Political advisors have proposed that a "cross-Straits economic zone" be built to better link Taiwan to the mainland's coastal provinces.
Thanks to warming ties across the Straits, such a zone would boost regional integration and is in line with globalization, said Yang Jian, vice-chairman of Taiwan Democratic Self-Government League, one of the eight non-Communist parties on the mainland.
"We need to intensify infrastructure investment to better connect Taiwan and the mainland's major economic areas such as the Yangtze River Delta and the Pearl River Delta," Yang, a member of the 11th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, told a plenary session on Monday.
A financial supervision system and currency settlement could be permitted within such a zone on a pilot basis, he suggested.
Another non-Communist party on the mainland, the Revolutionary Committee of the Chinese Kuomintang (RCCK), proposed to set up inter-city links between Wenzhou, Fuzhou, Xiamen, Quanzhou and Shantou on the mainland with Taiwan's Taipei, Kaohsiung, Taichung and Tainan.
The RCCK proposal calls for favorable policies to support the economic zone on the western side of the Taiwan Straits.
Chen Yaozhong, vice-chairman of the All-China Federation of Taiwan Compatriots, said cross-Straits economic cooperation would be very popular among Taiwan businessmen because "it would make cross-Straits trade more systematic, more standard and more stable".
Liu Cigui, mayor of Xiamen, the closest mainland city to Taiwan, said it is looking forward to the establishment of a cross-Straits economic zone.
"We hope to become a pilot, and we are applying to the central government," Liu said.