Beijing: “More respect and understanding for Taiwan”

Beijing – China’s top political advisor has told the sixth Straits Forum that the mainland will show more respect and understanding for Taiwan people’s way of thinking.

“We understand the mentality Taiwan compatriots have developed under special historical conditions; we respect their identification with the current social system, values and lifestyle; and we know that some friends still harbor misgivings on the development of the cross-Strait relations,” Yu Zhengsheng said.

Yu, chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, gave a speech at the Straits Forum as it opened in Xiamen in the southeastern province of Fujian on Sunday.

In March, Taiwan students seized the headquarters of the island’s legislative body in protest against a mainland-Taiwan service trade pact. Some analysts said the protest required both sides to rethink problems in cross-Strait relations.

“The development of cross-Strait relations is like sailing on the sea -you’re never going to have favorable winds throughout the voyage,” Yu said.

He forecast that cross-Strait relations are bound to encounter deeper problems as they develop, and said it is important that “we give each other more understanding, respect and consideration from the perspective of one family.”

“I believe as long as we consolidate opposition against ‘Taiwan Independence,’ adhere to the ‘1992 consensus’ and uphold the one-China framework, cross-Strait relations will move on steadily,” Yu added.

The political advisor said the mainland leadership will continue to roll out measures that benefit Taiwan people, as the concepts of putting people first and seeking benefits for them are the starting point and foothold in the making of Taiwan policies.

The leadership will also listen to people of all walks of life in Taiwan and form a better understanding of their practical needs, so cross-Strait cooperation can benefit more people, he vowed.

Yu also encouraged Taiwanese youth, who have “exceptional qualities,” to realize their potential on the “broad stage” of cross-Strait cooperation.

Zhang Zhijun, director of the State Council Taiwan Affairs Office, also said the mainland was willing to share its market opportunities with the Taiwan compatriots before anyone else.

In a speech at the forum, Zhang called for more support for small and medium-sized companies in cross-Strait cooperation and expansion of youth exchange activities.

In the March protest attended mainly by Taiwanese college students, one commonly filed accusation was that the pact was designed to favor large corporate interests but would bring losses to small and medium-sized companies and the self-employed. The agreement aims to open up 80 of the mainland’s service sectors to Taiwan and 64 Taiwan sectors to the mainland. Source: Xinhua

Photo: Yu Zhengsheng, Chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference