BEIJING, Feb. 15 (Xinhua) -- Scholars and business people across the Taiwan Strait said President Hu Jintao's visit to Taiwan-funded businesses ahead of the Spring Festival showed the mainland's sincerity in promoting peaceful development of ties and full support to Taiwan compatriots.
Zhu Weidong, deputy director of the Institute of Taiwan Studies under the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said the visit signaled the central government's consistency in Taiwan policies.
"It's a declaration that the central government's sincerity in improving cross-Strait relations and care for Taiwan compatriots has not changed," Zhu said.
Hu visited a business park for Taiwan farmers in Zhangzhou city of southeastern Fujian Province Friday ahead of the Spring Festival to extend New Year greetings.
"We will try our best in everything that will benefit the Taiwan compatriots, and we will honor our words," Hu told the Taiwan business people during the visit.
"About 40 percent of Taiwan people are of Zhangzhou origin. The choice of the time, venue and project of the visit was undoubtedly a clear and strong signal," Zhu said.
During Friday's visit, Hu said the on-going negotiation on the cross-Strait Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement, or ECFA, between the mainland and Taiwan would "bring win-win results" and would "put into full consideration the interests of Taiwan compatriots, especially those of farmers."
Chen Wu-hsiung, director-general of Taiwan Federation of Industries, said "Taiwan's industrial and commercial circles have aspired the early inking of the ECFA to prevent the island from being marginalized, but some business people from traditional industries are still worried their interests will be hampered."
"The mainland's commitment made through the top leader's visit made us more confident of smooth signing of the ECFA," he said.
Taiwan's ruling Kuomintang (KMT)'s deputy secretary-general Chang Jung-Kung said Hu's speech manifested his good will to Taiwan public. It was conducive to eliminating some Taiwan people's doubts in signing the pact.
The Zhangzhou Jiuh-Bao Biotechnology Inc., an orchid grower, was the first Taiwan company Hu visited during the trip.
The company's chairmen Huang Ruei-bao said he was still hesitating on whether to expand his flower cultivating base this year. "The president's visit was such a big 'bonus' that made me not afraid any more."
Peng Su-chin, chairman of a Taiwan company, said the Spring Festival was the most important holiday for both mainland and Taiwan people. Hu's visit warmed the hearts of Taiwan business people who stayed on the mainland during the festival. "It's a cultural attachment."
The Spring Festival, or the Chinese lunar new year, falls on Feb. 14 this year.
"The whereabouts of Chinese leaders during the Spring Festival is of much concern each year," said Ho Hsi-hao, head of the Taiwan Business Association in Zhangzhou.
"Hu's visit to Taiwan business people in Zhangzhou displayed the Communist Party of China (CPC) and the central government's ultimate sincerity and good will on work concerning Taiwan affairs."
"It made us fully confident on a bright future of a win-win development across the Strait," he said.