- In December 1987 Taiwan lifted the ban on travel to
China for those with close relatives there.
- The full relaxation of restrictions on Taiwan travelers
visiting China came into effect in December 2008 with
the opening of direct flights.
Since the government relocated to Taiwan in 1949, it
has exercised jurisdiction over Taiwan proper, Penghu
Islands, Kinmen Islands, Matsu Islands and a number of
smaller islands, while China has been under the control
of the authorities in Beijing. Beginning with the acceleration
of Taiwan’s democratization in the late 1980s,
many restrictions concerning civil exchanges with China
have been lifted. Today, Taiwan is one of the biggest
investors in China. Between 1991 and the end of March
2020, approved investment in China comprised 44,056
cases totaling US$188.5 billion. In 2019, the value of
cross-strait trade was US$149.2 billion. In that year, travelers
from China made 2.68 million visits to Taiwan.
A flight operated by China-based Shanghai Airlines approaches
the runway at Taipei Songshan Airport, one of many regularly
scheduled cross-strait flights flown since 2009.(Chin Hung-hao)
In June 2008, institutionalized talks between Taiwan’s
semiofficial Straits Exchange Foundation and China’s
Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits
resumed after a 10-year hiatus. By August 2015, 11
rounds of negotiations had been held alternately on
either side of the Taiwan Strait, producing 23 formal
agreements, of which 21 have come into effect, and
two consensuses. Most significant among the accords
is the Cross-Straits Economic Cooperation Framework
Agreement (ECFA) concluded in June 2010, which
aims to institutionalize trade and economic relations
between Taiwan and China.
Most significant among the accords is the Cross-Straits Economic Cooperation
Framework Agreement (ECFA) concluded in June 2010, which
aims to institutionalize trade and economic relations between
Taiwan and China.
Peace and Stability
In order to promote thorough domestic reforms, the
country requires a peaceful and stable external environment,
especially with regard to relations with China.
President Tsai Ing-wen, since taking office May 20, 2016
and following her reelection in 2020, has worked to
build a consistent, predictable and sustainable crossstrait
relationship based on existing realities and political
The government’s unchanged position is to maintain
the cross-strait status quo. This is Taiwan’s commitment
to the region and the world. Peace, prosperity and
development in Asia are common responsibilities of
all countries in the region. Therefore, cross-strait issues
are connected to regional peace. Taiwan will fulfill its
responsibilities of safeguarding regional security by
continuing to extend goodwill and maintaining stable,
consistent and predictable cross-strait relations.
In recent years, however, China has set political preconditions
for cross-strait exchanges, unilaterally suspended
official interactions, and continuously exerted
political suppression and military coercion on Taiwan.
On Jan. 2, 2019, China proposed exploration of the “one
country, two systems” model for Taiwan, disrupting the status quo of regional peace and stability. In the face
of China’s increasingly aggressive political agenda,
President Tsai put forth guidelines March 11, 2019,
aimed at strengthening national security measures,
safeguarding national sovereignty and ensuring current
and future generations have the right to decide
Taiwan’s future. The Legislature also passed the Anti-
Infiltration Act, which took effect on Jan. 15, 2020, to
prevent interference in the country’s political processes
by external hostile forces.
Furthermore, the government has actively pushed for
amendments to the Act Governing Relations Between
the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area.
Those passed to date have established a democratic
oversight mechanism for cross-strait political agreements
under Article 5-3; enhanced management of civil
servants’ trips to China under Articles 9, 9-3 and 91; and
adjusted fines for unauthorized Chinese investment to
reflect the severity of violations under Article 93-1.