Culture and Tourism

Straits forum targets young people

Updated: Dec 11, 2021 By ZHANG YI and HU MEIDONG China Daily Print
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Artists pose with their award-winning graffiti at a creative drawing competition, a sideline event of the 13th Straits Forum, in Xiamen, Fujian province, on Friday. JIANG KEHONG/XINHUA

Almost 2,000 Taiwan guests from all sectors will join exchange activities in Fujian

About 300 people from both sides of the Taiwan Straits attended a forum in the coastal city of Xiamen, Fujian province on Friday that focused on the role of young people in cross-Straits exchanges and integration.

The Straits Youth Forum was part of the 13th Straits Forum that began on Friday. It is the largest annual event across the Straits, focusing on people-to-people exchanges.

The general conference of the event will be held on Saturday.

Hsia Li-yan, a vice-chairman of the Kuomintang, said in his address at the youth forum that both sides of the Straits should protect the legitimate rights and interests of young people for exchanges, create a friendly, respectful and open environment for their exchanges and development, and seek common ground while shelving differences.

Several Taiwan young people shared their stories of studying and working on the mainland at the youth forum.

Shih Hsiao-hsiao, 25, from Taiwan, started working at online platform Tailutong in Fuzhou, capital of Fujian, last year.

The mobile application provides guidance and services for Taiwan people on the mainland, including how to get travel permits and driver's licenses.

"When I graduated from university, I learned that Fujian offers a good policy for young Taiwan people, so I came to Fuzhou for employment, and my current work is to serve Taiwan compatriots living on the mainland," she said.

In March, the app launched a green channel for Taiwan compatriots in Fuzhou to book COVID-19 vaccines.

Shih collected the booking information on the app and submitted it to hospitals to arrange the injections, making it easier for Taiwan compatriots to receive vaccination.

Chen Ting-an, from Taichung, Taiwan, has been working as an engineer at Huaying Technology, an electronic product company in Fuzhou, for about three years.

"When I first came here, I didn't think I could work longer than a year. However, my colleagues and supervisors have trusted me a lot in these years and I have gained a lot of achievements due to my own progress," he said, adding that "the mainland cities are developing fast and the market is big".

Chen Wen-cheng, 31, from Changhua, Taiwan, came to the mainland in 2011 to study for a master's and then a doctorate in physical education. He started teaching at Peking University last year.

Realizing the need for cross-Straits sports industry exchanges, he founded a Taiwan volunteer team in Beijing for cross-Straits sports communications.

Recently, he gave an online introduction about preparations for the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing for university students in Taiwan.

Having spent 10 years in Beijing for education, getting married and having a child, and starting a career, Chen said,"I can't leave Beijing anymore. The city has become my second hometown."

At the youth forum, 10 entrepreneurial projects of young Taiwan people were recognized as Fujian's annual entrepreneurial supporting projects, and each of them will receive a startup fund of 50,000 yuan ($7,900).

Nearly 2,000 Taiwan compatriots from all walks of life will attend the 13th Straits Forum in Fujian, which features 41 exchange activities on various topics, including the economy, culture and youth, according to the organizers.

About 1,600 jobs and internship opportunities are available to young Taiwan people through the event in fields including rural development, entrepreneurship, talent training and industrial cooperation, the organizers said.


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