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From Taiwan to Xiamen, life is good

By HU MEIDONG in Fuzhou and CHEN MEILING | | Updated: 2023-03-23 19:38
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Chang Keng-ming, from Taiwan, recently started his 15th year in Xiamen, Fujian province, and he expects to bring his catering business continued success.

"I chose Xiamen because its environment, lifestyle and language are very similar to Taiwan," he said, adding that the southern Fujian dialect of Hokkien, with its distinctive snacks, made him feel at home and helped him adapt to the place easily.

The 2008 Beijing Olympics gave Chang, then a college graduate, a broader view of the Chinese mainland, and he decided to start his career there.

He opened his own restaurant in the Tong'an district, selling Taiwan-style foods. The most popular dishes were desserts and Taiwan milk tea. One of his uncles runs a restaurant in Taiwan, so he often asks him for advice.

"Now my uncle's restaurant also sells dishes with Fujian flavors, which are given a thumbs-up by diners," he said.

Chang said a series of preferential policies have been initiated in Xiamen for self-employed Taiwan people. For example, the amount of his tax relief (value-added tax and personal income tax) reached 20,000 yuan ($2,928) annually. So he has more money with which to innovate with food.

Chang Chi-lung came to work in Xiamen in 2014. He said the city is full of vitality, from policies to services.

He works in the research and development of telephone camera technology at an electronics company. He said the good environment on the Chinese mainland offers opportunities for young people from Taiwan.

"There are many jobs and a high return on investment. This is a place for chasing dreams," he said.

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