Fujian has open arms for people of Taiwan

Updated 2018-03-28 10:18:01 China Daily

Cities in Fujian Province, which borders the Taiwan Straits, have considered detailed measures to put into practice the country's newly unveiled 31-article policy offering equal treatment to residents on both sides of the straits.

The measures discussed include encouraging local institutions that offer guarantees to small and medium-sized enterprises to include Taiwan businesses in their financing services, supporting professors and teachers from Taiwan in applying for research projects and inspiring technical talent from Taiwan to join local professional associations, city officials said during the recent national legislative session.

Altogether, 22 of 31 measures have already been implemented in Fujian, which has long been a window of exchange and cooperation between people on the two sides of the straits, according to Zhong Zhigang, deputy director of the Fujian Provincial Taiwan Affairs Office.

Other measures will be taken soon as part of a maximum effort to include Taiwan residents in the local public services system, including education, employment and residency, and generally in the tide of economic and social development sweeping the Chinese mainland, he said.

Lin Wenyao, a deputy to the National People's Congress and director of the administrative committee of the Pingtan Comprehensive Experimental Area in Fujian, said the area-the closest to Taiwan geographically-aims to become a demonstration zone in this respect.

"We're mulling plans to build the area into a second living space for Taiwan residents by introducing high-end services" Lin said.

Lin said some measures in the 31-article policy, which took effect at the end of February, were already implemented in the area, such as recognizing Taiwan residents' professional qualifications in the fields of medicine, architecture, design and education.

"Nearly 300 Taiwan residents have benefited from the policy," he said.

Moreover, in Pingtan, Taiwan residents have been able to qualify for five-year visas since September 2015.

Chen Zixuan, an NPC deputy from Xiamen, the city that first introduced regulations embracing Taiwan residents for employment and investment in 1994, suggested further detailed measures to eliminate inconvenience for Taiwan residents.

One of her suggestions is to unify the eight-digit mainland travel permit for Taiwan residents with an 18-digit mainland resident-style ID so that those coming from Taiwan can simply swipe their permits when checking in for flights or when taking trains. They could also more easily register for shared bikes and other services.

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