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Deepening cross-Straits integrated development, forum kicks off in Fujian


Journalists take photos in front of the primary venue of the 16th Straits Forum in Xiamen City, southeast China's Fujian Province, June 14, 2024. /CFP
Journalists take photos in front of the primary venue of the 16th Straits Forum in Xiamen City, southeast China's Fujian Province, June 14, 2024. /CFP

Journalists take photos in front of the primary venue of the 16th Straits Forum in Xiamen City, southeast China's Fujian Province, June 14, 2024. /CFP

Lai Yen-chun, a young woman from Taipei, has lived in Wuhan, capital of central China's Hubei Province, for 15 years. Currently a law teacher at Zhongnan University of Economics and Law, Lai has endeavored to provide legal counseling and pro bono legal services to Taiwan people living on the mainland.

"Many Taiwan youths had devoted themselves to promoting cross-Straits exchanges. The baton is now handed over to me," Lai said at this year's Straits Youth Forum held on Friday, adding the race for passing the "baton" has never stopped and will never stop among youths from both sides of the Straits.

A witness of the young people's participation in cross-Straits integration, the Straits Youth Forum is one of the key activities of the annual Straits Forum, an important platform for advancing inclusive and grassroots cross-Straits communication and cooperation.

Deepening cross-Straits integrated development

With the theme "Expanding people-to-people exchanges and deepening integrated development," this year's Straits Forum is held in southeast China's Fujian Province, which is the mainland province situated closest to the Taiwan region.

The main conference is scheduled to commence on Saturday at the forum's primary venue in Fujian's coastal city of Xiamen. Approximately 50 events will be held across various cities in the province to help enterprises and institutions from both sides to sign agreements on rural revitalization, Taiwan youth entrepreneurship, science and technology, culture, publishing, public welfare, and financial sector cooperation, facilitating the implementation of a number of cross-Straits integrated projects in Fujian.

Activities will also be held to showcase the development of cross-Straits social, economic and emotional integration, as well as achievements Fujian has made in its efforts to promote integrated development.

In September 2023, the province was assigned to be a demonstration zone to leverage its distinctive advantages in order to further enhance integrated cross-Straits development, according to a circular jointly issued by the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and the State Council.

The objective, according to the circular, is to make Fujian the preferred destination for Taiwan residents and enterprises to pursue development on the mainland.

During a meeting held in Xiamen on Friday, Wang Huning, chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, urged concrete actions to push forward the development of the demonstration zone and efforts to facilitate the study, work and life of Taiwan compatriots on the mainland, especially the young people.

Working together for long-term prosperity of the Chinese nation

Speaking at Friday's Straits Youth Forum, Sean Lien, vice chair of the Chinese Kuomintang (KMT) party, stressed that no matter how the situation in the Taiwan Straits fluctuates, cross-Straits youth exchanges can never be suspended, rather, they should continue to expand, as "youth cooperation across the Straits is an important foundation for the future development and rejuvenation of the Chinese nation," he said.

Lien's remarks echoed what Chinese President Xi Jinping has reiterated on many occasions.

In April this year, when meeting with former KMT leader Ma Ying-jeou in Beijing, Xi, also general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, said that both sides of the Straits will have a prosperous future only when their youth have high aspirations.

Noting a strong and unified country has always been the pillar upon which the future of all the Chinese people, including compatriots in Taiwan, depends, Xi urged people on both sides of the Straits to work together to pursue a bright future for peaceful reunification and for the long-term prosperity of the Chinese nation.

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