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Economic boost for cross-strait relations

THE Chinese mainland will take further measures to boost economic cooperation with Taiwan in a joint effort to cope with the global economic downturn, a senior official said yesterday.

The comment came from Wang Yi, director of the State Council Taiwan Affairs Office, at the opening ceremony of Chongqing-Taiwan Week in the southwestern municipality.

He said there would be talks about cooperation in the telecommunications, semiconductor lighting and wind power sectors.

Hu Jintao, general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, said during a meeting with Kuomintang Chairman Wu Poh-hsiung on Tuesday that jointly tackling the impact of the global downturn was the top priority of both sides.

According to Wang, the Chinese mainland and Taiwan have already discussed the potential for cooperation in the Chinese traditional medicine, solar energy and auto electronics sectors.

The mainland will organize seven to nine buying teams to visit Taiwan between now and September to help develop the island's economy during the global downturn.

The official also said the mainland would encourage more of its citizens to visit Taiwan, estimating that the total number of mainland tourists to the island this year would exceed 600,000.

The mainland also encouraged more Taiwanese firms to operate on the mainland and would offer more financial and technical support, he said.

Wang said the mainland was studying the possibility of establishing an economic cooperation mechanism to meet the needs of development on both sides of the Taiwan Strait.


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