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Integrated development answer to Taiwan question: China Daily editorial | Updated: 2023-09-13 21:15
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Containers await shipping at a port in Xiamen. WANG XIEYUN/CHINA DAILY

Integrating the development of Taiwan with that of the Chinese mainland will not only help promote the island's economic development, it will also help people on the island to know that the mainland authorities are sincere in their endeavors to realize the peaceful reunification of the island with the motherland.

A circular jointly released by the Communist Party of China Central Committee and the State Council on Tuesday explicitly stated that East China's Fujian province will be developed into a demonstration zone for integrated development across the Taiwan Strait. This sends a strong message that the mainland will never give up its efforts to realize the peaceful settlement of the Taiwan question.

What makes the latest circular particularly noteworthy is that it outlines an all-inclusive range of policies for Fujian province, and the island, which is just across the Strait from the province, to realize integrated development.

Policies and measures will enable Taiwan residents to do business or stay in Fujian enjoying the same treatment as their local counterparts.

Taiwan compatriots who have never been to the mainland are welcome to visit Fujian, students are welcome to study in the province and those wanting work are encouraged to find jobs in Fujian. Enterprises, especially Taiwan enterprises based in Fujian, are urged to hire more Taiwan employees, and Taiwan-based physicians are allowed to practice in Fujian.

Taiwan compatriots are also encouraged to take part in social welfare programs. They will no longer need to register for temporary residence in Fujian, and they can settle in Fujian if they are willing to. Institutions of higher learning and those engaged in scientific research are encouraged to enroll students and researchers from Taiwan. If implemented well such moves will greatly promote exchanges and understanding between people across the Strait.

The circular reinforces the importance of exchanges by requiring Fujian to strengthen institutional support for Taiwan compatriots in Fujian in terms of employment, health services, housing, elderly care services and social assistance. It also states that there will be support for efforts to explore a model for the joint development of Xiamen-Kinmen infrastructure so as to facilitate supplies of electricity and gas and improve connectivity with the construction of bridges from Xiamen to Kinmen, and supporting Kinmen using Xiamen's new airport.

As such integrated development is consolidated, it will extend beyond Fujian to other parts of the country, and there will be more opportunities for people on the two sides of the Taiwan Strait to know more about each other. The Taiwan question will not be left hanging indefinitely. The circular shows that Beijing has the answer, which is the island's peaceful reunification with the motherland.

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