Beijing offers sweeteners to Taipei

PUBLISHED : Monday, 18 June, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 18 June, 2012, 12:00am


Beijing offered a series of economic sweeteners to Taipei yesterday, pledging 600 billion yuan (HK$734.4 billion) in bank loans to investors, while promising to import rice from the island, in a bid to enhance cross-strait ties.

The vows came at the fourth annual Straits Forum in Xiamen , Fujian province, where Wang Yi, director of the State Council's Taiwan Affairs Office, also announced more mainland regions would be open to job-seeking Taiwanese, including those who graduate from mainland universities.

In response to Beijing's offers, one scholar said he expected Taiwan to return the favours by reforming discriminatory policies against mainland students.

In Wang's speech, posted on the official website of the Taiwan Affairs Office, he said mainland businesses would also be able to directly employ Taiwanese residents in more regions, without setting a timetable. The revised employment policy, which is already in effect in Fujian and Jiangsu provinces, would be implemented in Tianjin, Shanghai, and the provinces of Zhejiang and Hubei .

Taiwanese residents with credentials recognised by education authorities on the mainland could also work at public institutions in the six provinces and municipalities, including at colleges, universities, and cultural and medical institutions. Taiwanese could also receive free employment-consulting services by certified mainland agencies, Wang said. Taiwanese university scholars would be given equal chances to apply for work at mainland universities.

Mainland banks would offer up to 600 billion yuan in credit to Taiwanese companies to help their enterprises develop over the next three to four years.

Wang also announced that the mainland would invest 300 million yuan in a cross-ties foundation to foster scientific research.

Additionally, Nanning in Guangxi, Wuxi in Jiangsu and Changchun in Jilin will be added to a list of 27 cities where Taiwanese can get mainland residential permits. And starting from July 25, the permits will be extended from one to two years.

Sun Yun , an expert in Taiwanese affairs at Xiamen University, said: 'People-to-people exchanges, especially at the grass-roots level, are the foundation for developing cross-strait relations.

'These policies will enable many Taiwanese, especially those from central and southern parts of the island, to visit the mainland.'

The forum ends on Friday.