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Xiamen to open govt jobs to Taiwan residents

By Chen Xin and Hu Meidong (China Daily)

11:21, November 27, 2011

XIAMEN, Fujian - Authorities in Xiamen, a city in Fujian province, say they will consider hiring Taiwan residents for government jobs.

"We could do some trials to have Taiwan residents in our civil service on contract," said Yu Weiguo, Xiamen Party chief. "The positions that might be open might be those that have to do with economic and cultural exchanges between Xiamen and Taiwan."

Fujian, which faces Taiwan across the Straits, proposed the idea earlier this year.

The province will explore ways to allow Taiwan residents to work in the civil service and to take part in the management of social and public affairs, said an article that appeared on the Fujian Provincial Administration of Civil Service's website in May.

"Until now, no Taiwan resident has taken a government job in Fujian," said an officer in the Fujian Provincial Administration of Civil Service's position management office on Tuesday. "But we are considering offering some low-level positions, first on Pingtan Island, a test development zone," said the officer, who declined to give his full name.

Peng Weixue, a Taiwan studies expert at the Beijing-based Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said the mainland and Taiwan have taken to exchanging workers with each other more and more often. Still, it is not easy to include Taiwan residents in the mainland's civil service.

"Taiwan's laws forbid residents from taking government jobs on the mainland," he said. "Those barriers can be removed only if Taiwan authorities amend those laws."

Peng said Taiwan and Xiamen are seeing more cooperation and exchanges with each other.

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