Friday, July 13, 2012

Behind the rhetoric at the Fourth Cross-Strait Forum

l  The Fourth Cross-Strait Forum was held in Xiamen during June 14-16. Over 6,000 Taiwanese attendees took part in this annual event that has now become the largest platform for cross-Strait non-political exchanges.

l  Since 2009, Beijing has often used the occasion to promulgate policies deemed beneficial to the people of Taiwan. This year was no exception.

l  First, Beijing plans to extend the validity of travel documents for Taiwanese people visiting China from one to two years, with more cities added to offer landing-visa services.

l  Furthermore, China will allow imports of Taiwanese rice and increase the number of tourist groups allowed to visit Taiwan, as well as expanding the scope of the Free Independent Traveler (FIT) program for Chinese visitors to the island.

l  At the same time, the Bank of China (BOC), the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), the China Construction Bank (CCB) and the China Development Bank (CDB) will offer Renminbi (RMB) 600 billion, or US$94.25 billion, in loans in the next 3-4 years to Taiwanese businesses seeking to expand operations on the mainland.

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