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The 15th Straits Forum Kicked off in Xiamen; four Major Sectors See the Expanding Cross-Straits Exchanges

Since June 16th, eight events have been held in Xiamen, Fujian, and other places, including the Cross-Straits Youth Forum, Cross-Straits Public Welfare Forum, the Cross-Straits Disabled Exchange Festival, the Cross-Straits Weather Forum, the Cross-Straits Caring for the Next Generation Growth Forum, the Cross-Straits Characteristic Township Exchange and Cooperation Forum on Rural Revitalization, the Cross-Straits Financial Forum · Taiwan Enterprise Development Summit, and Mazu Cultural Activities Week.

With all these, the 15th Straits Forum commenced with great success, initiating a full exchange of ideas across the four sectors, i.e. youth, grassroots, culture, and economy. This year’s Forum has mainly featured offline activities, in a combination of centralized and decentralized ways to launch the 51 exchange activities, as the main venues for the event would be in Xiamen, with related activities also taking place in the relevant cities of Fujian as well as Pingtan Comprehensive Experimental Zone.

Despite the deliberate obstruction of the DPP authorities, the Forum was still met with enthusiastic responses from Taiwan’s civil organizations and people from all walks of life. The Forum Organizing Committee revealed that in addition to the representatives of Taiwan’s political parties, Taiwan’s event organizers, and Taiwan’s industry professionals, the Forum has invited over 5,000 guests from diverse backgrounds, including association leaders, trade union members, youth association members, and women’s federation members. They also invited people from various towns and villages in Taiwan across different walks of life, such as those involved in agriculture, fishing, manufacturing, and commerce, with varying beliefs.

Since its establishment in 2009, the Straits Forum has been running uninterrupted for 15 years. In this session, the Forum Organizing Committee created a special 15-year promotional video, hosted a themed exhibition for the same duration, and also launched an open call for submissions of the theme song of the Straits Forum from all over the internet.

Jiang Peiqi, President of the Taiwan Investment Enterprise Association in Fuzhou, stated that after 15 years of growth, the Forum has become an essential platform for expanding civil interactions, deepening the cross-Straits familial ties and friendship between compatriots, and consolidating their consensus. It has enabled compatriots from both sides to engage in exchanges, learn from one another, negotiate, and collaborate while generating enthusiasm for their economic, cultural, grassroots, and youth exchanges.

During the session, the Forum continued to explore the theme of “Expanding Civil Exchange and Deepening Integration and Development”, with a further emphasis on cross-Straits youth exchanges and grassroots people. In the 21st Straits Youth Forum held on the same day, Li Weiguo, Guo Yifan, Guo Xueyun, and many other young people from both sides of the Straits shared their stories, such as “Learning Together, Growing Together”, “Unity in Diversity, Harmony in Diversity” and “Bridging the Straits with Our Own Efforts”.

Huang Ronghu, Chairman of the Taiwan Chinese Youth Exchange Association, remarked that young people from both sides of the Taiwan Straits exchanged ideas, forged friendships, and showcased their charisma during the event. This platform has injected youthful energy into advancing the peaceful and integrated development of cross-Straits relations, as well as promoting the motherland unification and national rejuvenation.

The Cross-Straits Characteristic Township Exchange and Cooperation Forum on Rural Revitalization also invited six cross-Straits experts and scholars in the field of “agriculture, the countryside and farmers”, such as Zeng Yurong, Huang Qirui, and entrepreneur representatives to give keynote speeches, covering cross-Straits cooperation thinking, rural activation practices, rural habitat improvement, community building, entrepreneurial story sharing, etc. At the Forum, 10 pairs of Fujian-Taiwan rural revitalization and cooperation docking projects were successfully signed on the spot.

Since its inception in 2009, the Straits Forum has evolved into a highly regarded cross-Straits civil exchange event. It boasts the largest number of participating institutions, the largest scale of activities, the widest scope of involvement, and the strongest cultural flavor. So the Forum has been a popular platform for young people from Taiwan to explore and learn about the mainland, with many of them eventually choosing to settle down there. Chen Zhiyong, Deputy Director of the Forum Organizing Committee Office and Deputy Director of the Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the Fujian Provincial Government, highlighted that this Forum marks the largest cross-Straits civil exchange event held after the successful transition of epidemic prevention and control in China. Many new and old friends on both sides of the Straits gathered offline to participate in the event, which fully demonstrated the common aspiration for the resumption of cross-Straits exchanges and normal personnel exchanges from the compatriots on both sides of the Taiwan Straits. Peace, development, exchanges and cooperation are shared aspirations of the compatriots on both sides of the Taiwan Straits.

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