Taiwan leader Ma Ying-jeou Tuesday called for further promotion of peaceful development across the Taiwan Strait, as well as comprehensively expanding and deepening cross-Strait exchanges.
In his New Year's Day speech, Ma said Taiwan will accelerate negotiations on issues concerning the Economic and Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) between Taiwan and the mainland. It will also further loosen regulations over the entry of mainland investment, mainland students and mainland individual tourists.
Ma added that the Taiwan authority will review and amend regulations on the relations of the peoples across the Strait, abandoning out-dated restrictions and discriminatory provisions.
He noted that Taiwan will promote the establishment of offices of the Taiwan-based Straits Exchange Foundation and the mainland-based Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait in each other's side. This will provide services to millions of people traveling across the Strait and consolidate the foundation for cross-Strait peaceful development.
"People on the two sides of the Strait all belong to the Chinese nation and are Chinese descendants. The more institutionalized the exchange system is, the better people across the Strait can understand each other, and the more solid cross-Strait peace is," Ma said.
The Taiwan leader also vowed to address major challenges in Taiwan's economy through measures including adjusting industrial structure, making Taiwan a free trade island, and reshuffling the research and development system.