Graphics: Increased trade and exchanges across Taiwan Straits
Increased trade and exchanges between the Chinese mainland and the Taiwan region have brought tangible benefits to people on both sides.
However, Taiwan leader Tsai Ing-wen's "transit" in the U.S. and a meeting with U.S. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy is undermining peace and stability across the Taiwan Straits. China has strongly condemned the U.S.' wrong signals to "Taiwan independence" separatist forces.
Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs reiterated on Thursday that China firmly opposes any form of official interaction between the U.S. and the Taiwan region. The ministry once again urged the U.S. to abide by the one-China principle and the provisions of the three China-U.S. joint communiques.
The Chinese mainland has been the Taiwan region's largest export market for the last 22 years, generating a large annual surplus for the island. The volume of cross-Straits trade rose to $319.68 billion in 2022 from $46 million in 1978.
In 2022, the Taiwan region's trade with the Chinese mainland accounted for 22.6 percent of the island's total external trade. Taiwan's exports to the Chinese mainland accounted for 25.3 percent of the island's total exports.
The Chinese mainland has become the largest destination for Taiwan's off-island investment in 2022, attracting 33.6 percent of the island's total off-island investment in 2022. Taiwan's investment on the Chinese mainland mainly went to Jiangsu, Fujian and Guangdong.
Taiwan region's investment on the Chinese mainland in 2022 was mostly related to electronic parts and components manufacturing, with a share of 29.6 percent. Computers, electronic and optical products manufacturing industry attracted 10.4 percent of the investment.
As the Chinese mainland lifted its COVID-19 travel restrictions, cross-Straits exchanges have recovered. There were 9,336 Chinese mainland visitors to the Taiwan region in January 2023, with an increase of 767.7 percent compared with the same period in 2022.
From 1987 to the end of January 2023, there had been a total of 31.7 million visitors from the Chinese mainland to the Taiwan region. The annual number of visitors from the Chinese mainland to the Taiwan region hit a record high of about 4.1 million in 2015 where nearly 81 percent traveled for tourism.