TAIPEI: A hotline connecting Taiwan’s and mainland China’s heads of cross-strait affairs came online Dec. 30, marking another milestone in the peaceful development of the bilateral relationship, the Taiwan Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced over the weekend.
During the first conversation over the dedicated line, Mainland Affairs Council Minister Andrew Hsia and Taiwan Affairs Office Director Zhang Zhijun lauded achievements in cross-strait relations and exchanged New Year’s greetings.
According to sources familiar with the issue, the two officials also touched upon such topics as enrollment of mainland Chinese junior college graduates in Taiwan’s tertiary institutions, reciprocal establishment of representative offices and the trade in goods agreement.
“This high-level communication platform represents a giant step forward in official cross-strait interactions,” Hsia said. “It will help facilitate two-way negotiations when addressing emergencies.
“It is hoped that the two sides will continue to engage each other through institutionalized communication to shelve differences and seek consensuses on major issues of mutual interest.”
According to MAC, the hotline was established following a proposal by President Ma Ying-jeou during his historic meeting with mainland Chinese leader Xi Jinping Nov. 7 in Singapore.
Going forward, the two sides will make adjustments to the mechanism as necessary and enhance safety measures to ensure that the line remains open.