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DPP condemned for obstructing participation in cross-Strait forum

Updated: 2023-06-15

A Chinese mainland spokeswoman on Wednesday condemned the Democratic Progressive Party authorities in Taiwan for obstructing people on the island from participating in the Straits Forum — the biggest grassroots exchange event across the Taiwan Strait to be held after the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 15th Straits Forum will be held in Fujian province from Friday, and will be attended by about 5,000 people from various sectors from Taiwan, including Hsia Li-yan, vice-chairman of Kuomintang, the island's main opposition party.

"Peace, development, exchanges and cooperation are the common aspiration of compatriots on both sides of the Strait and serve their common interests," Zhu Fenglian, spokeswoman for the State Council Taiwan Affairs Office, said at a news conference in Beijing.

The event has received a positive response from civil organizations and the public in Taiwan, fully demonstrating that the DPP authorities cannot obstruct and suppress matters that conform to public opinion and win the hearts of the people, she said.

However, Taiwan's mainland affairs authority put forward various restrictions and obstacles for Taiwan people to participate in the cross-Strait exchanges, and threatened people that it would violate laws.

Zhu condemned the DPP for being two-faced claiming to restore cross-Strait exchanges while openly threatening and intimidating Taiwan people who participate in the exchange event.

In a statement on Monday, Taiwan's pro-reunification Labor Party also called on the DPP to stop going against public opinion and fully support cross-Strait exchanges if it truly wants to maintain peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.

The Straits Forum this year will see 51 events take place, focusing on promoting cultural and economic exchanges and communication among the youth and people at the primary level across the Taiwan Strait.

The forum, co-hosted by 84 institutions from both sides of the Strait, will offer more than 1,200 jobs and 1,000 internship and training opportunities to young people from Taiwan.

Singers from Taiwan and the mainland will perform the theme song We Believe at the event's main conference on Saturday in the coastal city of Xiamen in Fujian.

In April, the organizing committee for the event called for submissions for a theme song, and 142 original works were received from creators in 26 provincial regions. The creators ranged from a 90-year-old mainland artist to a Taiwan veteran aged 88, to young musicians in their 20s.

Zhu, the spokeswoman, said, "The songs weave together a touching melody of one family across the Strait, and express the joint voice of cross-Strait compatriots yearning for communication and integration, and working hand-in-hand toward the future."

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