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Closer ties between Pingtan and Taiwan

( chinadaily.com.cn )

Updated: 2015-04-09

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A local news portal ptnet.cn has singled out 12 events in the first quarter of this year which improved relations between the Pingtan Comprehensive Pilot Zone and Taiwan.

1. Greetings from mainland official

Closer ties between Pingtan and Taiwan

Zhang Zhijun, the mainland's chief of Taiwan affairs, arrived in Pingtan in January for a cross-Straits agricultural and fishery meeting, where he pledged to attend to all needs of Taiwan’s practitioners. He also extended his Spring Festival wishes.

2. Breakthrough in cross-Straits financial cooperation

Closer ties between Pingtan and Taiwan

The Fujian and Taipei subsidiaries of the Construction Bank signed an agreement on RMB settlements in cross-border transactions on Jan 20. Based on the deal, the Taipei bank opened an inter-bank account at the Pingtan bank to provide RMB settlement services.

The first sum of the account – 20 million yuan - was deposited by the Taipei bank on March 19.

3. Improved customs clearance

Closer ties between Pingtan and Taiwan

The website reported on Jan 6 that the mainland’s quality supervision authority had authorized its Fujian subordinate to make a white list of commodities imported from Taiwan. This means that qualified Taiwan products will no longer need to be examined by Pingtan’s customs authority.

The pilot project in Pingtan will push for a mutually-accepted quality certification mechanism between the mainland and Taiwan.

4. Happy family

Closer ties between Pingtan and Taiwan

The Huangs were selected by officials as the “most beautiful family” in Pingtan in March.

Huang Zhizheng, from Taiwan, married Lin Yun, a Pingtan native, eight years ago. The couple lead a “simple but happy” life with three children.

5. Taiwan cuisine wheels up to town

Closer ties between Pingtan and Taiwan

Local authorities in Pingtan recently invited several cooks from Taiwan to train Pingtan disciples on how to make signature Taiwan cuisine.

6. We are all witnesses

Closer ties between Pingtan and Taiwan

A monument commemorating a historic relay swim across the Taiwan Straits last August was unveiled at Longfengtou beach in Pingtan on Jan 16.

The relay swimming event took place in Aug 2014, when 14 swimmers from Taiwan and the Chinese mainland swam across the Taiwan Straits over five days from Taiwan’s Hsinchu to Fujian’s Pingtan.

7. New shipping route

Closer ties between Pingtan and Taiwan

A shipping line between Pingtan and Taiwan went into service on March 24, marking a new page in Pingtan’s port development.

A container liner set out from the Jinjing Port in its first official voyage to Taiwan.

8. More convenient cross-Straits travel

Closer ties between Pingtan and Taiwan

Fujian’s tourism authority has announced that starting from April 1, the Haixia, a high-speed roll-on/roll-off passenger ship, will operate eight round trips to Taiwan every week. The ship will visit Taipei on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays. Trips to Taichung will be on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.

9. Taiwan commodity market thrives

Closer ties between Pingtan and Taiwan

The Duty-free Taiwan Commodity Market in Pingtan reported dazzling sales figures during the Spring Festival holiday, as more than 12,100 people visited the place from Feb 20 to 24, leading to a turnover of nearly 1.1 million yuan.

10. Sizzling business

Closer ties between Pingtan and Taiwan

Huang Shangzhe from Taiwan has been running a snack bar in Pingtan for over three years. He is among the first Taiwan people to start a career in Pingtan.

His wife Xu Huasui joined the cause last August.

11. Woman bullish about Pingtan

Closer ties between Pingtan and Taiwan

Pan Lianqin, 55, decided to take her talent to Pingtan after learning about its prospects. She now runs a merchandise store at the Taiwan Commidty Market.

12. President upholds Pingtan strategy

Closer ties between Pingtan and Taiwan

Chinese President Xi Jinping once said in March that "China will further implement the opening-up policy in Pingtan, which is the 'right orientation'."

Chinese political advisors all agreed that cross-Straits personnel exchange set a new record in 2014, but with the political situation becoming increasingly sophisticated, all parties will have greater resolution and more concrete measures to boost the ties.