Beijing touts preferential policies for Taiwanese in China

2017/03/09 14:01:58
(CNA file photo)

(CNA file photo)

Beijing, March 9 (CNA) Beijing is expected to roll out a series of preferential policies to attract Taiwanese to work and live on the mainland, and provide them with more convenience and opportunities, a Chinese official said Wednesday.

Currently, China's Taiwan Affairs Office is in consultation with relevant government agencies to frame policies favorable for Taiwanese, a process that is likely to be completed later this year, said Chen Deming (陳德銘), chairman of China's Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS), the semi-official organization in charge of cross-Taiwan Strait relations in the absence of official ties.

Chen said in an interview with China's state-run Xinhua news agency that although cross-strait communication and negotiation mechanisms have been suspended, China will not change its major policy direction on Taiwan and will continue to promote people-to-people exchanges between the two sides.

This year, Beijing will probably roll out a wide range of preferential policies and measures to encourage Taiwanese to work and live in China.

These include encouraging Taiwanese businesses to develop in China by increasing the degrees of freedom and convenience for trade and investment there and opening its market wider to Taiwanese enterprises, according to Chen.

In addition, the Chinese authorities will launch measures to support Taiwanese living and working in China, including providing more convenient services in living, transport and children's education.

The government will also introduce policies to encourage young Taiwanese people to study, take up internships, work and start businesses in China, Chen said.

However, he reiterated that the "1992 Consensus" is China's unshakable bottom line for cross-strait relations and that it remains the touchstone for testing Taiwan's goodwill.

He said that sticking to the "1992 Consensus" shows Beijing's "utmost goodwill" in response to Taiwan Premier Lin Chuan's (林全) March 7 call for goodwill in cross-strait relations, a day after Chinese officials issued strong warnings to Taiwan against pursuing independence.

Chen also called on Taiwan to authorize the Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) -- ARATS's counterpart in Taiwan -- to make clear its stance on the "1992 Consensus."

The "1992 Consensus" refers to a tacit agreement between China and Taiwan's former Kuomintang government that there is only one China, with the two sides free to interpret what that means.

Beijing has used it to stress its "one China" principle, which emphasizes that Taiwan is a part of China.

Taiwan's Democratic Progressive Party administration does not recognize the "1992 Consensus" although President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) has promised not to change the status quo or to amend the Republic of China (Taiwan) constitution.

(By Chiu Kuo-chiang and Evelyn Kao)
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