According to the arrangement and authorization of the State Council, the office takes charge of relevant preparations for negotiations and agreements with what Mainland China calls the "Taiwan authorities" (i.e., the government of the Republic of China and its authorized government organizations). The agency administers and coordinates direct links in mail, transport and trade across the Taiwan Strait, takes charge of the media and publicity work related to Taiwan, censors and releases news and information concerning Taiwan affairs, and handles major incidents related to Taiwan.
The Taiwan Affairs Council is also responsible for the coordination with overall planning the economic relations and trade related to Taiwan and exchanges and cooperation in such areas as finance, culture, academic research, sports, science and technology, health, and others with the departments concerned. It also manages personnel exchange, observations and symposia between the two sides and relevant work on international conferences involving Taiwan.
Members of the Taiwan Affairs Office are simultaneously members of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and Taiwan Task Office. The latter title is used when dealing with officials in Taiwan on a party-to-party basis.