A senior Chinese official in charge of the Taiwan affairs said here Tuesday that the mainland has become Taiwan's largest export market through 20-plus years of business exchanges.
Zheng Lizhong, deputy director of the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council, made the remarks at the opening ceremony of the First Guangxi-Taiwan Trade Fair held in Nanning, capital of south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.
Zheng said the past two decades have witnessed the sound development of business exchanges and cooperation between the mainland and Taiwan.
Official statistics show that from 1988 to the end of October this year, the Chinese mainland has approved a total of 67,764 Taiwan-invested business projects, with contract funds totaling US$87.7 billion.
The statistics showed the total trade volume between the two sides has reached US$477.6 billion, and Taiwan's trade surplus from the mainland has exceeded US$320 billion.
The Chinese mainland has turned out to be Taiwan's largest source of trade surplus, as well as the top export market, the official added.
Zheng said the Chinese mainland is ready to further improve business environment for the Taiwan investors in the coming years, deepen trade cooperation and accelerate the process of "Three Exchanges" (exchanges of mail, trade, air and shipping services across the Taiwan Straits).
Vincent C. Siew, chairman of Taiwan-based "Cross-Strait Commonwealth Foundation", said at the fair that it's a mutual beneficial and win-win policy for the Chinese mainland and Taiwan to increase business exchanges and cooperation.
More than 37 million Taiwan residents have visited the mainland, and over 1.1 million mainland residents have visited Taiwan, according to the official statistics.
Moreover, about 28,260 exchange programs with Taiwan have been conducted, involving over 200,000 people.
(Xinhua News Agency November 22, 2005)