Political differences should not stand in the way of trade and economic cooperation across the Taiwan Straits, Vice-Premier Wu Yi said on Friday.
The mainland has made unremitting efforts to resume direct trade, transportation and postal links between the two places and progress has been made in this respect, Wu said.
She was speaking at a forum on cross-Straits trade and economic cooperation held on Friday in coastal city Xiamen of Fujian Province.
Wu's call for direct links came after a proposed visit to Taiwan by a top Beijing official on cross-Straits affairs was cancelled when Taipei refused to give him access to an agricultural forum.
For the second time in less than a year, Taiwan's ruling Democratic Progressive Party administration rejected the visit by Chen Yunlin, director of the Taiwan Work Office of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee.
Wu said economic and trade partnerships have become an important part of cross-Straits relations.
According to official figures, trade volume between the two sides has exceeded US$90 billion with the mainland emerging as the largest export market for the island since 2002.
To date, the number of Taiwan-funded projects on the mainland has surpassed 70,000, with actual investment of US$43 billion. Nearly 600,000 businesspeople and their families from the island have settled on the mainland.
(China Daily September 9, 2006)