Vice-Premier Qian Qichen appealed for Chinese people on both sides of the Taiwan Straits to inherit and promote the culture of Minnan (southern Fujian) -- an indispensable part of Chinese culture.
Qian made the remarks during a three-day tour of Fujian, which concluded yesterday.
Qian visited Quanzhou to attend a Minnan culture forum as well as a cultural festival celebrating China's traditional shipping route known as the Maritime Silk Road.
Qian said Chinese culture had always been the spiritual bond of all Chinese people including overseas compatriots, and is the foundation for the existence and development of Chinese.
More than 6 million Chinese of southern Fujian origin currently live in more than 90 countries and regions around the world.
The majority of the 20 million population of Taiwan have their origins in southern Fujian. The same languages and customs as well as the close geographical locations of the people in Fujian and Taiwan are expected to play a vital role in the reunification and reinvigoration of the motherland, said Qian.
He reiterated Fujian should make more efforts to promote the three direct links of trade, mail and air and shipping services across the Taiwan Straits.
Exchanges between Fujian and Taiwan made significant progress last year, said a senior official with the provincial Taiwan Affairs Office.
(China Daily February 17, 2003)