By ZHANG YI and HU MEIDONG in Xiamen, Fujian
Young people from Taiwan who are working on the Chinese mainland said they have increased their confidence in pursuing their careers on the mainland after receiving a letter of reply from Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee.
Xi called on young people from both sides of the Taiwan Straits to join hands in realizing the Chinese dream of national rejuvenation, in a letter replying to young people from Taiwan attending the 20th Straits Youth Forum, held in Xiamen, Fujian province, from Monday to Tuesday.
Fifty young people from Taiwan who had been invited to attend the forum wrote a letter to Xi, in which they described their experiences of studying, working and living on the mainland.
Xi encouraged young people from Taiwan to share their experience and feelings with their peers on the island to help them get to know the mainland and jointly strive relentlessly for national rejuvenation.
Lee Wei-kuo, chairman of the Taipei-based Chinese Youth Trade Development Association, said: "I feel honored to receive the reply letter from Xi. He attaches great importance to and cares for us young people from Taiwan."
Lee came to Beijing from Taiwan in 2016 to seek opportunities. Now he works as chairman of HuaCan DreamWorks, an incubation center for cross-Straits startups in Beijing, as well as in Chengdu, Sichuan province, and Zhuhai, Guangdong province.
The mainland has been rolling out many policies and measures to benefit and give equal treatment to Taiwan compatriots, he said. "These measures make me feel encouraged and strengthen my confidence in developing on the mainland."
The integrated development of young people from both sides of the Straits is important for the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation, Lee said, adding that he is willing to help young people from Taiwan know more about the mainland.
Chen Borui, a doctor at the Dermatology Hospital of Fuzhou, said that what impressed him most in the letter was that Xi encouraged young people from Taiwan to join hands with those on the mainland.
"It's also the deepest experience I have had in the past 20 years," Chen said. "Only when working closely with our compatriots on the mainland and striving to realize the same dream, can we develop our careers well and get the precious wealth of our life."
At 17, when Chen received admission letters from several universities in the mainland and Taiwan, he chose Peking University in Beijing due to the opportunities on the mainland.
During his eight years at the university, Chen earned a master's degree and also met his wife, who is from Fujian. Chen became a dermatologist in 2010 at the hospital in Fuzhou, capital of Fujian, after graduation.
Chen said he enjoys the same treatment as doctors on the mainland in many aspects, including payment, promotion and studying opportunities.
"I feel lucky that I am spending the most precious years of my life on the mainland," he said.
During his spare time, Chen helps more Taiwan medical students know about the mainland.
'Most surprising gift'
"The letter is the most surprising gift of the year," said Tseng Chihying, a rural designer involved in upgrading villages in Fujian. "It's like a reply from a family member showing that we care about each other and can feel each other's warmth, just like a parent watching out for our dreams."
Tseng, from Taipei, came to Fujian in 2018 with her team of young designers from Taiwan to undertake rural vitalization projects, including building homestays in villages, renovating old streets and filming documentaries to record local history.
In recent years, she has spent most of her time working in the countryside of the province. During holidays, she said that local people invite her to visit their homes and have meals.
Since Fujian issued preferential policies in 2018 for Taiwan designers and architects, about 300 people from Taiwan such as Tseng have gone to work in villages in the province.
"Fujian is implementing the rural vitalization strategy, which has great potential and can create development opportunities for young people from Taiwan," said Tseng, who set up a communication office in Taipei in 2020 to encourage more people from Taiwan to work in rural areas on the mainland.
Fujian, the closest mainland province to Taiwan, has taken the lead in offering beneficial policies for people from Taiwan in recent years. It has attracted more than 40,000 young people from Taiwan for internships, employment and entrepreneurship, official data showed.
The province has about 80 centers offering services for Taiwan people to seek careers on the mainland, and 27 colleges have recruited students from Taiwan.
Yin Li, Party secretary of Fujian, said that an increasing number of young people from Taiwan are coming to Fujian to develop their careers, and there are more integrated development fields between the two sides, including agriculture, finance, education and rural development.
Fujian will continue to create favorable policies and convenience for people from Taiwan to study, work and live in the province, Yin said.