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KMT chief Chu says more progress to come

By Wang Ying in Shanghai | China Daily USA | Updated: 2015-05-04 11:21

Eric Chu, chairman of the Kuomintang, pledged better cross-Straits development on Sunday, saying the KMT will be responsible for "the public, the next generation and history".

He said peaceful development must continue and efforts should be made to deepen cross-Straits exchanges.

Chu's three-day visit to the mainland will be highlighted by his first meeting with General Secretary Xi Jinping of the CPC Central Committee in Beijing on Monday.

Meanwhile, a top political adviser said both sides of the Taiwan Straits should join hands to explore the international market in an appropriate way and raise China's global competitiveness.

"Contact and exchanges between young people from both sides (of the Straits) will help them to realize their dreams," the adviser said.

Yu Zhengsheng, chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, called for better conditions for young people living, studying, working or starting businesses on the other side of the Straits.

Yu was speaking at the 10th Cross-Straits Economic, Trade and Culture Forum in Shanghai, a regular event between the mainland and Taiwan.

He said both sides of the Straits should discuss ways for Taiwan to take part in the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, the Beijing-led development bank.

Talks may also take in the "Belt and Road Initiative" and some regional economic cooperation, to develop the international market and improve the competitiveness of the Chinese economy, he said.

Proposed by Xi, and involving more than 50 countries, the "Belt and Road Initiative" is a vision of international cooperation running from East Asia to the heart of Europe.

Yu said the mainland and Taiwan should insist on the peaceful development of relations by adhering to the 1992 Consensus, and should oppose "Taiwan independence".

Yok Mu-ming, chairman of Taiwan's New Party, said, "I applaud what Chu said about being responsible for the public, the next generation and history."

By recognizing this trend and people's needs, efforts should be made in that direction with courage and insight, Yok added.

Chang Pao-cheng, president of the China Productivity Center in Taiwan, said, "Small and medium-sized enterprises from the mainland and Taiwan have encountered similar problems in their development.

"These include limited capital, shortage of talent, insufficient research and development capability, and lack of experience in exploring overseas markets and brand building."

Chang suggested setting up a platform for collaboration to help SMEs attain "win-win cooperation".

Wang Hao, an official at the China Center for Promotion of SME Development under the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, echoed Chang's view on the challenges SMEs face in tapping international markets.

Wang said the authorities are looking to build more "collaborative parks" in areas where Taiwan entrepreneurs are located and to help SMEs with technological innovation.

As of the end of March, 215 Taiwan-funded new enterprises had been set up since the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone was founded in September 2013, according to Zhu Min, vice-chairman of the zone's administration.

Zhu suggested that Taiwan enterprises take advantage of the special zone's favorable policies and advised them to invest in service industries such as financing, trade, medical care and training.

With Taiwan entrepreneurs' investment to the mainland reaching $61.6 billion by the end of March, cross-Straits trade has grown rapidly over the past decade.

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