CHENGDU, Aug. 19 (Xinhua) -- A senior Taiwan affairs official for the Chinese mainland has called for those representing grassroots public opinion on both sides of the Taiwan Strait to make more efforts to promote cross-Strait exchanges at the civilian level.
Wang Yi, director of the Taiwan Work Office of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, made the remarks Sunday while attending a forum for representatives of grassroots public opinion from both the mainland and Taiwan.
Wang stressed that these representatives' work efficiency in understanding grassroots people's demands directly affects the impact of the mainland's various Taiwan-related policies, and the mainland is willing keep close contact with them in order to learn about the thoughts of the people of Taiwan and help solve their problems.
"Taiwanese people are not very familiar with the mainland yet, and many still harbor doubt and misunderstandings... We hope the representatives of grassroots public opinion on the island could objectively introduce the mainland's development and their experiences here," Wang said in his speech addressing the forum.
The 3rd Shuangbai (or "Double Hundreds") Forum is a key platform for representatives of grassroots public opinion from the mainland and Taiwan to exchange ideas. Its name comes from the fact that each side had 100 representatives attending the first forum in 2005.
Voicing a willingness to extend cross-Strait exchanges to the countryside, Wang said the huge and resourceful mainland market will be a "big stage" for various Taiwanese towns and villages to expand their businesses.
"It's a fact that the two sides still have some differences, and we need to keep a positive attitude to seek more common ground and gradually resolve our differences in order to secure steady and long-term cross-Strait relations," Wang said.
In addition, Wang expressed his hope that these representatives could provide more resources and organizational support for exchanges between civilians from both sides.
The 3rd Shuangbai, which ran from Saturday to Sunday, attracted more than 150 councilor representatives from 22 counties and cities on the island.