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Cross-strait economic zone should be made a priority

Chinese political advisors have called for efforts should be sped up to build a "cross-strait economic zone" covering Taiwan and the mainland's coastal provinces, which they said would become a new engine of growth for the Chinese mainland and Taiwan.

Sources at the Central Committee of the Revolutionary Committee of the Chinese Kuomingtang said the proposal would be submitted to the Second Session of the 11th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, which is due to start in Beijing today.

The proposed economic zone would cover the southern part of Zhejiang Province, eastern Guangdong Province, central and eastern Jiangxi Province, the entire Fujian Province and Taiwan.

Such an economic zone was in line with the trend of economic globalization and regional integration, and was made possible by the warming ties across the Taiwan Straits, according to the RCCK, one of the eight non-Communist parties in China.

According to the proposal, the economic zone would fuel the economic development in Taiwan and the mainland's coastal regions, and would become as important as other economic zones, such as the Yangtze River Delta, the Zhujiang River Delta, the Beibu Bay and the Bohai Rim Economic Zones.

The RCCK proposed that the "cross-Strait economic zone" should enter the national economic development plan as a major strategy.

It proposed both sides of the Taiwan Straits promote economic cooperation and set up inter-city links between Wenzhou, Fuzhou, Xiamen, Quanzhou and Shantou on the mainland, with Taiwan's Taipei, Kaohsiung, Taichung and Tainan.

The RCCK also called for increased support of the western side of the proposed economic zone, which included the mainland coastal cities of Xiamen, Zhangzhou, Quanzhou and Fuzhou on the mainland, with more favorable policies, increased funding and speeding up infrastructure construction.

According to the Ministry of Commerce, trade between the mainland and Taiwan in the first 11 months of 2008 accounted for US$122 billion, an 8.4-percent rise year on year.


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