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Mainland promises to help Taiwan through crisis
By Cao Li and Xie Yu (
Updated: 2008-12-20 18:25

SHANGHAI -- Chinese mainland pledged on Saturday to do its best to assist Taiwan in fighting the fast spreading financial crisis, which brought about a downturn in the island’s economy.

Jia Qinglin (2nd L), chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, shakes hands with Kuomintang Honorary Chairman Lien Chan (1st L) while Kuomintang Chairman Wu Poh-hsiung (3rd L) looks on, during the 4th Cross-Straits Economic, Trade and Cultural Forum between the Chinese mainland and southeast China's Taiwan, in Shanghai, east China, Dec. 20, 2008. [Xinhua]

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"If the global economic situation worsens and Taiwan asks for help to cope with the difficulties, the mainland will try its best to provide help," said Jia Qinglin, member of the Standing Committee of the CPC Central Committee Political Bureau, at the opening ceremony of 4th Cross-Straits Economic, Trade and Cultural Forum which began in Shanghai Saturday morning.

His speech met with warm applause from some 400 delegates from the two sides, especially Taiwan businessmen who are struggling to stay afloat, or maintain earnings growth in face of a global slowdown.

“I am very confident we can weather the recession as the ties between the two sides grow closer,” said Alex Lee, chairman of Shanghai Association of Taiwan Businessmen Invested Enterprises.

The cross-straits relationship is developing towards a healthy direction, Jia told his audience, including KMT Chairman Wu Poh-hsiung and Honorary Chairman Lien Chan. "But still a lot are yet to be solved," he said.

Wu Poh-hsiung echoed Jia in his speech, saying both sides should “stick to the correct direction and make further efforts.”

Jia made five proposals to improve ties, including jointly combating the global recession, expanding financial cooperation, enhancing exchanges in all industries, normalization of the economic relations, and setting up economic cooperation mechanism.

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