Now let's find out a bit more about the Cross-strait economic forum.

The Cross-Strait Economic, Trade and Culture Forum was originally called the "Cross-Strait Economic and Trade Forum".

It was initiated in 2005 during former KMT Chairman Lien Chan's visit to Beijing, and was proposed as a platform for exchanges between the KMT and the CPC.

The first Forum was held in April, 2006 in Beijing. A comprehensive agreement was reached, including promoting economic exchanges, promoting direct links in mail, transportation and trade, enhancing cooperation in agriculture and encouraging tourism to Taiwan.

The second forum was held on the island province of Hainan in October 2006, with the theme centered around agricultural cooperation. Twenty favorable agricultural policies were announced by the mainland.

They included establishing pioneer parks and trial plots for agriculture cooperation, and increasing market supervision and protection of Taiwan produced fruits.

At the next forum, "Culture" was added to the name. And topics expanded from economic cooperation to broader fields such as culture and education.

Since the establishment of this mechanism, six forums have been held. And the mainland had issued a total of 58 favorable policies towards Taiwan.

Through more than five years of efforts, the blueprint drawn at the first Forum has mostly been achieved. Direct links in mail, transportation and trade had been basically realized by the end of 2008.

Tourism to Taiwan from the mainland was opened in 2009, and mainland's individual visits to Taiwn are expected to begin this June. Cross strait economic and cultural exchanges are developing into a wider, deeper and more comprehensive level.


Cross-Strait Economic, Trade and Culture Forum:两岸经贸文化论坛
KMT Chairman:国民党主席
Lien Chan:连战
the KMT and the CPC:国共两党
economic exchanges:经济交流
pioneer parks:创业园
trial plots:试验基地
comprehensive level:综合水平