Mainland pushes forward direct exchanges with Taiwan
Updated: 2006-01-24 08:43
The Chinese mainland on Monday lashed out at Taiwan leader's stance to
restrict economic relations with the mainland and pledged continuous efforts to
advance comprehensive economic exchanges.
He Shizhong, director of the economic bureau of the Taiwan Affairs Office
under the State Council, called Taiwan leader Chen Shui-bian's stance to
exercise more control on economic relations with the mainland "a move against
the trend of the times and wishes of the people."
"Statistics from the Ministry of Commerce show that economic and trade
relations across the Taiwan Straits continued to make new progress in 2005," He
said in an exclusive interview with Xinhua.
According to the statistics, a total of 68,095 projects funded by business
people from Taiwan had been approved by the mainland at the end of 2005, with a
contractual investment of 89.7 billion U.S. dollars from Taiwan and 41.76
billion dollars actually used.
Indirect cross-Straits trade volume had hit 495.81 billion dollars, including
81.73 billion dollars of mainland export to Taiwan and 414.08 billion dollars of
Taiwan export to the mainland, resulting in an aggregate trade surplus of 332.35
billion dollars for Taiwan.
"The mainland is Taiwan's No. 1 export market and largest trade surplus
source, while Taiwan is mainland's second largest import market," said He.
In his New Year address, Chen Shui-bian said that proactive management and
effective liberalization represents the new mindset and course of action for
Taiwan's future cross-Straits economic and trade policies.
Relevant departments in Taiwan, a Chinese island pending reunification, are
drafting management measures based on Chen's speech.
The retrogressive stance has met widespread opposition in Taiwan, especially
among the business communities, and sharp criticism from the mainland.
"Compatriots on both sides of the Taiwan Straits are brothers connected with
blood and flesh," said the mainland official He.
"In front of opportunities and challenges, they should join hands more
closely to support each other and work for prosperity of both sides and the
great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation," said He.
The mainland has showed explicit goodwill and done much to beef up exchanges
in hopes of an eventual reunification, yet the moves have met mainly cold
shoulders of the Taiwan authorities led by the "independence"-leaning Democratic
Progressive Party (DPP).
The dogged pursuit of "independence" of Taiwan authorities at the cost of
people's interests has been criticized strongly by the mainland, Taiwan and the
Outgoing Taiwan "Premier" Frank Hsieh issued a warning to Chen Shui-bian on
Monday that his policies were not in line with the wishes of the island's
"It's only reasonable that policies should have the support of over 75
percent of the people. But it doesn't appear that's the way it is now," Hsieh
In Monday's interview with Xinhua, He Shizhong said the Taiwan Affairs Office
of the State Council will continue to implement existing guidelines and polices
on pushing forward economic exchanges and cooperation with Taiwan.
"We will concretely protect the legitimate rights and interests of Taiwan
business people and advance comprehensive cross-Straits economic exchanges," he
During an inspection of East China's Fujian Province from Jan. 12 to 16,
Chinese President Hu Jintao said the mainland will create better conditions to
support and encourage Taiwan businesses to invest in the mainland.
He welcomed the Taiwan compatriots to participate in the construction
activities of the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing and pledged support to
non-governmental organizations to hold talks on launching more regular
cross-Straits flights as soon as possible.
He also called for the promotion of cultural exchanges across the Straits and
more exchanges between young people.