The Communist Party of China is maintaining its strategic dominance in steering cross-Strait relations by rolling out a policy promoting integrated development of the two sides of the Taiwan Strait, thus laying the foundation for future reunification, experts said.
China will make Fujian province, which faces the island of Taiwan across the sea, a demonstration zone for the integrated development across the Taiwan Strait, according to a circular released earlier this month by the CPC Central Committee and the State Council.
The move is aimed at deepening cross-Strait integrated development and advancing the peaceful reunification of the motherland, with measures in place to offer Taiwan people the same treatment as local residents in Fujian.
Li Zhenguang, a professor of Taiwan studies at Beijing Union University, said it is an important measure by the Party to push its initiatives for cross-Strait relations which have been tense due to the collusion of external and "pro-independence" forces in Taiwan.
It is necessary to deter "Taiwan independence" acts through activities such as military exercises in the Strait, while it is also crucial to promote cross-Strait exchanges, he said.
Efforts to promote dialogues have been in place since this year, including the visit of former Taiwan leader Ma Ying-jeou to the mainland in April, and the recent document for integrated development aims to push cross-Strait relations in the right direction, Li said.
The establishment of a model region for such integration also serves as an experiment and lays the foundation for the future reunification of the two sides, he added.
Xin Qiang, deputy director of the Center for American Studies at Fudan University, said the document shows that the Party continues to deepen the integrated development of the two sides of the Strait, which is a basic policy of the mainland.
He said it is the wrong belief of some overseas politicians that the policy possibly implies a significant change in Beijing's Taiwan policy or a reduction in the deterrent force against "Taiwan independence".
Regarding the future interference of foreign forces in the Taiwan question, the mainland will maintain strategic initiative, promoting integration of the two sides and cracking down on provocative acts to safeguard the bottom line of the one-China principle, he added.
Wang Kun-yi, a professor of cross-Strait relations at Tamkang University in Taiwan, said that many polls he has done before showed that people from both sides welcome peaceful development and nobody wants war.
Although the Democratic Progressive Party authorities in Taiwan tended to discredit any peaceful initiatives from the mainland, people in Taiwan understand what is truly beneficial for them, he said.
Huang Ching-hsien, director of Taiwan Political Studies Center at Nankai University, said the measures make it more convenient for Taiwan compatriots to study, work and live in the mainland, which indeed puts a lot of pressure on the DPP, which is trying to discredit these efforts.
However, Taiwan compatriots are well aware of the current development environment in Taiwan, including the high cost of living and difficulty in finding jobs, he said: "They will go to a place that can give them a better life."