President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday praised the Kinmen Agreement signed by Taipei and Beijing 20 years ago for establishing a way to peacefully resolve cross-strait issues, adding that this model continues to be used, as is shown by the signing of the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA).
The Kinmen Agreement was signed by the Red Cross from both sides of the Taiwan Strait on the Kinmen islets on Sept. 12, 1990. Representatives discussed the thorny issue of repatriating criminals, smugglers or fugitives under the spirit of humanity and practicality.
“This was the first time authorities on both sides of the Taiwan Strait openly resolved problems in a peaceful manner,” Ma said in his weekly video address.
“It set the model of cross-strait negotiations: seeking common ground while reserving differences,” he said.
In the video, Ma conversed with Red Cross Society of the Republic of China head C.V. Chen (陳長文) to mark the 20th anniversary of the accord.
Chen said once the main direction of bilateral negotiations was set, the rest was easy.
If there were any difficulties when the two sides inked the 1990 agreement, Chen recalled there were two technical problems both sides needed to iron out.
First was the title of the signatories, he said, and the two sides decided to steer clear of politically sensitive terms such as the Republic of China or People’s Republic of China.
“Had we dwelled on that issue, we would not have accomplished anything,” he said.
Second was the year appearing on the pact, he said. Chen said the two sides decided that Taiwan used the Republic of China calendar year, while China used the Gregorian calendar.
Ma recognized both sides for making efforts to “face reality, shelve disputes and create a win-win scenario.”
He added he was glad that such a model continues to be used today and cited the ECFA as the most recent example.
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