Since the Republic of China government moved to Taiwan from China in 1949, Taiwan has gone through military conflict, peaceful dialogue, and non-government exchange. Up to now, cross-strait relationship has experienced much turmoil. In the face of written attacks and military threat from China, how each Taiwan president is to maintain stable and peaceful cross-strait relationship with China is a topic that the public cares about the most.
During the Chen Shui-bian era, President Chen’s policies revolved around the one country on each side, referendum to protect Taiwan, and other sovereignty issues, which caused cross-strait relationship to deteriorate. China attempted to suppress Taiwan in the international arena during Chen’s administration. Taiwan’s economy also stagnated, and Taiwan lost many opportunities for economic and trade growth. Conversely, during President Ma’s administration, a soft approach and deferral of dispute was used to decrease conflict with China. Many economic and trade agreements were signed, which reduced the impact of global economic instability and the financial crisis on Taiwan. During the President Ma’s administration, he saw opening of the three major links (postal, transportation, and trade) that promoted civilian exchange between the two straits, increase in number of Chinese tourists, increase in the competitiveness of Taiwanese businessmen internationally, and increased exports to China from Taiwan.
This study mainly explores cross-strait relationship during President Ma’s administration, and compares the differences between President Ma Ying-jeou (12 president of the ROC) and President Chen Shui-bian’s cross-strait relationship policy. We also explored in-depth the changes in cross-strait relationship during the two presidents’ administration and their respective political background.
Cross-strait relationship during President Ma’s administration was based on the 1992 Consensus, which served as a foundation for peaceful cross-strait relationship. This paper studied the advantages of President Ma’s maintenance of stable and peaceful cross-strait development, and provides evaluations for diverse aspects.