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Cross-Straits exchanges "not enough": DPP former chairman (05/18/09)

 

XIAMEN, May 18 (Xinhua) -- Hsu Hsin-liang, former leader of a major opposition party in Taiwan, said that exchanges between the Chinese mainland and Taiwan are "not enough".

Hsu, former chairman of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), told Xinhua during a phone interview on Sunday that many DPP members thought the progress made since last year in relations across the Taiwan Straits was "too much," but he personally thought it was "not enough".

"There are still restrictions on mainland's investment in Taiwan, or mainlanders' involvement in Taiwan's real-estate industry and stock market investment, and economic and trade exchanges of similar areas should embrace larger-scale opening-up," he said.

"Cross-Straits exchanges especially in the sphere of economy in the past 20 years had greatly helped Taiwan," he said.

"Cross-Straits economic and trade exchanges used to be restricted by the Taiwan authorities, but it is the reality of cross-Straits communication of more than 20 years that economic ties between the two sides are inseparably connected."

"Many Taiwanese have been to the mainland for sight-seeing and traveling or for businesses over the past few decades, but still quite a few of them have never been to the mainland. Large-scale, grassroots, and people-to-people exchanges will be conducive to ironing out historical estrangement, promoting friendship and mutual understanding between the two sides," he said.

"It is quite clear that the Chinese mainland has shown its goodwill and adopted a more opening attitude to members of DPP over the past year."

He called on DPP to correctly handle the development of cross-Straits relations, saying "otherwise it would become a marginalized party".

Hsu came to the mainland to attend the Straits Forum which opened in the southeastern coastal city of Xiamen Saturday. The forum, a week-long event co-hosted by four cities in Fujian Province, which faces Taiwan across the sea, is the largest-yet unofficial cross-Straits forum designed to promote cross-Straits exchanges.

Wang Yi, director of the State Council Taiwan Affairs Office, announced on Sunday measures aimed at expanding mainland's business investment in Taiwan.

Wang encouraged companies to buy more Taiwan-made products, invited Taiwan businesses to take part in the mainland's construction of infrastructure and key projects, pledged to send more mainland tourists to the island, and beef up agricultural cooperation.

Those measures also include opening up more mainland professional qualification tests to Taiwan residents and allow Taiwan's law firms to open branches in Fujian Province.

In the latest round of talks between the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS), and the Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF), two organizations authorized by the mainland and Taiwan to handle cross-Straits exchanges, the two sides agreed to open regular flights, boost cooperation in finance and crack down on crime.

During the previous two talks between the ARATS and SEF, leaders of the two organizations signed agreements on weekend charter flights, tourism, direct shipping, air transport, postal services, which allowed the Chinese mainland and Taiwan had direct air, sea and postal services after decades' practice that air and sea transport as well as mail services between the mainland and Taiwan had to be routed through a third place.

 

 


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