As Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou pledged closer ties with the mainland, China is also working to improve these ties by offering Taiwan companies $95 billion in credit. AFP reports:
China pledged Sunday to offer up to 600 billion yuan ($95 billion) in credit to Taiwanese companies on the mainland as it furthered its campaign for reunification.
China will also increase access to mainland universities for Taiwanese teachers and students and allow direct cross-strait flights to three more mainland airports, Wang Yi, head of the cabinet-level Taiwan Affairs Office said.
“In order to help Taiwanese enterprises develop, mainland banks… will offer a 600 billion yuan credit ceiling over the next three to four years,” Wang said in a speech at a forum in southeast China’s Xiamen city.
In addition Taiwanese professors will be given equal status to apply for work in mainland universities after receiving “educational permits”, he said, while Taiwanese students graduating from Chinese universities will be allowed to seek public sector jobs in China.
According to China Daily, these announcements were made in the fourth Cross-Straits forum:
Tainan municipal government, led by Taiwan’s main opposition party, sent a delegation to attend the fourth Cross-Straits Forum, which opened in Southeast China’s coastal city of Xiamen Saturday evening.
“Tainan and southern Fujian province share the same customs, culture and language, and have the desire to communicate and cooperate,” Huang Li-zhou, a Tainan city legislator, said.
At a conference on Saturday, Lin Kuo-hua, representative of the Tainan city government and deputy head of the city’s tourism bureau, invited mainland tourists to visit Tainan and experience the city’s unique natural sceneries, history and civilization.
Lin said around 400,000 tourists from the mainland visited Tainan last year. The number was much lower than that of the cities in north Taiwan.
Also at the forum, senior leader, Jia Qinglin, called for increased cooperation between the mainland and Taiwan at the grassroots level. Xinhua adds:
Jia made the remarks Saturday in the coastal city Xiamen at a meeting with 180 guests from both the mainland and Taiwan who were scheduled to attend a forum aimed at promoting cross-Strait grass-roots exchanges.
“The peaceful development of cross-Strait relations have entered the stage of consolidation. We will continue to implement favorable policies and strengthen political, economic, cultural and social foundations for future development of cross-Strait relations,” said Jia, chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference.
Jia also stressed more cross-Strait cooperation in the fields of culture and education.
“Deepening the peaceful development of cross-Strait relations requires the efforts of people from both sides. It’s better if cross-Strait exchanges involve more people, more fields and are carried out in greater depth,” Jia said.
Read more about cross strait relations, via CDT.