Fujian emboldens cross-straits ties
Province hosts 10th annual forum to boost cooperation and exchanges between Taiwan and the Chinese mainland.
The 10th Straits Forum, an annual platform held on the Chinese mainland, got under way on Tuesday in Xiamen, East China Fujian province, aiming to enhance people-to-people interaction, economic exchanges and cultural integration across the Straits.
The general conference is being held on Wednesday in Xiamen and will be followed by a weeklong series of activities that will unfold across Fujian, according to the forum's organizing committee.
Wang Yang, member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, will attend the general conference of the forum and deliver a speech on Wednesday.
Hau Lung-bin, vice-chairman of the Kuomintang Party, and some 8,000 participants from Taiwan including representatives of political parties, cities and counties, and people from all walks of life, have attended the forum, according to the organizer.
The forum has four topics: youth, exchanges between everyday people, culture and economy, and will deal with topics of public interest, such as the future of the next generation, the economy and finance, cross-Straits marriage and traditional culture, said Zhong Zhigang, deputy director of the forum's organizing committee office, at a recent news conference.
A total of 49 activities, including a youth innovation competition, will be held in Xiamen, while another 18 activities will be held in other cities in Fujian province simultaneously, he added.
According to the organizer, this year's forum has 11 more activities than last year, including a youth cultural and creative products market, a sharing session with Taiwan residents who work in Fujian, a graffiti competition, and forums on various topics, including grassroots governance, the creative cultural industry, and beauty and healthcare.
This is the 10th year of the event, which has been running annually since 2009. An exhibition and a story-telling meeting were organized to review the achievements made in the past years.
Several Taiwan residents will share their personal experiences of living or working in the Chinese mainland at an event held on Tuesday afternoon.
The forum also focuses on the promotion of tradition Chinese culture through activities, including a seminar on traditional Chinese medicine.
Intangible cultural performances and folk tours are presented to increase the common cultural identity between people on both sides of the Straits, according to the organizer.
Zhong said another highlight will be the focus on education, employment and entrepreneurship for young people on both sides.
A total of 30 businesspeople, who started their own businesses in Fujian, will be awarded at the forum, and 10 of them will share their stories with attendees.
Li Chung-kuei, founder of the Chinese Youth Exchange Association in Taiwan, said at the Straits Youth Forum opened on Tuesday that a new era has arrived on the Chinese mainland with fast development, which also brings a good opportunity to Taiwan.
"There are many favorable policies for Taiwan residents who live in the mainland. This year, we notice more high school graduates are applying to study at universities in the Chinese mainland. I hope young people from both sides can better communicate and cooperate with each other," she said.
This year, the central government has rolled out 31 measures aimed at ensuring that people from Taiwan who study or work in the mainland can enjoy equal treatment with people from the Chinese mainland.
Zhou Lianqing, a member of the Standing Committee of the Party's Fujian Committee, said the development of the province provides a good platform for the exchanges of young people across the Straits.
He said Fujian has already launched six investment areas for Taiwan entrepreneurs, and over 50 percent of the top 100 Taiwan companies have launched their factories here.
There are 73 startup bases for Taiwan residents in Fujian, and more than 14,000 young people from Taiwan are building or starting their businesses here.
By Yuan Shenggao | China Daily