Straits Exchange Foundation

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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 semiofficial organization set up by the Government of the Republic of China (Taiwan) to handle technical and or business matters with the People's Republic of China (PRC). Though technically a private organization, it is funded by the government and under the supervison of the Mainland Affairs Council of the Executive Yuan. Its role is effectively to function as the de facto embassy to the PRC, as a means of avoiding acknowledgement of the PRC's statehood status.

Straits Exchange Foundation
Straits Exchange Foundation Dazhi Headquarters.JPG
Formation21 November 1990 (first meeting)
9 March 1991 (start operation)[1]
HeadquartersZhongshan, Taipei, Taiwan
Chairperson (acting, appointed)
Rock Hsu
Vice Chairman and Secretary-General
Ko Cheng-heng

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


Due to the complexity of the 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, the SEF was formally established with the help of the 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 they had been virtually non-existent for almost 50 years after the end of the Chinese civil war in 1949.[3]

Organization structureEdit

  • 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 chairpersonsEdit

Rock Hsu, the appointed acting Chairperson of Straits Exchange Foundation
Name Term of Office Days
1 Koo Chen-fu (辜振甫) 21 November 1990 3 January 2005[note 1] 5157[note 2]
Johnnason Liu[5] (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 (田弘茂) 12 September 2016 27 March 2018 561
7 Katharine Chang (張小月) 27 March 2018 5 June 2020 801
8 David Lee (李大維) 5 June 2020 3 August 2020 59
Rock Hsu (許勝雄) 28 August 2020 Incumbent 229

SEF branch office in Mainland ChinaEdit

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 the SEF offices in Mainland China will not fly ROC flags, either inside or outside the office buildings, because Taiwan and Mainland China are not officially foreign nations in relation to each other.[6][7][8] In the initial announcement, three offices were planned.[9]

SEF buildingEdit

The current SEF building in Beian Road originated since its groundbreaking construction on 25 September 2010 when its ceremony was presided over 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 over the building's official opening ceremony.[1]


The SEF building is adjacent to Dazhi Station of the Taipei Metro on the Brown Line.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Died in office.
  2. ^ Longest-serving chairperson.


  1. ^ a b "Straits Exchange Foundation".
  2. ^ "Chang Hsien-yao to be new deputy head at SEF". February 7, 2014.
  3. ^ "Straits Exchange Foundation".
  4. ^ "Straits Exchange Foundation".
  5. ^ "Koo Chen-fu, 88, dies of kidney cancer". January 4, 2005.
  6. ^ "Ma ignoring Chinese hostility: TSU chairman". April 13, 2013.
  7. ^ "No plans for visit by China's first lady: MAC".
  8. ^ "Ma defends cross-strait offices proposal". April 24, 2013.
  9. ^ "Taipei, Beijing yet to reach consensus on visitation rights". September 19, 2013.

External linksEdit