Beijing Sunday unveiled a new package of policies to facilitate Taiwan
people's wider access to the mainland in education, employment and investment
Hu Jintao (L), general secretary of
the Communist Party of China enters the hall with Lien Chan, honorary
chairman of Kuomintang and wife Lien Fangyu (R) at the Great Hall of
the People in Beijing April 28, 2007. About 300 Taiwan and 200 mainland
businessmen and representatives are attending the Cross-Strait
Economic and Trade Forum. [Reuters]
Addressing the closing ceremony of the third Cross-Straits Economic, Trade
and Cultural Forum, Vice-Minister of Education Yuan Guiren announced that
universities in Taiwan are encouraged to recruit students from the mainland.
About 2,300 Taiwan students studied in mainland universities last year, and a
quarter of them enjoyed scholarships.
But restricted by the present policies on the island, mainland students are
only allowed to study in Taiwan universities for no longer than four months.
"We will help the students go to Taiwan for study, and continue to facilitate
personnel exchanges," Yuan said.
Residents from Taiwan are also encouraged to participate in 15 categories of
professional qualification exams on the mainland. They include exams in the
healthcare, accounting and economy sectors.
Vice-Minister of Public Security Meng Hongwei also announced at the ceremony
that three more cities - Guangzhou, Qingdao and Wuhan - will join another eight
cities authorized to issue valid passes to Taiwan residents entering the
mainland starting May 15.
The eight cities are: Haikou, Sanya, Xiamen, Fuzhou, Shanghai, Shenyang,
Dalian and Chengdu.
In addition to Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Xiamen, six more cities
Chengdu, Hangzhou, Nanjing, Shenzhen, Dalian and Guilin are entitled to
accommodate charter flights cross the Taiwan Straits during festivals, Gao
Hongfeng, vice-minister of the General Administration of Civil Aviation, said.
Taiwan airlines are encouraged to form joint ventures with their mainland
counterparts and invest in airport construction, Gao said.
Also, shipping giants from Taiwan can invest in wholly owned shipping and
container transport firms and operate ports and highways, Vice-Minister of
Communications Xu Zuyuan, said.
Taiwan investors have poured about $100 billion into the mainland over the
last two decades.
Hu and KMT leaders seek more exchanges
Communist Party of China (CPC) chief Hu Jintao has called for closer
personnel, economic and cultural exchanges between the mainland and Taiwan to
help curb Taiwan secessionist moves and maintain peace across the Taiwan
Hu, general secretary of CPC Central Committee, made the appeal during a
meeting with participants at the third Cross-Straits Economic, Trade and
Cultural Forum over the weekend.
"It is the common will of the people and also a prevailing historical trend
to promote economic and cultural exchanges and cooperation, improve the
well-being of the people across the Straits and boost the great rejuvenation of
the Chinese nation," Hu said.
He said the mainland's robust economic growth had offered more opportunities,
stronger impetus and better conditions for cross-Straits economic exchanges and
About 500 participants from the mainland and Taiwan attended the forum to
exchange views on cross-Straits direct flights, cooperation in education and
tourism between the two sides.
While attending the opening ceremony of the forum on Saturday, China's top
political advisor, Jia Qinglin, also warned against the "escalating danger" of
"Taiwan independence", saying it was "the most serious, dangerous and urgent
problem threatening peace and stability across the Taiwan Straits".
Jia, chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political
Consultative Conference, said the leaders of the Democratic Progressive Party,
Taiwan's ruling party, insisted on the radical policy of "Taiwan independence"
and kept provoking the mainland with secessionist remarks and activities.
Jia reiterated that the mainland would continue to show the greatest
sincerity and exert the greatest efforts to promote the peaceful development of
cross-Straits relations and achieve peaceful reunification.
"But we will never tolerate 'Taiwan independence'. And never will we allow
anyone to separate Taiwan from China by any means," Jia said.
"We have the will, the capacity and the resources to contain 'Taiwan
independence' as well as any serious 'Taiwan independence' incidents," Jia said.
Attending the same ceremony, Kuomintang (KMT) Honorary Chairman Lien Chan
urged Taiwan authorities to stop cutting the island off from the mainland and to
open negotiations to boost cross-Straits ties.
While the mainland has opened to the entire world, Taiwan authorities
continue to put up barriers to the island's access to the huge market, said
"This has caused great damage to Taiwan," Lien said.
Taiwan can only pursue its development through extensive exchanges and
cooperation with the mainland, he said.
Lien said the series of forums and seminars on cross-Straits economic,
cultural and agricultural exchanges over the past two years jointly held by the
CPC and the KMT have helped improve the well-being of the people across the
Straits, especially the Taiwan people.
The KMT will continue to work as a bridge to push forward cross-Straits
relations through dialogs and consultations, Lien said while addressing the