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Forum promotes exchanges between Taiwan, mainland youth

Updated: 06 18 , 2015 09:01
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By Wan Lina, special contributor to Taiwan Study, Revolutionary Committee, Chinese Kuomintang

The seventh Straits Forum kicked off June 13 in Fujian Province. As a folk gala for Taiwan and the Chinese mainland since its establishment in 2009, the forum adheres to the philosophy ?one family across the (Taiwan) Strait? characterized by grass-roots folk culture and the spirit of universality. The forum attracts crowds every time, especially people from Taiwan. The forum has achieved increasing support and participation from them as cross-strait relations peacefully improve.

Through six years' development, the forum has become an important platform for cross-strait compatriots to bridge the gap, promote mutual understanding and identification, deepen relationships and build consensus.

Starting last year the forum has acquired two highlights: youth cooperation and grassroots exchanges. These will continue and deepen this year.

The foundation of peaceful and stable cross-strait relations is grassroots communication and youth exchanges that also provide impetus for the continuous prosperity of cross-strait relations. Youth exchanges are also becoming more prominent and important against the new backdrop of cross-strait relations.

More and more young people in Taiwan are studying, working and starting up businesses on the mainland. By virtue of reform and innovation unleashed by enlarged opening up, the mainland has gradually become the new option for Taiwan youth to realize their dreams. According to a Taiwan TVBS program's survey of adults aged 20-49 in March this year, more than half thought their salary and career development opportunities were better on the mainland than in Taiwan, and one-third wanted to work on the mainland.

However, due to what Chinese dub ?common and not-the-same historical memory? and different educational backgrounds, youths from across the Strait experience misunderstandings and distance in ideology and mentality. These exchanges need further exploration. Youths from the mainland and Taiwan still share similar cultures, good intentions as well as a deep yearning for personal growth. These universal commonalities offer an intersection and solid foundation for exchange.

On May 4 this year, General Secretary Xi Jinping of the Communist Party of China Central Committee met Kuomintang Chairman Zhu Lilun. Xi requested more focus on youths across the Strait, providing more opportunities and platforms for more heart-to heart communications that eventually help them become companions who work together well.

Taking account of the special and entrepreneurial requirements of youths across the Strait, the forum's youth exchanges included four activities: the youth forum, a juvenile new media creation forum, movie and television and care of next-generation growth forum. It is expected these activities help youths on both sides establish friendship, build trust and join hands to become companions that work together.

This gala will help youths understand the importance of peaceful development of cross-strait relations, find their own position and own road through communication and achieve personal growth. In the history of the Chinese nation, compatriots across the Strait are always linked together. They share weal and woe. The Chinese Dream is the dream of all Chinese people including Taiwan compatriots. It offers the greatest enlightenment that the forum brings to youths across the Strait.