Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou said on Friday that he will not seek formal independence from China.
In his New Year Day message to fellow countrymen, the Taiwanese leader said that his government will adhere to the principle of "no unification, no independence and no use of force" when it comes to relations with mainland China.
Mr. Ma also emphasized the need to actively pursue stronger cultural and trade relations with Beijing. Pointing out that both sides share a common culture, he added that "we can see pragmatic and feasible solutions to cross-strait disputes."
China and Taiwan have been under separate governments since 1949 when the Communists under Mao Zedong took power in mainland China. Beijing still considers Taiwan to be part of its territory, often leading to tensions between the two governments.
The relationship between China and Taiwan is considered by many to have improved since Mr. Ma took power in 2008.
Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.