|China, Taiwan relations on right track
Relations between the Chinese mainland and Taiwan continued to develop in 2012, with improving mutual trust and increased trade, a mainland spokesman said Wednesday.
Yang Yi, spokesman for the State Council's Taiwan Affairs Office, said at a press conference that a record high of 7.97 million people traveled across the Taiwan Strait last year, Xinhua news agency reports.
About 5.34 million people traveled from Taiwan to the mainland in 2012, up 1.47 percent, while 2.63 million people traveled from the mainland to Taiwan, up 42.6 percent, Yang said.
The number of mainland tourists to Taiwan topped 1.97 million last year, up 57.5 percent year on year, Yang said.
Ten mainland cities were given approval last year to grant individual tourist visas for Taiwan, including Tianjin, Chongqing, Nanjing, Hangzhou, Guangzhou, Chengdu, Jinan, Xi'an, Fuzhou and Shenzhen, Yang said.
Cross-Strait forums and exchanges attracted thousands of Taiwanese compatriots and therefore helped deepen cross-Strait ties, he said.
Yang said the mainland increased agricultural and fishery purchases from the island last year, benefiting local farmers and fishermen.
The mainland also created a series of policies to help Taiwanese companies broaden their mainland markets, the spokesman said.
Yang said he hopes both sides will use this year to seek opportunities to boost political, economic and cultural progress, as well as break new ground in cross-Strait relations.