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Thursday, December 26, 2019
Policies to benefit Taiwan compatriots
China Daily
As the Democratic Progressive Party of erects barriers to cross-Straits exchanges, the mainland is concerned about the interests and well-being of the island's residents, the State Council Taiwan Affairs Office said on Wednesday.

Zhu Fenglian, a spokeswoman for the office, reminded Taiwan compatriots at a news conference on Wednesday that they can dial 12308, the hotline for Chinese citizens overseas, to seek consular protection and assistance anytime.

The hotline is one of the "26 measures" unveiled last month to further promote economic and cultural exchanges across the Taiwan Straits and to offer Taiwan residents the same treatment as mainland residents.

Mainland authorities, embassies and consulates overseas are always there for Taiwan compatriots to handle issues including procedures for travel documents, overseas civil disputes, economic and criminal cases and emergencies such as earthquakes, floods and evacuations, Zhu said.

According to the 14th of the 26 measures, Taiwan compatriots can seek consular protection and assis-tance and apply for travel documents at embassies and consulates of the People's Republic of China overseas, said Yang Shu, an official at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

"We've always attached great importance to safeguarding the safety, rights and interests of Taiwan compatriots overseas and have been active in providing them with consular protection and assistance," Yang added.

Besides consular protection, the 26 measures also provide Taiwan people with more preferential policies.

Wang Zhiwei, an official at the Ministry of Education, said the ministry has continuously worked to make favorable policies for Taiwan students studying on the mainland.

More than 12,000 Taiwan students now are studying at Chinese mainland colleges and universities, and about 7,000 have won scholarships, Wang said.

The ministry will allow more mainland schools to enroll Taiwan students and adjust majors to better meet their needs, he said.

Li Jinsheng, an official at the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security, said the policies give Taiwan people access to professional title reviews on the mainland, and 173 Taiwan people in Fujian province have obtained corresponding titles.

Wu Jian, an official with the State General Administration of Sport, said the mainland will host several international sporting events in the coming years, including the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, and the mainland will offer help to Taiwan athletes who come to the mainland for training.

Zhu said Taiwan people on the mainland enjoy the same housing policies as locals and can even apply for public housing if qualified.

She said 38 Taiwan people in Shanghai and 16 in Xiamen, Fu-jian province, have moved into such apartments. Guangzhou, Guangdong province and Shanghai recently authorized 1,000 and 300 government-subsidized apartments, respectively, for application by Taiwan people living in the two cities.

The ruling DPP of Taiwan has said on several occasions that the Chinese mainland issued such policies to interfere in the island's upcoming elections scheduled for Jan 11.

In response, Zhu said on Wednesday: "We have never been involved in Taiwan elections. We are concerned about prospects for the development of cross-Straits relations and the interests and well-being of our compatriots in Taiwan."

In contrast, the DPP authorities have for more than three years been engaged in trickery, trying to divide Taiwan society and create hostility across the Straits, Zhu said.

"They are doing everything possible to block the island's residents from coming to the mainland," she said, adding that they punished some Taiwan people who worked on the mainland, ordered officials not to visit the mainland and threatened media that criticize them.

"It is clear that the DPP authorities manipulate elections by elevating cross-Straits confrontation. They deprive Taiwan residents of the opportunity to choose and restrict their development space," she said.

This year, cross-Straits relations have become increasingly complex. The DPP authorities have continued to push for various "Taiwan independence" activities, seriously undermining peace and stability across the Taiwan Straits, she added.

Zhu called on compatriots on both sides to be on high alert and not be deceived by the political manipulation of the DPP.

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