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Ma Ying-jeou says to continue promoting cross-Straits peace, prosperity

( Xinhua )

Updated: 2012-11-06

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Taiwan leader Ma Ying-jeou said on Oct 3 that the island's authorities will continue to promote cross-Straits peace and prosperity based on the "1992 Consensus."

Ma, also chairman of the Kuomintang (KMT) party, made the remarks when elaborating Taiwan authorities' policies on relations across the Taiwan Straits during his tenure while addressing a KMT party meeting.

Ma said in the coming three years and more, efforts will be focused on the following three major areas:

Firstly expanding and deepening cross-Straits exchanges. Ma expressed the hope that negotiations on the remaining issues covered by the Cross-Strait Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) will be completed as soon as possible in the next one to two years.

Meanwhile, he said, Taiwan will increase the quota for mainland students to study at Taiwan's colleges and universities, adding that relevant departments of Taiwan are working on allowing mainland students to join local health care scheme to improve their "study environment."

Secondly, Ma said he hopes the Taiwan-based Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) can set up representative offices in all major cities on the mainland as soon as possible, and welcome the mainland-based Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS) to have its offices in the island.

He said that the number of people commuting across the Straits has exceeded 7 million each year since the resumption of postal service, trade and transport at the end of 2008.

Founded in 1991 and 1990, respectively, the ARATS and SEF are authorized by the mainland and Taiwan to hold negotiations and handle cross-Straits affairs.

The ARATS and SEF have held eight rounds of talks since 2008 and witnessed the signing of 18 cross-Straits pacts, including the landmark Cross-Strait Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) signed in 2010.

"The cross-Straits relations have entered a new stage... and will, in every way, develop steadily in the future," said Ma.

Thirdly, as for the island's cross-Straits relation act, Ma said the act, which has been in practice for over 20 years, will be examined and revised.