Document on integrated development aims to boost cultural, emotional links
The recent policy issued by the Chinese mainland promoting the integrated development of the two sides of the Taiwan Strait is a practical construction plan that will promote the development of cross-Strait relations, experts said.
China will make Fujian province, which faces the island of Taiwan across the sea, a demonstration zone for the integrated development across the Taiwan Strait, according to a circular released earlier this month by the Communist Party of China Central Committee and the State Council, China's Cabinet.
The move is aimed at deepening cross-Strait integrated development and advancing the peaceful reunification of the motherland, with measures in place to offer Taiwan people the same treatment as local residents in Fujian.
Wang Yifu, president of the Beijing-based National Society of Taiwan Studies, said the document embodies rich experience, wisdom and emotion, just like a construction schematic with strong operability.
Fujian and Taiwan have deep historical ties, with common cultural roots, memories and folk beliefs, Wang said, adding that many cultures and beliefs were brought to Taiwan from Fujian, including Mazu, a sea goddess worshipped by people on both sides.
The document stipulated that the common faith in Mazu can play a role in promoting cross-Strait integration.
"It will not only help maintain the cultural traditions of Fujian and Taiwan, promote the emotional ties between the people on both sides, but also provide important spiritual support for the peaceful development of the two sides," he said.
Huang Ching-hsien, director of the Taiwan Political Studies Center at Nankai University, said that in the 1980s and 90s, Taiwan business people and enterprises chose Fujian as the first place to invest on the mainland.
Taiwan has certain advantages in some high-tech industries, but from the perspective of industrial development diversity, Taiwan needs to learn from the experiences of the mainland, including Fujian, he said.
Fujian has developed rapidly in a number of industries such as new energy, and there is still a lot of room for people from the two sides to integrate in economics and trade, he added.
A local advocate group on Kinmen, an outlying island near Fujian, launched a campaign recently on building a bridge linking Kinmen and Xiamen in Fujian, and many local people expressed their high expectations for the construction by sending countersignatures.
Zhu Fenglian, spokeswoman of the State Council Taiwan Affairs Office, said at a news conference on Wednesday in Beijing, "We have heard the call of Kinmen residents for the construction of the bridge."
The preliminary technical preparation for the bridge project has been basically completed, and the mainland will work with Kinmen residents from all walks of life to realize the plan of building the bridge, she said.