A representative of Taiwan Province who attended the meeting held up the camera in his hand to record the scene of the Straits Workers’ Forum. (data picture)
Southeast Network June 15 (Fujian Daily reporter Quan Xingya) As the largest, widest and most influential non-governmental exchange event between the two sides of the Taiwan Straits, the Straits Forum is about to debut in Fujian.
This grand gathering of cross-strait people-to-people exchanges has entered its fifteenth spring and autumn. In the past 15 years, compatriots on both sides of the strait have used this platform, which is positioned as "folk, grassroots and extensive", to meet in Bamin, talk about their hometown, learn skills, discuss cooperation, continue to promote integrated development, and draw the largest "concentric circle" for compatriots on both sides of the strait.
In 2009, the first Straits Forum was held in Xiamen, Fuzhou, Quanzhou and Putian, and more than 8,000 Taiwan Province folks gathered in Fujian, playing a colorful movement of cross-strait exchanges. The 18 main events were brilliant and opened a new pattern of cross-strait relations.
The second Straits Forum set up a bigger stage. Sixty-two units across the Taiwan Strait participated in the grand event, and 25 themes and series of activities attracted more than 10,000 Taiwan compatriots, about 80% of whom came from the grassroots. There are 30 sectors involved, which is also 10 more than the first session.
The third Straits Forum is full of local flavor and human touch. From Mazu’s belief in customs to the origin of "people" on both sides of the strait, from the night market with the most Taiwan Province characteristics to the twinning activity of villages and towns on both sides of the strait … … This year, personal travel to Taiwan was open; Twenty-two counties (cities) in Taiwan Province and tens of thousands of villagers participated in various activities, and the ethnic customs brought by Taiwan Province minority guests made the streets of Xiamen beautiful; The liveliness of Taiwan Province nightlife has also been brought to Xiamen people’s doorstep … …
The 4th Straits Forum won many firsts. For the first time, representatives of hundreds of temples with different folk beliefs on both sides of the strait gathered together, setting a record for cross-strait folk cultural exchanges to participate in temples; The first launch of the "Strait Film and Television Season"; For the first time, the discussion on the topic of marriage and family between the two sides of the strait was launched; The first seminar on the development of farmers’ entrepreneurship in Taiwan Province was held; The first Common Home Forum was held in Pingtan Comprehensive Experimental Zone, Fujian & HELIP; …
The theme of the 5th Straits Forum is "Focus on Family and Dream Together". Eight activities, such as the cross-strait public welfare forum, the trip to the villages and towns with the same name in Fujian and Taiwan, and the World Minnan Cultural Festival, have become fresh blood to highlight the continuation of homesickness and ancestral culture. The 31 policies for benefiting the people released this year have brought more tangible benefits to Taiwan Province compatriots.
The Sixth Straits Forum has become an important platform for cross-strait youth to communicate face to face. This year, the Straits Forum was innovative and invited young people from both sides of the Taiwan Strait to participate. Whether it is the Straits Youth Forum, the Cross-Strait Youth New Media Cultural and Creative Forum, or the Cross-Strait Youth Innovation and Entrepreneurship Competition, smiling faces filled with youthful atmosphere can be seen everywhere.
The Seventh Straits Forum continued to promote the implementation of a number of policies and measures to promote exchanges and cooperation between Fujian and Taiwan, bringing more benefits to people on both sides of the strait. In 2015, the mainland announced that Taiwan compatriots would be exempted from endorsement when travelling to and from the mainland, and a card-type Taiwanese certificate would be implemented in due course, thus making Taiwan compatriots’ wish to "just leave" a reality.
With the theme of "expanding people-to-people exchanges and promoting integrated development", the Eighth Straits Forum highlighted the exchanges between youth and grassroots on both sides of the Taiwan Straits, especially adding activities such as the Youth Pioneer Exchange, the Cross-Strait Think Tank Forum, and the large-scale photo exhibition of "Fujian and Taiwan Going to the Villages and Towns".
In 2017, it coincides with the 30th anniversary of cross-strait exchanges. At the new historical node, the 9th Straits Forum highlighted two key words, namely "30th anniversary" and "integrated development", and the biggest highlights were the larger communication field, deeper experiential communication, and gradual integration of youth. This year, more than 8,000 people from all walks of life in Taiwan Province came by waves, and the mainland continued to release the "policy spree", offering more than 2,600 jobs, more than 600 trainee positions and more than 3,100 entrepreneurial seats for young people in Taiwan Province.
The 10th Straits Forum specially added cultural exchange sections, such as "Ten Years on the Sea, Wonderful Stories from Both Sides", "Chinese Cultural Development Forum" and "Cross-Strait Academy Forum" to highlight the inheritance and value guidance of Chinese culture. At the same time, the first cross-strait grass-roots governance forum was held, which opened up a new way for the intersection, integration and mutual learning of cross-strait grass-roots governance theory and practice.
The 11th Straits Forum continued to focus on and serve grassroots people and youth groups. Taiwan Province talents will be added to the First Home Forum, the "Family on both sides of the Taiwan Straits, Heart to Heart" study and experience camp, and the cross-strait e-sports invitational tournament. More than 10,000 people from Taiwan Province signed up for the competition, of which 40% were "first-come people" and 50% were young people.
Although the 12th Straits Forum was influenced by the COVID-19 epidemic, it was still brilliant. For the first time, it broke through the time and space constraints of the epidemic by combining online and offline, and added topics such as health and epidemic prevention, and incorporated the touching story of compatriots on both sides of the strait working together to fight the epidemic.
The 13th Straits Forum not only focuses on people-to-people exchanges, but also highlights high-quality development, demonstrating the effectiveness of integrated development. This year, the Fujian-Taiwan Science and Technology Education Integration Development Activities, Cross-Strait New Media Development Exchange Forum and Fujian-Taiwan Youth Business Forum were newly held, and the "cloud communication" methods such as "Taiwan Youth Broadcasting Taiwan Goods", short video interaction, online and offline sitcoms and online games were used for the first time to continuously promote the deep integration of Fujian-Taiwan youth.
The 14th Straits Forum continues to take the theme of "expanding non-governmental exchanges and deepening integrated development". This year marks the 35th anniversary of the opening of cross-strait exchanges. The forum has newly held activities such as "35 Years of Heart-to-Heart" cross-strait exchange chronicle, "Cycling Angel" first home riding tour, and young Hakka speech contest, which aroused the resonance of "a family on both sides of the strait".
After 15 years, the Straits Forum has achieved fruitful results. From grassroots governance to youth entrepreneurial exchanges, from economic and trade cooperation to cultural exchanges, the Straits Forum has built one platform after another, witnessed one warm scene after another, and painted one blueprint for cooperation after another. Through the Straits Forum, compatriots on both sides of the strait have joined hands to share family ties, talk about people’s livelihood and well-being, promote Chinese culture, share the dream stage, and set up a "heart-to-heart bridge" across the two sides.