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September 19, 2017

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Nondenial of jurisdiction is key to peace: president

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- President Ma Ying-jeou reiterated yesterday that the relationship between Taiwan and mainland China is of a special nature, adding that the administration will continue to push for better cross-strait ties in accordance with the Constitution.

According to the Constitution, the Republic of China cannot recognize the existence of another country on the mainland; in terms of reality, however, it cannot disregard the existence of a separate ruling authority in the region, Ma said.

The president's statement was seen as a response to New Party Chairman Yok Mu-ming (郁慕明), who recently urged Ma to reinstate the defunct Guidelines for National Unification (國統綱領), and set aside the administration's policy of "Three Nos" — no declaration of independence from China, no unification with China, and no use of force to resolve differences across the Strait.

The Republic of China is a sovereign country; this is an unalterable fact, Ma said, adding that in accordance with the Constitution, mainland China is a part of the nation's territory. The R.O.C., however, only has de facto rule over Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu.

The president said that without the aforementioned understanding, the development of cross-strait ties would come to a standstill.

Ma said the relationship between the two sides of the Strait is not one of state to state, stressing that it is a special relationship and that the principles of mutual nonrecognition of sovereignty and mutual nondenial of jurisdiction were based on the R.O.C.'s Constitution.

Peaceful development is contingent upon the concept of "one China with different interpretations," Ma said, adding that such principles were determined two decades ago and have remained unchanged after three heads of state.

It is by accepting these principles that the two sides of the Strait have been able to set aside their disputes in order to advance peaceful relations, the president said.

National security is key to the Republic of China's survival, and the government's strategy is based on the triangle of institutionalization of cross-strait relations, flexible diplomacy and national defense, Ma explained.

Over the past four years, the two sides have signed 18 agreements and reached two points of consensus.

Since 1979, Taiwan and mainland China have started on a path of gradual reconciliation, leading to today's unprecedented stability, the president said.

It is because the administration insists upon the Constitution and the "Three Nos" that both sides have been able to achieve peace and stability, Ma added.

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