CHINA> Taiwan, HK, Macao
Wen calls for mainland-Taiwan co-op, end of hostility
Updated: 2009-03-05 09:52

BEIJING -- The Chinese mainland will continue to strengthen cross-Straits economic cooperation with Taiwan to jointly respond to the global financial crisis, Premier Wen Jiabao said here Thursday morning.

Addressing nearly 3,000 lawmakers at the Second Session of the 11th National People's Congress, Wen said in his government work report the mainland would actively promote financial cooperation across the Taiwan Straits, and support the development of Taiwan-funded enterprises on the mainland.

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Wen pledged to strengthen industrial and agricultural cooperation between the two sides, support economic development on the west coast of the Straits, including Fujian and other provinces, where Taiwan investment is concentrated.

"We will accelerate normalization of cross-Straits economic relations and facilitate the signing of a comprehensive agreement on economic cooperation, and gradually establish economic cooperation mechanisms tailored to both sides of the Straits," he said.

The Premier acknowledged that major breakthroughs had been made in cross-Straits relations in 2008.

"The two sides enjoyed more frequent people-to-people exchanges, closer economic ties, more active cultural exchanges and broader common interests.

"Cross-Straits relations have embarked on the track of peaceful development," he said.

Wen said the mainland was ready to make fair and reasonable arrangements through consultation on the issue of Taiwan's participation in the activities of international organizations on the basis of the one-China principle.

"We are also ready to hold talks on cross-Straits political and military issues and create conditions for ending the state of hostility and concluding a peace agreement between the two sides of the Taiwan Straits," he said.