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China Daily Website


Largest cross-Strait Forum kicked off

Updated: 2009-05-18 17:57

The Chinese mainland and Taiwan launched the largest-yet unofficial cross-Straits forum on Saturday.

More than 8,000 Taiwan guests travelled tothe coastal mainland city of Xiamen forthe week-long event.

The forum, which is co-hosted by Xiaman, Fuzhou, Quanzhou and Putian cities of Fujian, features 18 activities including a trade fair, a cultural week and a seminar on traditional Chinese medicine.

Around6,500 people, including 4,500 Taiwanese, attended the opening ceremony last Saturday evening.

Director of the State Council Taiwan Affairs Office, Wang Yi, said such mass-gathering of "brothers and sisters" from both sides of the Taiwan Straits shows that the general public has become the main body of the cross-Straits’ exchanges.

Cross-Straits’ relations have been improving since Ma Ying-jeou became the leader of Taiwan in May 2008. In less than a year the mainland-based Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits and Taiwan's Straits Exchange Foundation had three meetings, signed nine agreements and reached one consensus, making direct shipping, air transportation and postal services as well as normalization of economic relations between the two sides a reality.