Love across the Strait: From Taiwan to the mainland

By Liu Caiyi
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, November 1, 2023
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In recent years, an increasing number of people from Taiwan, and especially young people, have traveled to the Chinese mainland to live, work and study, deepening connections across the Strait. According to a recent white paper on Taiwan, there were fewer than 50,000 cross-Strait visits in 1987, however this figure had risen to approximately 9 million visits in 2019.

Nicole Chang was born in 1995 in Taichung city, Taiwan province, with ancestral roots in Haimen, Jiangsu province. In 2013, she left Taiwan to study in Australia, but fate had an unexpected journey planned for her during her studies abroad. On the first day of her economics class at university, she met fellow student Ken Tu, from China's southern city of Guangzhou. The pair quickly discovered a range of shared interests, and their relationship gradually developed into a romantic love story.

Ken Tu and Nicole Chang pose for a wedding photo. [Photo by Liu Caiyi/]

After graduating, Chang made the brave decision to leave her home in Taiwan and start a new life in Guangzhou with her partner. This decision was not easy, as the COVID-19 outbreak in 2020 resulted in travel restrictions and policy changes, posing difficulties and challenges for many people. However, Chang came to the mainland without hesitation, pursuing her love, with a feeling of confidence in the future.

"Due to the pandemic, our wedding was postponed for a whole three years," Chang said. "During this period, I obtained a marriage certificate, became pregnant and gave birth to our daughter. In three years, I only had two opportunities to meet my parents."

Chang's parents finally got to meet the couple's daughter, Dou Dou, for the first time when she was 6 months old. Looking back, it was a very challenging time. However, Ken's family and friends in Guangzhou helped take care of Chang. "Their warmth made me feel so welcomed in the mainland," she said.

Ken Tu, left, and Nicole Chang, third right, pose for a family photo with their daughter and Chang's parents and younger brother. [Photo by Liu Caiyi/]

Now, Chang and Tu have started a new life in Guangzhou. They face common challenges and opportunities, but are filled with hope for the future and aspire to establish their own careers in the city while also making more contributions to cross-Strait exchanges. They believe that love and friendship can serve as a bridge between the two sides of the Strait, bringing more opportunities for communication and cooperation between people on both sides.

Chang recalled there were many challenging moments when she first arrived in Guangzhou, faced with an unfamiliar environment and trying to integrate into a large family while being separated from her loved ones. "However, now I've completely adapted," she explained. "The rapid development and top-notch urban construction on the Chinese mainland in recent years have amazed me. People's quality of life has significantly improved, and the welfare and social security systems bring a sense of peace and happiness."

The rapid development of technology applications on the Chinese mainland — whether mobile payments or smart transportation — have also left a deep impression on Chang, as they have made people's lives more convenient in recent years. "Such positive changes and progress fill me with confidence in the future of the mainland," Chang said, "and I feel proud to be able to establish my career and build my family here."

Left to right, Ken Tu poses for a photo with his daughter Dou Dou and Nicole Chang's father. [Photo by Liu Caiyi/ ]

Chang's story is a microcosm of the cross-Strait friendship between Taiwan and the mainland. But what's more, it serves as an inspiration for more people to travel across the Strait, in search of both greater happiness and opportunities.

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