China / HK Macao Taiwan

Students from Taiwan praise life on mainland

(China Daily) Updated: 2016-05-19 09:01

Editor's Note: China Daily is publishing a series of reports on cross-Straits relations ahead of Taiwan's new leader taking office. The reports are jointly compiled with the Taipei-based China Post. This, the fourth in the series, explores how young people and students from Taiwan view cross-Straits exchanges and how they have enhanced their lives. It was written by China Daily reporter Wang Xu and the China Post.

Students from Taiwan praise life on mainland

Graduates walk at Tamkang University in New Taipei City. The number of students on both sides of the Straits has increased partly because of favorable government policies in recent years. [Photo/The China Post]

The increasing number of students from Taiwan studying on the Chinese mainland is helping to promote understanding and support stable cross-Straits relations, as possible deterioration has become a worry.

Tsai Ing-wen of the Democratic Progressive Party, which has advocated independence in the past, assumes the leadership of the island on May 20.

"I want Tsai to act reasonably when she comes to power and hope peaceful relations will be maintained," said Leo Wang, a student at Tsinghua University who hails from Kaohsiung in Taiwan.

Wang's wish seems to represent the majority view of the many students from Taiwan on the mainland.

According to the Ministry of Education, the number of students from Taiwan attending mainland universities has surged from 928 in 2011 to 10,536 as of October.

At the same time, the number of mainland students at Taiwan universities has also increased sharply-to 7,814 in 2014-according to the University Entrance Committee for Chinese Mainland Students, a Taiwan-based organization.

Wang said favorable policies on both sides of the Straits, due to the good relationship, helped boost the numbers.

"The free visa policy for Taiwan residents carried out by the mainland, and male students being able to delay their military service in Taiwan, allowed me to realize my dream of studying on the mainland," Wang said.

Wang's first visit to the mainland came in 2012 when he visited Beijing for a summer camp organized by Renmin University of China, along with about 200 other students from Taiwan.

During the weeklong summer camp, he visited sites of interest and also built his own cross-Straits ties when he met his current girlfriend.

In order to maintain their relationship, Wang decided to travel back to Beijing for graduate school. He was admitted to Tsinghua University and has been studying public management for a master's degree since 2014.

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