Beijing yesterday unveiled a new package of policies to facilitate Taiwan people's wider access to the mainland in education, employment and investment sectors.
Addressing the closing ceremony of the 3rd Cross-Straits Economic, Trade and Cultural Forum, Vice Minister of Education Yuan Guiren announced that universities in Taiwan are encouraged to recruit students from the mainland.
About 2,300 Taiwan students studied in mainland universities last year, and a quarter of them enjoyed scholarships.
But restricted by the present policies on the island, mainland students are only allowed to study in Taiwan universities for no longer than four months.
"We will help the students go to Taiwan for study, and continue to facilitate personnel exchanges," Yuan said.
Residents from Taiwan are also encouraged to participate in 15 categories of professional qualification exams on the mainland. They include exams in the healthcare, accounting and economy sectors.
Vice Minister of Public Security Meng Hongwei also announced at the ceremony that three more cities -- Guangzhou, Qingdao and Wuhan -- will join another eight cities authorized to issue valid passes to Taiwan residents entering the mainland starting May 15.
The eight cities are: Haikou, Sanya, Xiamen, Fuzhou, Shanghai, Shenyang, Dalian and Chengdu.
In addition to Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Xiamen, six more cities Chengdu, Hangzhou, Nanjing, Shenzhen, Dalian and Guilin are entitled to accommodate charter flights cross the Taiwan Straits during festivals, Gao Hongfeng, vice minister of the General Administration of Civil Aviation, said.
Taiwan airlines are encouraged to form joint ventures with their mainland counterparts and invest in airport construction, Gao said.
Also, shipping giants from Taiwan can invest in wholly owned shipping and container transport firms and operate ports and highways, said Vice Minister of Communications Xu Zuyuan.
Taiwan investors have poured about US$100 billion into the mainland over the last two decades.
(China Daily April 30, 2007)