The 4th Cross-Straits Economic, Trade and Cultural Forum between the Chinese mainland and Taiwan began in Shanghai Saturday morning.
Jia Qinglin, member of the Standing Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee Political Bureau, addresses the opening ceremony of the 4th Cross-Straits Economic, Trade and Cultural Forum between the Chinese mainland and Taiwan in Shanghai on Saturday, December 20, 2008.
, member of the Standing Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee Political Bureau, and Kuomintang (KMT) Chairman Wu Poh-hsiung and Honorary Chairman Lien Chan attended.
Jia, also chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, congratulated the opening of the forum on behalf of the CPC Central Committee and its General Secretary Hu Jintao.
Jia said topics include expanding cross-Straits cooperation in the finance and service sectors, encouraging two-way investment and regularizing economic exchanges, which cover the key points of deepening cross-Straits economic exchange and cooperation.
Jia said the two sides should discuss a cross-Straits economic cooperation mechanism as soon as possible. The mechanism should follow the principle of mutual benefit and mutual prosperity, he said.
"We have paid great attention to the proposal raised by the Taiwan side to discuss and sign an agreement on cross-Straits comprehensive economic cooperation, and we will take serious account of it," he said.
Jia called for the two sides to quicken the pace of normalization of the cross-Straits economic relation.
"The two sides should continue to work together to realize normal flow of capital, information and technology," he said.
He urged the Taiwan side to create necessary conditions for the mainland enterprises to invest in Taiwan.
He also urged the two sides to expand fields of industrial cooperation and improve cooperation in the finance sector.
The mainland is willing to help Taiwan in face of the current global financial crisis, he said.
"If the worsening world economic situation continues and the Taiwan side asks for help to solve economic difficulties, the mainland is willing to offer assistance with utmost efforts," he said.
He said the two sides have a tight economic connection. As of the end of October, the mainland has approved more than 77,000 projects of Taiwan investors and the value of trade between the two sides totaled 840 billion U.S. dollars.
To establish a platform for regular exchanges between the two parties is one important part of the joint press communique on the "common aspiration and prospects for cross-Straits peace and development" signed by Hu Jintao and then KMT chairman Lien Chan in April, 2005, Jia said.
The forum is a practical measure to implement this consensus and has played a significant role in promoting peaceful development of cross-Straits relation since it was initiated, Jia added.
He said the two sides have released goodwill to solve some sensitive problems and promote the cross-Straits relation into peaceful development since this May.
Wu Poh-hsiung said the two sides should treasure the current opportunity of development as direct links of transport, trade and mail services have been realized between the two sides.
It is the two parties' courage and determination in recent years that has created today's situation, Wu said.
Wu suggested the two sides work out a practical mechanism to cope with the financial crisis together, support the development of Taiwan-funded enterprises in the mainland, take part in each other's infrastructure construction projects aimed at enlarging domestic demand, and encourage more mainland tourists to visit Taiwan.
Wang Yi, director of the CPC Central Committee Taiwan Work Office, said in his opening speech that the forum bore a positive meaning of "carrying on the past and opening a way for the future" as the cross-Straits relation has obviously developed and improved.
"I hope the forum will play a positive role in deepening cross-Straits economic and trade cooperation and advance peaceful development of the cross-Straits relation," he said.
More than 400 delegates of the two sides, including businessmen, experts, officials of the CPC and the KMT, attended the forum.
KMT Vice Chairman Lin Feng-cheng said the forum will discuss how to improve cross-Straits economic and trade cooperation in face of the global financial crisis.
Lien Chan said it has a strategic meaning to normalize the cross-Straits economic and trade relation and set up a mechanism of economic and trade cooperation between the two sides.
"Although it cannot be achieved instantly, we've already figured out the direction of our efforts," Lien said.
"We will try our best to achieve the goal," he said.