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Chinese mainland, Taiwan to deepen cooperation amid global downturn (05/28/09)


The signing ceremony of economic and trade cooperation projects of the Chongqing-Taiwan Week is held in Chongqing, southwest China, May 28, 2009.
(Xinhua Photo)
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CHONGQING, May 28 (Xinhua) -- The Chinese mainland would take further measures to boost economic cooperation with Taiwan in a joint effort to cope with the global economic downturn, a senior official said here Thursday.

The comment came from Wang Yi, director of the State Council (Cabinet) Taiwan Affairs Office, at the opening ceremony of the Chongqing-Taiwan Week in the southwest municipality.

He said there would be talks about cooperation in the telecommunications, semiconductor lighting and wind power sectors.

The Communist Party of China Central Committee general secretary Hu Jintao said during a meeting with Kuomintang Chairman Wu Poh-hsiung in Beijing Tuesday that jointly tackling the impact of the global downturn was the top priority of both sides.

Kuomintang (KMT) Chairman Wu Poh-hsiung (L FRONT) and Chen Yunlin (R FRONT), president of the mainland-based Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS), attend the opening ceremony of the Chongqing-Taiwan Week in Chongqing, southwest China, May 28, 2009. (Xinhua Photo)
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According to Wang, the Chinese mainland and Taiwan have already discussed the potential for cooperation in Chinese traditional medicine, solar energy and auto electronic products.

The mainland will organize seven to nine purchasing teams to Taiwan between May and September to help develop the island economy during the global downturn.

The official also said the mainland would encourage more of its citizens to visit Taiwan, estimating that the total number of mainland tourists to the island this year would exceed 600,000.

The mainland also encouraged more Taiwan enterprises to operate in the mainland and would offer more financial, tax and technical support, he said.

Wang said the mainland was studying the possibility of establishing an economic cooperation mechanism that would meet the needs of economic development on both sides of the Taiwan Straits.

"We will try to start talks on a framework pact on cross-Straits economic cooperation in the second half of this year," said Wang.

Chongqing Municipality signed 49 cooperative agreements here Thursday with Taiwan enterprises that were in the delegation headed by Wu.

The agreements, worth a total of 38.3 billion yuan (5.63 billion U.S. dollars), included 25.3 billion yuan related to financial services.

Wu said the Kuomintang Party clearly advocated peaceful development of cross-Straits relations.

At the invitation of CPC Central Committee general secretary Hu Jintao, Wu and his delegation arrived in Beijing on Monday and came to Chongqing on Wednesday for the second stop of their mainland visit.

Wu said the Chongqing-Taiwan Week provided an opportunity for greater cooperation and Chongqing was expected to become a new hot spot favored by Taiwan investors.

Wu also hailed the measures taken by the mainland, such as sending purchasing team to Taiwan, which he said would have important impact on Taiwan's economic recovery and market confidence recovery.

Bo Xilai, secretary of the Chongqing Municipal Committee of the CPC, told the ceremony that the municipality would provide better services for cross-Straits conferences, exhibitions and forums and would help promote sales of Taiwan commodities in west China by taking advantage of the city's Cuntan bonded zone.

Chongqing has been designated by the central government to become the economic center of the areas along the upper reaches of the Yangtze River and an important region of economic growth in western China, Bo said, adding this would provide broader room for Chongqing-Taiwan cooperation.

According to the municipal government, trade between Chongqing and Taiwan exceeded 200 million U.S. dollars last year.



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