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New "scenery" in sight for western side of Taiwan Strait
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16:51, May 15, 2009

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A blueprint to support the development of an economic zone on the western side of Taiwan Strait was officially promulgated on Thursday, May 14. This grand plan is entitled "Opinions of the State Council, or the central government, on supporting east China's Fujian province to accelerate the development of an economic zone on the western side of Taiwan Strait".

This poses another vital move taken by the Party Central Committee and the State Council after they made a range of such major policy decisions as the ones relating to the New Development for Western China, the Revitalization of the Northeast and Central China's Emergence, and undertook to improve the layout of economy in coastal areas.

The new economic zone faces Taiwan Island across the strait. It neighbors the Yangtze Delta to the north and the Pearl River Delta to the south, two economic powerhouses on the Chinese mainland. A shallow strip of water in the strait once cut off cross-Strait contacts and exchanges for decades. To date, however, increased exchanges and cooperative development have been turned into the common expectations of the people of Taiwan and on the mainland and the main theme of the present era.

This great plan has not only defined the strategic and functioning position and orientation of the economic zone in China's regional setup for development but also conferred an increasing importance on the economic zone in embryo.

At a main component part of the economic zone to take shape, Fujian province in east China enjoys special advantages because of the closeness geographically, culturally and in business deals with Taiwan, and compatriots on both sides of the Strait have close blood relationship.

In the process of beefing up the development of the economic zone on the western side of the Taiwan Strait, Fujian province should particularly exert its utmost to conduct across-Strait exchanges and cooperation in a bid to spur the mutual-beneficial and win-win outcome. Meanwhile, it should hasten the construction of up-to-date infrastructure, in an endeavor to contribute and score more by gearing to the needs for direct postal, air and shipping services across the Strait.

Fujian was among the first batch of Chinese provinces to pioneer the reform and opening up in late 1ate 1970s and early 1980s, and more than 30 million people in the province, officials and commoners alike, have chalked up a couple of "first-rated" or top feats in China's history of reform and opening to the outside world.

In compliance with requirements of the blueprint plan, Fujian will take the lead to bring forth some vital reforming measures to raise the quality of economic growth. Furthermore, it will strive to improve the livelihoods of its people, spur the construction of a socialist harmonious society, and make new feats and attain new experience in enhancing the capacity for sustainable development.

At present, Fujian province meets great opportunities for development with more wide-ranging prospects in sight. As substantial changes have taken place across the Taiwan Strait, a brand-new "scenery" is much anticipated for the western side of the Taiwan Strait.

Officials and local residents in Fujian province are sure to make daring experiments through their concerted efforts and continue to make exploring efforts, so that the incoming economic zone will be turned into a harmonious haven with a sustained economic growth, a more prosperous culture and even greater overall competitiveness, where people would likely work and live in much contentment and harmony.

By People Daily Online and contributed by PD special commentator

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