« Locals in the Taiwanese-controlled Kinmen and Matsu Islands reacted on Sunday to a plan from Beijing to boost access for Taiwanese businesses to its Fujian province.
The Chinese state planner announced that it would implement ‘special’ policy measures to enhance cross-Strait relations between the city of Xiamen and the Kinmen Islands through improved gas, electricity, and transportation links.
« It’s not about whether what they say counts or what we say, counts, » said Liu, a Taiwanese soldier. « It requires consensus from both sides of the Taiwan Strait to establish or implement this demonstration zone. »
Another resident, Wu, said that people on the islands needed peace, expressing hope that political leaders from both sides would hold talks and resolve the ongoing tensions.
Meanwhile, one resident of Xiamen who was visiting the islands said he backed the new plan.
« This policy is very favourable because some previous policies led to misunderstandings and deviations during their implementation, causing concerns among our fellow Taiwanese. This time, the central government is paying great attention, so we hope that this policy can truly be put into practice, » he said.
The initiative is part of China’s broader strategy to establish the coastal Fujian province as an integrated development zone with Taiwan. Beijing also claims sovereignty over Taiwan, which Taipei strongly rejects. »