China unveils 6 new cross-strait measures
June 17, 2013, 12:04 am TWN
TAIPEI -- China announced six measures aimed at promoting further exchanges with Taiwan Sunday, saying that there are another 25 in the pipeline.
Zhang Zhijun, head of the State Council's Taiwan Affairs Office, made the announcement at a cross-Taiwan Strait forum in the Chinese city of Xiamen, saying that he was authorized to unveil six of a total of 31 measures that the Chinese government is taking to increase exchanges and cooperation with Taiwan.
He did not say when the other measures will be made public.
The spate of the new measures seemed to be China's latest effort to woo Taiwanese hearts and minds after Xi Jinping took over the rein of power in March.
In response, Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Council said that it would study the measures before making an official comment.
The Tourism Bureau, however, welcomed a measure that will make it easier for Chinese nationals to apply for travel documents to come to Taiwan.
Speaking at the forum, Yu Zhengsheng, chairman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, also made an overture to supporters of Taiwan independence.
"Even those who once supported and promoted Taiwan independence, or followed those who do, so long as they are willing to help improve and develop cross-strait relations, will be welcome to visit the mainland and to join us in promoting exchanges and cooperation between the two sides of the strait," he told the delegates.
According to the New China News Agency, the six measures announced by Zhang include:
— Facilitating travel and increasing convenience, for instance by increasing from nine to 20 the number of provinces and cities where Taiwanese nationals can apply for new travel documents allowing them to enter and exit China; allowing qualified Chinese citizens in 31 provinces and cities to apply for travel documents to visit Taiwan, regardless of the location of their official residence; and extending the maximum length of visits to Kinmen by residents of Xiamen from one day to two;
— Expanding job opportunities for Taiwanese in China, including opening the certification examinations of 10 professions to Taiwanese residents and providing support to Taiwanese who want to start a business in China after earning a degree there;
— The Supreme People's Court of China will issue an explanation allowing the recognition and enforcement of civil settlements reached by the mediation committees of Taiwanese local townships, in order to better protect people's rights;
— Increasing the number of designated bases for official cross-strait exchanges from 17 to 28, with the new ones including the Confucius Temple in Shandong Province and the Mausoleum of the 72 Revolutionary Martyrs in Guangzhou;
— The establishment of the first 10 designated bases for official cross-strait cultural exchanges, including the National Art Museum of China; and
— The establishment of a cross-strait copyright trading center and a base for the digital publishing industry in Fujian Province.