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Ma Ying-jeou says to expand cross-Strait exchange


11:07, February 19, 2013

TAIPEI, Feb. 18 (Xinhua) -- Taiwan's leader Ma Ying-jeou on Monday pledged to further expand and deepen economic ties with the Chinese mainland.

Ma made the remarks while addressing representatives of Taiwanese business people investing in the mainland at a gathering held to mark the Chinese Lunar New Year.

Ma shared his observations on the dramatic changes that have taken place in the environment of cross-Strait relations and stressed that reconciliation across the Taiwan Strait has brought peace and prosperity.

A total of 7.17 million mainlanders visited Taiwan in the past more than four years, including 2.58 million in 2012, creating 150,000 jobs for the island, according to Ma.

Ma also pledged to actively negotiate follow-up issues regarding the 2010 Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA), in an aim to bring more benefits to Taiwan's business arena.

In terms of mainland students' applications to schools on the island, Ma noted that existing restrictions would be "gradually removed."

The island's education authority currently only recognizes diplomas granted by 41 mainland universities. The number of involved mainland universities will be expanded to 111, Ma added.

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