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Economic relations benefit both sides

Updated: 2012-04-02 07:02

By Qin Jize (China Daily)

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Economic relations benefit both sides

Vice-Premier Li Keqiang (right) shakes hands with Wu Den-yih, chief adviser of the Taiwan-based Cross-Straits Common Market Foundation, at the Boao Forum for Asia in Boao, Hainan province, on Sunday. [Photo by Wu Zhiyi / China Daily]

BOAO, Hainan -- Vice-Premier Li Keqiang on Sunday reaffirmed the mainland's goodwill and commitment to peaceful cross-Straits ties and emphasized stronger economic cooperation with Taiwan.

Further economic cooperation will help the common development and bring benefit to the people on the two sides, said Li when meeting Wu Den-yih, chief adviser of the Taiwan-based Cross-Straits Common Market Foundation.

Li said the mainland opposes "Taiwan independence", recognizes the "1992 consensus" and will continue to implement policies that promote cross-Straits relations.

"People from both sides belong to the Chinese nation, and both economies belong to the Chinese economy," Li said, adding that cross-Straits economic cooperation should be deepened to promote common development, which would benefit the people of both sides.

Follow-up negotiations on the cross-Straits Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement trade pact, signed in June 2010, should be pushed forward, he added, so as to reach an agreement on investment protection and promotion as quickly as possible.

It is reported that a new round of ECFA talks will start next week in Shanghai.

During the meeting, Li also called for the establishment of a currency-clearing system between the two sides, hoping to see more cooperation in the fields of banking, securities and insurance.

"We encourage and support capable mainland enterprises to invest in Taiwan," Li said, urging that the necessary environment be provided.

He promised continued support for Taiwan enterprises, the protection of their legal rights and increased market access in the mainland.

"We will continue to listen to opinions from grassroots Taiwan people, such as small- and medium-sized enterprise owners, farmers and fishermen, to get to know their wishes, and address their concerns to improve cross-Straits ties," Li said.

In addition to economic engagement, Li also called for increased exchanges in other areas.

Li hailed the expansion of Taiwan's individual travel program, saying it will boost mutual understanding and promote local tourism.

On Sunday, Taiwan agreed to allow residents from the cities of Tianjin, Chongqing, Nanjing, Hangzhou, Guangzhou, Chengdu, Jinan, Xi'an, Fuzhou and Shenzhen to visit the island as individual tourists.

The meeting between Li and Wu took place during the Boao Forum for Asia, an annual conference in Boao, Hainan province.

Economic relations benefit both sides

Vice-Premier Li Keqiang (C) with guests and foreign officials at the 2012 Boao Forum for Asia in Boao, Hainan province, on Sunday. [Photo by Wu Zhiyi / China Daily] 

The three-day event began on Sunday. Li will deliver a keynote speech at an official opening ceremony on Monday.

Wu said cross-Straits relations have been on the "proper path" of peace and stability over the past four years, adding that it deserves to be treasured and strengthened.

Based on the "1992 consensus", Taiwan and the mainland have reached 16 deals and achieved stable development amid an international economic downturn, Wu said.

"Cross-Straits peace and stability should be cherished and consolidated by both sides," he said.

Wu said he is happy that the meeting with Li resulted in agreements on a series of issues. He expressed hopes the two sides will seek common ground while resolving differences and upholding peace and trust.

Analysts say the meeting builds on talks between President Hu Jintao and Vincent C. Siew, who was then-chairman of the Cross-Straits Common Market Foundation, at the Boao Forum in 2008, which provided an opportunity for both sides to reaffirm commitment to peaceful development.

On Sunday, Li also held talks with Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti, Kazakh Prime Minister Karim Massimov, Pakistani Prime Minister Yousaf Gillani, Iranian Vice-President Mohammad-Javad Mohammadizadeh, and Thai Deputy Prime Minister Kittiratt Na-Ranong. They are all scheduled to attend the forum's opening ceremony on Monday.

Xinhua News Agency contributed to this story.