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Taiwan leader moves to improve cross-Straits ties

By Zhao Yinan (China Daily)

08:14, October 11, 2012

Taiwan leader Ma Ying-jeou indicated a willingness to improve cross-Straits exchanges on Wednesday, by pledging to update 20-year-old guidelines on cross-Straits affairs and establish agencies on the mainland and Taiwan.

Experts said Ma's pledge signals a willingness to promote the rights of mainlanders on the island and encourage more investment to help revitalize the local economy.

Ma of the Kuomintang, who was re-elected as leader in January, delivered a speech in Taipei on Wednesday stating that Taiwan will introduce a series of measures to boost exchanges with the mainland. The China Times reported that these measures include comprehensively revising the guidelines that deals with cross-Straits affairs, setting up agencies on each side and facilitating follow-up talks on economic cooperation.

Ma reiterated that Taiwan will expand exchanges on the mainland in the future on the basis of the 1992 Consensus.

Yang Yi, spokesman of the State Council's Taiwan Affairs Office, told Taiwan media the office has noted Ma's statement regarding cross-Straits affairs. He urged the two sides to promote cooperation, solve problems pragmatically and benefit the people on the basis of one-China principle and the 1992 Consensus.

Chen Xiancai, professor of Taiwan Research Institute at Xiamen University, said Taiwan should encourage investment by introducing more protective measures concerning cross-Straits investment. He suggested strengthening the protection of mainland students in terms of life and health insurance when revising the guidelines.

"Mainland students in Taiwan currently do not have health insurance due to policy limitations. The island should close the loophole," he said.

Previously, Wang Yu-chi, newly appointed chief of the island's administration that deals with mainland affairs, said the revision of the guideline on cross-Straits affairs will include the removal of unnecessary controls on mainland investment and better protection of mainlanders' rights in Taiwan.

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