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Beijing's approach 'appeals to Taiwan people'
By Xing Zhigang (China Daily)
Updated: 2006-01-16 05:26

Beijing is adopting a soft and pragmatic people-centred approach on cross-Straits ties to counter Taiwan leader Chen Shui-bian's hard line against the mainland, analysts said yesterday.

Experts on Taiwan studies predicted that the mainland's goodwill and sincerity would appeal to more Taiwan people who hope for peace and stability across the Straits.

Their comments came after President Hu Jintao pledged on Saturday to provide mainland-based Taiwan business people with better aid and services.

During his tour of Xiamen in the eastern province of Fujian, which faces Taiwan across the Straits, Hu said the mainland welcomes more Taiwan people to do business.

President Hu Jintao Saturday called for the three direct links between the Chinese mainland and Taiwan when visiting Taiwan businessmen in Xiamen, East China's Fujian Province.
President Hu Jintao talks with a Taiwan businessman in Xiamen, East China's Fujian Province January 14, 2006. [Xinhua]

The president said business collaboration between the mainland and Taiwan benefits people across the Straits as well as the economic development of both sides, Xinhua News Agency reported.

Hu also expressed his hope that both sides would establish three direct links - trade, transport and postal services - across the Taiwan Straits at an early date. Taipei has banned such links since 1949.

Li Jiaquan, a researcher with the Institute of Taiwan Studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said Hu has sent a clear message that Beijing is focusing on economic issues to serve the fundamental interests of Taiwan people.

"By addressing what concerns the Taiwan public most, President Hu is applying the principle of 'putting people first' to deal with cross-Straits issues," he told China Daily.

"His flexible and pragmatic approach is in contrast to Chen's unreasonable and irresponsible attitude towards cross-Straits relations."
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