The Communist Party of China Central Committee and China’s State Council have issued a joint circular designating Fujian Province as a demonstration zone to advance cross-Strait integrated development. This strategic move underscores the commitment to advancing the peaceful reunification of the Taiwan Province and nurturing harmonious relations between both sides of the Taiwan Strait.
The circular outlines a comprehensive framework consisting of general requirements and 21 specific measures, signaling a comprehensive approach to this momentous endeavor. Located on China’s southeastern coast, Fujian Province boasts unique advantages and abundant resources, making it an ideal epicenter for integrated cross-Strait development.
Elevating equal treatment and well-being
A cornerstone of the circular’s directives is the optimization of policies and systems to ensure that Taiwan residents are afforded equal treatment alongside their mainland counterparts. Fujian Province aspires to become the preferred destination for Taiwan residents and enterprises seeking opportunities for development on the mainland. To achieve this, a series of noteworthy measures have been outlined:
- Social welfare participation: Taiwan residents are actively encouraged to participate in social welfare programs, with the elimination of the requirement to register for temporary residence in Fujian. This step aims to create a more inclusive environment for Taiwan residents.
- Enhanced employment opportunities: Enterprises, particularly those with Taiwanese investments in Fujian, are urged to hire more Taiwan employees, fostering economic cooperation and integration.
- Medical collaboration: Taiwan-based physicians are now permitted to practice in Fujian, opening avenues for enhanced healthcare services and knowledge sharing.
- Comprehensive support: Fujian Province will bolster institutional support for employment, healthcare, housing, elderly care services, and social assistance for Taiwan residents. This holistic approach aims to address the multifaceted needs of Taiwan residents in Fujian.
- Improved judicial services: Cross-Strait judicial services will be improved, ensuring efficient dispute resolution and legal protections for Taiwan residents.
Strengthening cross-Strait integration
The circular also emphasizes the acceleration of integrated development between specific regions across the Taiwan Strait.
- Xiamen-Kinmen Integration: A key focus is the integrated development between Xiamen and Kinmen, islands currently governed by Taiwan. Kinmen residents residing in Xiamen will receive equal treatment to local residents. Moreover, collaborative efforts will explore models for joint infrastructure development, facilitating the supply of utilities and the construction of bridges connecting Xiamen and Kinmen. Support for Kinmen’s utilization of Xiamen’s new airport is also emphasized.
- Fuzhou-Matsu Partnership: The circular extends its support to the integrated development of Fuzhou and Matsu, an archipelago governed by Taiwan. Measures include entitling Matsu residents in Fuzhou to the same treatment as local residents, establishing a Fuzhou-Matsu industrial cooperation park, and enhancing infrastructure connectivity, including water, electricity, gas, and bridge construction between Fuzhou and Matsu.
The designation of Fujian Province as a demonstration zone for integrated cross-Strait development marks a pivotal milestone in the pursuit of peaceful reunification. The circular’s multifaceted approach aims to foster equal treatment, well-being, and economic integration, while regional collaborations with Kinmen and Matsu exemplify China’s commitment to strengthening cross-Strait relations. As the development unfolds, it is poised to provide new opportunities and prospects for Taiwan residents and mainland counterparts alike, solidifying a brighter and harmonious future for both sides of the Taiwan Strait.