The integrated development of the mainland coastal province of Fujian and Taiwan bore fruit in various fields this year, despite the complex situation across the Taiwan Straits and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Yin Li, secretary of the Communist Party of China Fujian Provincial Committee, said the facts have shown that compatriots in Fujian and Taiwan have a strong desire to improve exchanges and deepen cooperation.
"The great trend of peaceful and integrated development across the Straits cannot be stopped," Yin said on Saturday during the 13th Straits Forum, the largest annual cross-Straits event for grassroots communication, which was held in the province.
From January to October, trade volume between Fujian and Taiwan reached 85.5 billion yuan ($13.42 billion), up 27.4 percent year-on-year, and 1,200 Taiwan-funded enterprises were established in the province, up 22 percent year-on-year, according to Fujian provincial authorities.
To date, Taiwan people have made over 14 million visits to Fujian, and the number of young people from Taiwan who go to Fujian for internships, employment and entrepreneurial ventures has reached nearly 40,000.
To ensure that Taiwan people living on the mainland receive the same treatment as native mainland residents, Fujian took the lead on the mainland in accommodating Taiwan people with a list of 225 items, ranging from employment, social security and medical care for them.
Fujian has been supplying an average of 16,800 metric tons of water per day to Taiwan's Jinmen to alleviate its longtime water shortage, according to official data.
"There is great potential for the integrated development of Fujian and Taiwan. We hope to share the future with Taiwan compatriots and work together with them," Yin said.
Efforts will be made to deepen trade between the two and to make it more convenient for Taiwan people to study, start businesses and work in Fujian, he said.
"Xiamen has a good business environment, and the government often communicates with businesses to solve problems," said Chen Tai-hua, CEO of Runner Group, a Taiwan-funded home furnishing company in Xiamen that went public on the mainland last year.
Last year, local government did a lot to help businesses get back to work after the outbreak of COVID-19, he said, adding that his company resumed work in February 2020.
Taiwan entrepreneurs in Xiamen can contribute a lot to integrated cross-Straits development, he said.
"We should tell people in Taiwan how we live on the mainland and encourage more to come here to live and make a career," he said.
Chen Xiancai, a professor of cross-Straits research at Xiamen University, said the mainland has many policies that give Taiwan people opportunities, that it's a trend for them to integrate into the mainland and that more will come to Fujian in the future.
About 1,600 jobs and internship opportunities are available to young Taiwan people through the Straits Forum this year in fields including rural development, entrepreneurship, talent training and industrial cooperation, the forum organizers said.