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CROSS-STRAIT RELATIONS

FACT FOCUS

  • 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)
Cross-strait trade
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 foundations.
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.
Consistent Approach
The government will continue to address cross-strait ties based on the ROC Constitution, the Act Governing Relations Between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area, and the will of the people. Visitors from mainland china to taiwan