Fujian works to bolster cross-Straits exchanges

Updated: Jun 17, 2019 By Hu Meidong in Fuzhou and Zhang YI in Beijing China Daily Print
A container terminal in Xiamen, Fujian province, Dec 20, 2017. [Photo/VCG]

Fujian, the mainland province closest to Taiwan, recently issued a guideline on exploring integrated development across the Taiwan Straits, aiming to expand cross-Straits connectivity and build itself into a nexus for Taiwan residents and businesses.

The guideline lists 42 measures covering many aspects of integration, including boosting trade, cultural communication, and interconnectivity in infrastructure, energy and industrial standards.

Taiwan companies can apply for business registration in the same way as their counterparts in Fujian do. Some significant and leading Taiwan companies and projects will be given priority of land use on the mainland. The province will explore direct settlement between the renminbi and New Taiwan dollar, according to the document.

Fujian will step up efforts to establish water, electricity and gas connections between the province's coastal area and Taiwan's Jinmen and Matsu islands, which lack those resources, the guideline said.

In August, a 28-kilometer pipeline from Fujian to Jinmen started to alleviate the islet's water shortages, providing about 2.62 million cubic meters of water by the end of April.

Fujian will also further promote policies that grant Taiwan residents the same living, working and studying rights as mainlanders.

With mainland residence permits, Taiwan people in Fujian will benefit from the province's real estate purchasing policies and medical insurance, and they will be allowed to use their Taiwan driver's licenses in the province.

To lure more Taiwan professionals, the province will standardize the subsidy high-end Taiwan professionals receive to 2 million yuan ($289,000), currently the high end of the range.

Wu Chia-ying, president of the Taiwan Businessmen Association in Xiamen, said, "These measures show us Fujian's determination to promote the integrated development of the two sides."

Last year, 3.63 million Taiwan residents visited Fujian, 16 percent more than in 2017. About 12,300 young people from Taiwan went to Fujian to find work or start their own businesses last year, an 87 percent year-on-year increase.

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