China steps up cross-strait measures to benefit Taiwanese
The China Post news staffSenior officials of mainland China announced yesterday a series of new measures benefiting people from Taiwan in stepped-up interchanges across the Taiwan Strait. The steps will include offering equal employment opportunities to people from Taiwan and extending the maximum validity of Taiwan residents' travel permits to the mainland to two years.
June 18, 2012, 12:12 am TWN
Beijing will also increase the number of mainland cities eligible to issue visas to people from Taiwan upon landing and boost agricultural imports from Taiwan.
The new measures were made public at the fourth Strait Forum being held in Xiamen City of Fujian province in southeastern China and attended by delegates from both sides of the Taiwan Strait.
Officials from the Mainland Affairs Council in Taipei welcomed the further measures for more active interchanges. They said the council will conduct a study of the new steps for further actions.
Students from Taiwan presently studying at universities in the mainland said the relaxed job rules will help their career plans when seeking employment there. Educators said the new regulations will help to further integrate the mainland as part of the global market with more opportunities for people in Taiwan.
Director Wang Yi of Beijing's Taiwan Affairs Office said the mainland will double the validity period to two years for the travel documents issued to Taiwanese people visiting the mainland.
Beijing will also ease restrictions for Taiwanese citizens working and studying in the mainland to ensure them of equal job opportunities as enjoyed by mainland residents, including teaching in China's higher education institutes, Wang added.
The director announced that the mainland cities of Nanning in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region and Wuxi in Jiangsu province will be added June 20 to the current 28 locations in China allowed to handle convenient travel permit services for Taiwanese citizens.
Changchun City in Jilin province is also scheduled to provide the services this year, according to Wang.
The number of mainland tourist groups allowed to visit Taiwan as well as the scale of the individual travel program for Chinese visitors to Taiwan will be increased, he said.
Mainland China will approve a second Taiwan office for tourism promotion in Shanghai. The Taipei-based travel association presently has only a single branch in Beijing.
Wang added that the state-owned Bank of China, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, and the China Construction Bank and the China Development Bank based in China will offer 600 billion Chinese yuan (US$94.25 billion) in loans in the next three to four years to Taiwanese businesspeople seeking to develop and expand their business operations in China.
In addition, China will allow imports of rice produced in Taiwan.
Meanwhile, the National Natural Science Foundation of China and Fujian province will jointly set up a cross-Taiwan Strait science and technology fund, which will receive public funds of 30 million yuan each year to carry out cooperation projects with counterpart organizations based in Taiwan.
Wang added that cross-strait cultural exchanges will also be expanded.