positively in Taiwan, with the government crediting it as a result of a historical meeting between leaders from both sides of the strait late last year.
 
The government attaches great importance to personal security and freedom and hopes the mainland China authorities will make good on their promises to Hong Kong, Mainland Affairs Council Minister Hsia Li-yan said Tuesday.
 
Presidential Office spokesman Charles Chen has branded opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen's China policy as "ridiculous," saying it will result in the severe regression of cross-strait ties.
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President Ma Ying-jeou reiterated Saturday the importance of the "1992 Consensus" to the development of relations across the Taiwan Strait.
 
The government announced on Monday that it would expand the admission quota for mainland Chinese students pursuing associate to bachelor's degrees (專升本) in Taiwan starting next year. It added that the decision was not a political move before national elections in January to offer National Health Insurance (NHI) coverage to Chinese students studying in Taiwan in exchange for China to loosen restrictions on cross-strait educational exchange.
 
Tsai Ing-wen, chairwoman and presidential candidate of the opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), said Sunday that she holds a rational attitude toward cross-Taiwan Strait relations and believes that China will interact with her party in a rational manner if she is elected.
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Mainland China has summoned the U.S. envoy to protest Washington's sale of warships to Taiwan, as part of a massive US$1.8 billion arms package, Beijing said Thursday.
 
Richard C. Bush, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, said in a recent essay that he would prefer to see China take a hard line during Taiwan's election campaign then adopt a cautious stance thereafter.
 
China has strongly criticized an expected U.S. arms sale to Taiwan, saying it should be canceled to avoid harming relations between Taipei and Beijing.
 
Mainland China's purchase of 24 Su-35s is aimed at securing air supremacy in the region and countering the F-22 fighters deployed by the United States in Okinawa, according to a Taiwanese expert on Russian weapons.
 
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