Mainland’s door remains open to Taiwan
OUR CORRESPONDENT XIAMEN—Young entrepreneurs, village chiefs, night market vendors, dispute mediators, meteorologists, among others, are attending an annual cross-Strait exchange event in Xiamen City.
The Straits Forum that began on Sunday in Fujian Province, identified by many people in Taiwan as their ancestral home, is a place to discuss business, friendship and even to find long-lost relatives.
Relations across the Taiwan Strait are at complicated juncture, but the annual forum continues as normal.
With Tsai Ing-wen taking office as Taiwan’s new leader, the direction of cross-Strait relationship is unclear. This year’s forum is seen as a barometer for how ordinary people feel about the situation.
To the casual observer, the event looks better than ever, with new activities including innovation and youth entrepreneurship forums.
China’s top political advisor Yu Zhengsheng told the opening ceremony on Sunday morning that the more complicated cross-Strait relations become, the more ordinary people need to get together. Yu believes that a better future requires peace and cooperation across the board.
Relations have come a long way since the mainland and Taiwan be- gan to talk seriously to one another in 1987. A new phase of friendly interaction began in 2008, with the first Straits Forum held the following year. In 2015, mutual visits across the Strait exceeded 100 million persons.
The mainland has done a lot to make it easier for mainlanders to visit the island and for islanders to come ashore. A plethora of policies, most notably removing entry permit barriers for Taiwan residents, show the mainland walking the walk.
On Sunday, Yu made it clear that the mainland would continue to make it easier for Taiwan’s people to live and work on the mainland if they chose, and would support Taiwan’s businesses on the mainland in restructuring and joining in the Belt and Road Initiative.
Besides, Yu said, the mainland is happy that so many young people from Taiwan want to study, work and start businesses or families on the mainland, and looks forward to better cooperation in science and technology, as well as more academic exchanges.
Changes may take place in Taiwan’s political landscape, but as the bonds of business, amity and family between compatriots grow stronger, the momentum will become irresistible. The door will not close, but open wider.