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May 28, 2017

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MAC to draw up, implement new model for cross-strait interaction

TAIPEI -- Taiwan's China policy maker, the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC), will draw up a new model for interaction between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait and will implement it this year, MAC head Chang Hsiao-yueh (張小月) announced Wednesday.

The MAC will formulate the model based on the changes in cross- strait relations, Beijing's strategies for handling Taiwan-related affairs, and the development of regional situations after the inauguration of U.S. President-elect Donald Trump, Chang explained at the council's year-end press conference prior to Lunar New Year's Day on Jan. 28.

Predicting that China's Taiwan policy could undergo changes in the Communist Party of China's 19th national congress planned for the second half of the year, Chang said the MAC will work out response strategies, in conjunction with relevant ministries and government units.

The new cross-strait interaction model is one of the key tasks the MAC will undertake in 2017, according to Chang.

Such work will also include promoting legislation of the proposed Cross-Strait Agreement Supervisory Act, pushing for more exchanges of young people on the two sides of the strait, and maintaining stable cross-strait economic and trade interaction, the minister revealed.

Services for Taiwanese businesses operating in China will also be strengthened, Chang elaborated, saying that efforts will be made to lower investment risks and to help the industrial upgrading and transformation of Taiwanese enterprises there.

The government will keep its cross-strait economic and trade policy updated based on the latest global and regional economic developments, as well as those in China, Chang continued.

Cross-strait exchanges have cooled since President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) of the Democratic Progressive Party took office in May 2016, due mainly to China's insistence that the "1992 consensus" is the sole political foundation for the development of cross-strait exchanges and the Tsai administration's refusal to accept that precondition.

The "1992 consensus" refers to a tacit understanding reached in 1992 between China and Taiwan, which then had a Kuomintang government, that there is only one China, with both parties free to interpret what that means.

In the face of Beijing's closing of its doors for mutual dialogue, Chang expressed hope at Wednesday's press conference that the Chinese side will think rationally and work with Taiwan in formulating a new interaction model between the two sides.

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