Straits Exchange Foundation

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Straits Exchange Foundation
Straits Exchange Foundation Dazhi Headquarters.JPG
Formation 21 November 1990 (first meeting)
9 March 1991 (start operation)[1]
Headquarters Zhongshan, Taipei, Taiwan
Tien Hung-mao
Vice Chairman and Secretary-General
Ko Cheng-heng

The Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF; Chinese: 海峽交流基金會; pinyin: Hǎixiá Jiāoliú Jījīnhuì; often abbreviated as 海基會) is a semi-official organization set up by the Government of the Republic of China (ROC) in Taiwan to handle technical or business matters with the People's Republic of China (PRC). Though technically a private organization, it is funded by the government and controlled by the Mainland Affairs Council of the Executive Yuan. Its roles are in effect, the de facto embassy to PR China, to not officially acknowledge PRC's statehood status.

Its counterpart in the PRC is the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS).


Due to the complexity of political and legal status of cross-strait relations and lack of contact between the two sides, the ROC government had to create an intermediary body from the private sector to deal with all cross-strait matters. Thus on 9 March 1991, SEF was formally established with the help of government and private sector funds.

At the same time, the PRC government established ARATS. The creation of these two offices facilitate a new stage in cross-strait relations after it had been idle for almost 50 years after the end of Chinese civil war in 1949.[3]

Organization structure[edit]

  • Department of Cultural Affairs
  • Department of Economic Affairs
  • Department of Legal Affairs
  • Department of Planning and Public Affairs
  • Secretariat
  • Personnel Office
  • Accounting Office[4]

List of chairpersons[edit]

Name Term of Office Days
1 Koo Chen-fu (辜振甫) 21 November 1990 3 January 2005[5] 5157[6]
Johnnason Liu[7] (劉德勳) 3 January 2005 10 June 2005 158
2 Chang Chun-hsiung (張俊雄) 10 June 2005 21 May 2007 710
3 Hung Chi-chang (洪奇昌) 12 July 2007 19 May 2008 313
4 Chiang Pin-kung (江丙坤) 26 May 2008 27 September 2012 1585
5 Lin Join-sane (林中森) 27 September 2012 20 May 2016 1331
Chen Ter-shing (陳德新) 20 May 2016 12 September 2016 115
6 Tien Hung-mao[8] (田弘茂) 12 September 2016 Incumbent 523

SEF branch office in Mainland China[edit]

On 11 April 2013, the Executive Yuan approved a bill to open SEF branch offices in Mainland China. That month, ROC President Ma Ying-jeou said that SEF offices in Mainland China will not fly ROC flags, either inside or outside the office buildings, because Taiwan and Mainland China are not foreign nations to each other.[9][10][11] In the initial announcement, three offices were planned.[12]

SEF building[edit]

The current SEF building in Beian Road originated since its groundbreaking construction on 25 September 2010 when its ceremony was presided by then SEF Chairman Chiang Pin-kung. On 31 March 2012, the finished constructed building was refurbished and SEF started to move there on 4 April 2012 from their old rented office building on Minsheng East Road. The new building was opened for service on 9 April 2012. On 18 May 2012, President Ma Ying-jeou presided the building's official opening ceremony.[1]


The SEF building is accessible by Dazhi Station of the Taipei Metro on the Brown Line.

See also[edit]


External links[edit]