Plan targets a high-speed rail line from Beijing to Taiwan by 2035
The technical capabilities for the construction of a high-speed passage between Fujian province on the Chinese mainland and the Taiwan region are already in place, a senior official said on Thursday.
Cong Liang, deputy head of the National Development and Reform Commission, said joint efforts will be made to realize the shared dream of people on both sides of the Strait being able to travel across the sea on high-speed trains as soon as possible.
He made the remarks at a news conference in Beijing while explaining a circular released on Tuesday on making Fujian province a demonstration zone for integrated development across the Strait.
Cong said once cross-Strait infrastructure connectivity is ready, more goods from Taiwan will be able to reach the Eurasian market via the China-Europe cargo railway services and other transportation means.
In recent years, Fujian has promoted the construction of traffic infrastructure with a comprehensive transportation network. This makes it technically possible to build a high-speed transport passage linking the province with Taiwan, Cong said.
"It lays a solid foundation for promoting infrastructure connectivity across the Taiwan Strait," he added.
According to the National Highway Network Plan issued last year, an expressway and a high-speed railway connecting Beijing to Taiwan, passing through Fuzhou, Fujian, will be completed by 2035.
Cong also said efforts will be made to deepen the integrated development of the city of Xiamen in Fujian and Kinmen, an outlying island located adjacent to Xiamen, including the acceleration of gas, electricity and transportation links between the two as an example of cross-Strait integration.
Kinmen residents in Xiamen will enjoy the same treatment as local residents and Kinmen, despite being controlled by Taiwan, will be allowed to access Xiamen's airport.
Tsao Yuan-chang, a former "lawmaker" from Taiwan who currently lives in Xiamen, said these integration policies benefit residents in Kinmen very much, and if a bridge between Xiamen and Kinmen can be built, a convenient life circle will be achieved for residents.
Daily life and trade in Kinmen are closely related to Fujian, so the people on Kinmen have more affection for Fujian and even for the whole mainland, which can be seen from them having the highest proportion of people in favor of reunification, he said.
Every year, more than 200 grassroots exchanges are held in Fujian, focusing on kinship, marriage ties, folk beliefs and historical culture. Tens of thousands of Taiwan people have started businesses, studied and settled in Fujian, according to Luo Dongchuan, Fujian's deputy Party chief.