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Forum renews commitment to across-strait cooperation

Updated: 10 28 , 2013 08:36
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Yu Zhengsheng, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), addresses the opening ceremony of the ninth Cross-Strait Economic, Trade and Culture Forum in Nanning, capital of south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, Oct. 26, 2013. (Xinhua/Wang Ye)

NANNING -- Senior officials from the Chinese mainland and Taiwan at a key cross-Strait forum have proposed reinvigorating the Chinese nation through closer comprehensive cooperation.

The Ninth Cross-Strait Economic, Trade and Culture Forum, a key platform for communication between the Chinese mainland and Taiwan, kicked off Saturday in Nanning, capital of Southwest China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.

Yu Zhengsheng, member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, and Kuomintang (KMT) honorary chairman Wu Poh-hsiung delivered speeches at the opening ceremony.

Both Yu and Wu proposed that the two sides should jointly reinvigorate the Chinese nation by deepening cross-Strait economic, technological, cultural and educational cooperation.

"The concept of 'the two sides are a family' and the awareness of 'common destiny across the Strait' should be reinforced," Yu said.

Deepening economic cooperation should remain a focus in the development of cross-Strait relations and is an inevitable choice for the two sides, both of which belong to the Chinese nation, in facing the challenges and opportunities lurking in the complicated global economic situation, according to Yu.

He proposed more high-level economic dialogues across the Strait and strengthening communication in economic policymaking to boost capabilities for resisting financial risk from the outside world.

Yu urged both sides to accelerate ongoing negotiations for a goods trade agreement and a dispute settlement agreement as well as follow-up negotiations for the milestone Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA). He also urged enacting and implementing agreements signed by the two sides.

Yu, also China's top political advisor, urged the two sides to further open their financial markets and expand reciprocal investment.

"Both sides should broaden the scope of mutual investment and get rid of obstacles that stand in the way of capital flow," he said.

Yu proposed that the two sides enhance cooperation in technological industries, especially in high-tech and renewable energy industries, and strive to sign a cross-Strait technology exchange and cooperation agreement.

He also proposed signing of agreements on cultural and educational cooperation.

The two sides should display to the world the Chinese culture with modern features in jointly-created films, cartoons and digital products, he said.

With the goal of nurturing more talents for national rejuvenation, he encouraged the two sides to cooperate in setting up schools and universities, caring for exchange students and completely recognizing diplomas issued by each side.

Wu said the peaceful cross-Strait relations are at their best since a half century ago and are most recognized by the international community.

Wu said that in the past five years, the two sides have made great strides in advancing cross-Strait ties through economic and political communications.

He mentioned the signing of a series of important agreements by the mainland and the island, such as the ECFA in 2010, and the latest Service Trade Agreement inked in June this year, which further opened service sectors and formulated more favorable policies to boost mutual service industries.

Wu proposed the two sides strengthen exchanges in science and technologies related to the environment, energy and biology to jointly cope with climate change and natural disasters.

He said many proposals adopted at the forum had become real policies benefiting the people of both sides.

The forum was initiated in 2006 in accordance with the common vision of then KMT honorary chairman Lien Chan and then Chinese President Hu Jintao, and has since opened its doors to not only members of the two parties but also to other political groups on the island, said Wu.

"We have more than 200 people here from Taiwan, but only about one third are from the KMT," he said.

Yu Zhengsheng also said the forum has played an irreplaceable role in promoting the peaceful development of mainland-Taiwan ties.

About 350 officials, scholars and representatives of various industries from both sides attended this year's forum. Discussion and proposals initiated at the forum often provide an important reference for policymaking by the two sides.

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