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In the Ma-Xi meeting held on November 7, Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou mentioned he wanted to set up a cross-strait hotline between Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) and China’s Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council for dealing with emergency situations. MAC Minister Andrew Hsia recently said that the operation of the hotline starts at the end of this year.

Ma said in the Ma-Xi meeting that there are existing channels between the chairman of Taiwan’s Straits Exchange Foundation and the president of China’s Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS), and between the deputy ministers of MAC and the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council.

UDN reports, MAC Minister Andrew Hsia says, setting up the hotline is not easy because of security and technological problems involved. He also says President Ma isn’t setting up the hotline for personal or the party’s interests. Hsia mentions that China and Taiwan communicated through private channels or secret envoys in the past, but after the Ma-Xi meeting and establishing of the hotline, no matter who the next president of Taiwan is, the person can carry on the system.

Hong Kong Economic Journal reports, China’s Taiwan Affairs Office spokesperson Ma Xiao-guang says they did not lose any time to negotiate with MAC in setting up the hotline. He says the hotline is good for cross-strait dialogue, enhancing political credibility and solving existing problems. It will also improve contradictions and prevent misunderstandings between Taiwan and China.

Ma Xiao-guang also says that he does not wish to comment on internal affairs in Taiwan. But he stresses that the goals of current peaceful development, common political basis and mutual benefits in cross-strait relations can’t be altered.

Translated by Wen-yee Lee
Edited by Olivia Yang