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Fresh opportunity to improve cross-Straits relations

Updated: Dec 31, 2020 By ZHANG YANGFEI CHINA DAILY Print
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The Taipei 101 skyscraper in Taipei, Taiwan, China. [Photo/Xinhua]

The Chinese mainland will continue to adhere to the one-China principle, resolutely oppose Taiwan independence and actively promote peaceful development and integration across the Taiwan Straits, Zhu Fenglian, a spokeswoman for the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council, said on Wednesday.

Zhu told a news conference in Beijing that next year marks the start of building a modern socialist country and the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-25). The mainland will make efforts to create more opportunities for Taiwan compatriots and enterprises in the process of national rejuvenation and unite people on both sides of the Straits to advance the unification of the country together.

Zhu said 2020 has been an extraordinary year that saw COVID-19 spread across the globe and the international situation undergo profound changes, which also made the situation across the Straits more complex and severe.

However, the mainland has been able to adapt to changes and overcome difficulties and reaped positive results in dealing with the Taiwan question, she said.

The mainland has taken a series of effective measures to thwart Taiwan independence and external forces, maintaining overall stability across the Straits.

During the pandemic, mainland and Taiwan people worked together to fight the disease and the central government issued a series of epidemic control measures to help Taiwan people and enterprises resume work and production.

To deepen cross-Straits integration and help Taiwan people solve problems, the mainland continued to implement the"31 measures" and"26 measures" rolled out by the central government in 2018 and 2019 respectively to promote cross-Straits economic and cultural exchanges.

East China's Fujian province has also continued to facilitate access to water, electricity and gas for Taiwan's Jinmen and Matsu islands.

The two sides have also held more than 500 exchange activities both online and offline, including the 12th Straits Forum, the cross-Straits entrepreneurs summit and a youth development forum.

Despite the impact of the pandemic and restrictions by Taiwan authorities, the mainland and Taiwan maintained the momentum of exchanges. Cross-Straits economic and trade exchanges have continued to grow, with trade reaching $235 billion from January to November, a year-on-year increase of 13.8 percent.

Taiwan enterprises on the mainland have maintained overall stable production and operations and Taiwan investment has seen positive changes in terms of more large projects involving more high technology.

To help Taiwan enterprises and entrepreneurs expand in the domestic market, the mainland issued 11 measures this year to help Taiwan enterprises resume work and production smoothly, organized a series of online promotion activities to help them make good use of e-commerce platforms and assisted them in participating in the third China International Import Expo.

The central government also actively paved the way for Taiwan enterprises to participate in the Belt and Road Initiative and guided more than 10 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities to organize Taiwan-related economic and trade exchange activities.

Various regions and departments across the country also organized a series of employment and entrepreneurship activities for Taiwan youth to facilitate internships and employment on the mainland.

Zhu said the unstoppable exchanges have fully demonstrated that cross-Straits economic and trade cooperation is in line with the interests of compatriots on both sides and has a strong momentum that cannot be stopped by occasional incidents or human interference.

"The facts have proved that Taiwan's economic development cannot be separated from the mainland," Zhu said, adding that only when the two sides strengthen cooperation can Taiwan's economy have better prospects and can Taiwan compatriots benefit more.

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