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Young people enjoy exchanges at cross-Strait forum in Fujian

By ZHANG YI in Xiamen and HU MEIDONG in Fuzhou | China Daily | Updated: 2023-06-19


Young people from Taiwan attend the 21st Straits Youth Forum in Xiamen of Fujian province on June 16, 2023. [Photo/VCG]

Young people from Taiwan attending the 21st Straits Youth Forum, a large cross-Strait grassroots exchange activity held in Xiamen of Fujian province on Friday, expressed confidence in pursuing their dreams on the Chinese mainland.

According to the organizers, about 450 young people from both sides of the Taiwan Strait participated in the activity, including about 300 from Taiwan, with more than 70 percent of them newcomers.

Lee Wei-kuo, chairman of the Taipei-based Chinese Youth Trade Development Association, said,"Only when I cross the Taiwan Strait to the mainland, do I realize how big the world is and here is full of opportunities."

Lee, who came to the mainland from Taiwan in 2016 and now runs a company devoted in rural vitalization in Chengdu, Sichuan province, said that Taiwan people should seek cooperation with mainland so both sides can complement each other.

Kuo Yi-fan, a resident of Taichung on the island who started a coffee shop in Fuzhou in 2017 and a coffee factory, said the event brought together many Taiwan people working on the mainland and is a platform to share experiences.

"Many of my friends living in Taiwan are also curious of my development on the mainland and ask me for suggestions," he said, adding that he would encourage them to visit the mainland first and then consider which sector they will choose.

The Straits Youth Forum was first held in 2003, and more than 20,000 young people have participated in the activities in the past 20 years, sharing their stories on the mainland and making friends.

Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, encouraged young people from both sides to jointly strive for national rejuvenation in a reply letter to a group of young people from Taiwan during last year's event.

Fifty young people from Taiwan who attended the forum last year wrote a letter to Xi, in which they described their experiences of living on the mainland and expressed their determination to contribute to the reunification of the motherland.

Zhu Songling, a professor at Beijing Union University's Institute of Taiwan Studies, said the mainland has been actively rolling out and implementing policies that ensure Taiwan people enjoy the same treatment as local people on the mainland.

"Many Taiwan people will have a brand new feeling about the mainland after they come here, which is totally different from what they have been told by the island authorities," he said, adding that many will then decide to settle down on the mainland.

A sideline activity of the forum that featured job employment was also held on Friday afternoon, and on Saturday participants of the event will set off for five provinces for tours and join exchange activities.

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