Fujian-Taiwan cross-strait integration would benefit people of the Chinese mainland and island
Masud Rana
The Taipei 101 skyscraper commands the urban landscape in Taipei, southeast China's Taiwan. /Xinhua
The Taipei 101 skyscraper commands the urban landscape in Taipei, southeast China's Taiwan. /Xinhua

The Taipei 101 skyscraper commands the urban landscape in Taipei, southeast China's Taiwan. /Xinhua

Editor's note: Masud Rana, a special commentator on current affairs for CGTN, is an independent researcher, freelance columnist and international affairs analyst. The article reflects the author's opinions and not necessarily the views of CGTN.

According to a circular published on September 12, China will make Fujian Province a demonstration zone for integrated development across the Taiwan Straits. The decision is intended to further the motherland's peaceful reunification and expand cross-Straits integrated development in all sectors. According to a September 6 circular, the State Council approved a general plan for deepening cross-Straits innovative development and cooperation in Dongguan, South China's Guangdong Province, a few days earlier. However, these timely actions are urgent for exchanges and cooperation among people from both sides of the Taiwan Straits.

Since ancient times, Fujian and China's Taiwan region, across a strait, have enjoyed deep links. With increased cross-strait commerce and economic interactions, relations have strengthened. For example, young people in Taiwan are highly eager to establish businesses and have big hopes for Xiamen. A series of Taiwan-administered islands and the Chinese mainland restarted ferry services in 2023 after three years of pandemic.

Even individuals and business people want to strengthen cross-Straits connections. The Chinese mainland is the "world's factory and market" which has a great buying power. Jason Han, vice president of Dachan Greatwall Group, one of the companies from Taiwan that inked business projects at a cross-Straits trade fair in North China's port city of Tianjin this August, said he was optimistic about the Chinese mainland market. The four-day Tianjin-Taiwan trade show brought 300 officials and business people from Taiwan to develop an investment platform for Taiwan companies and enhance cross-Straits economic and trade relations. 

These prompt actions would be beneficial for economic and trade ventures including manufacturing, cultural tourism, agriculture, the establishment of young employment, and entrepreneurship. Fujian, a 40-million-person province on the western side of the Taiwan Straits, is the closest to the Taiwan region physically and culturally.

In March, 2021, Chinese President Xi Jinping called on Fujian, the closest province to Taiwan, to strengthen ties with the island during an inspection trip. Xi advised Fujian to "be bold in exploring new paths for integrated cross-Straits development." Close ties and a solid basis for collaboration exist between Fujian and Taiwan. It is anticipated that the attempts taken by the Chinese mainland will strengthen inter-Straits communication and collaboration while fostering the steady growth of these ties.

In light of strengthening ties, the Chinese State Council's September 12 instructions favor the establishment of internationally competitive industrial bases and improved manufacturing clusters across the Taiwan Straits. These industrial partnerships will improve Fujian and Taiwan's economic and trade relations by leveraging resource complementarity. Fujian and Taiwan have a lengthy industrial chain of petrochemical cooperation.

Building new industrial demonstration bases in suitable locations will be supported, promoting Fujian Province in Eastern China and Taiwan industrial cooperation. According to the provincial government's work report, Fujian Province will continue to be the "first home" for Taiwan residents and enterprises to pursue development on the mainland.

An aerial view of Xiamen City in southeast China's Fujian Province, September 29, 2021. /Xinhua
An aerial view of Xiamen City in southeast China's Fujian Province, September 29, 2021. /Xinhua

An aerial view of Xiamen City in southeast China's Fujian Province, September 29, 2021. /Xinhua

Taiwan's Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) authorities continue to use separatist language and serve as a U.S. puppet to restrain the mainland, which is destroying the island's prosperity and undermining peace and stability across the Taiwan Straits. The people on the island should be aware that the U.S. is pressuring certain nations and areas to restrain the growth of the mainland in order to retain its global hegemony by weakening standard international economic and trade cooperation, especially in the high-tech sector. Through media smear campaigns and the threat of economic penalties, the U.S. and some other Western nations are attempting to restrain the growth of the Chinese people. This has caused the Taiwan region's economic crisis.

Worryingly, the Taiwan Institute of Economic Research predicts more slowing exports and investments in 2023. Since the Chinese mainland is the Taiwan region's biggest export market and trade surplus, worsening cross-Straits ties would make it tougher for the Taiwan region to recover. If the people are unified, the U.S.'s evil intentions will fail.

Trade between Taiwan and the Chinese mainland had significantly increased. According to customs data, cross-strait commerce totaled $319.68 billion in 2022, of which $81.59 billion was imported from the Chinese mainland and $238.09 billion was exported from the island of Taiwan to it.

Fujian-Taiwan commerce surpasses 100 billion yuan ($13.75 billion) for the first time in 2021. Together with economic and commercial cooperation, equitable treatment, and people-to-people interactions, Fujian and Taiwan should continue to advance integrated cross-strait development.

Enhanced collaboration will create industrial bases and cutting-edge manufacturing clusters. Fujian and Taiwan's historic cooperation offers chances to further cross-Straits engagement. The guidelines also encourage Taiwan's fishermen and farmers to participate in the Chinese mainland's rural revitalization and provide them with easier land use and financing to expand into Chinese mainland markets. In addition to economic issues, the recommendations emphasize strengthening the Taiwan Straits science, technology and innovation collaboration and company digital transformation.

The move to deepen cross-Straits economic integration follows Taiwan enterprises' recent investment in the Chinese mainland. In the first seven months, Taiwan's enterprises established in Chiense mainland increased 26.5 percent and investment 19.2 percent.

Taiwan's economy benefits from the Chinese mainland. Taiwan should recognize that returning to the motherland is the greatest approach to strengthen its economy and enhance the the lives of its inhabitants.

(If you want to contribute and have specific expertise, please contact us at Follow @thouse_opinions on Twitter to discover the latest commentaries in the CGTN Opinion Section.)

Search Trends