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Expert: Cross Straits Forum a key platform to improve understanding


06-15-2014 13:08 BJT

It’s now day two of the week-long 6th Cross Straits Forum in the southern port city of Xiamen on the Chinese mainland. The mainland’s top political advisor Yu Zhengsheng attended the meeting Sunday, and gave a speech in which he delivered greetings from President Xi Jinping to all those present. 

The event features an array of activities on grass roots exchanges between Taiwan and the mainland. We talked to an expert on Taiwan affairs from Tsinghua University, and here are the details.

The Cross Strait Forum is the biggest event for exchanges between people in the mainland and Taiwan, both in terms of scale and those on the guest list.

Yin Cunyi, Deputy director of the Taiwan Institute from Tsinghua University, describes it as an essential platform for improving mutual understanding.

"Ordinary people in Taiwan do not have many opportunities to visit the mainland, especially those in the south of Taiwan. So the forum narrows the distance between people." Yin Cunyi said.

The annual forum was started in 2009, and since then 118 resulting measures have been implemented, many that benefit Taiwan residents.

"The measures aim to send a message to people in Taiwan that is, a close relationship between the two sides will benefit the development of Taiwan. It is this good willing signal that we are trying to send through the forum." Yin Cunyi said.

There are also some challenges facing relations. Last year, a service ad trade deal signed between Taiwan and the mainland triggered protests in Taiwan.

"One of the major problems both have to face, is how to bring more benefits to people in Taiwan as the cooperation further deepens." Yin Cunyi said.

But Yin Cunyi says the trend of increasing cooperation across the Strait is not going to change. 

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