Press release of the 144th meeting of “Cross-Strait Talk”
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At 7:30 p.m. on October 28, the 144th “Cross-Strait Talk” (General 222th), hosted by China Cross-Strait Academy (Hong Kong) and Xiamen Qidataixiang Entrepreneurship Service Co., Ltd., was successfully held at the Tencent Conference with the theme of Know more about Cross-Straits Industrial Convergence and Development——Pingtung County.

Pingtung County, located in the southernmost part of southwest Taiwan, is also the narrowest county from the south to the north of western Taiwan. It is bounded by Kaohsiung City in the north and Taitung County in the east across the Peitawushan. It is situated at the tropics with tropical zeal. Although Pingtung County pays more attention to the industrial structure on agriculture and fishery, it has actively promoted tourism in recent years. Burdock, red bean, preserved egg, salted duck egg, red yolk duck egg, pineapple, mango, jujube, wax apple (black pearl) and garrupa, Sergia lucens Hansen, bluefin tuna, cocoa, onion have become the most representative specialties in Pingtung County. In this Cross-Strait Talk, China Cross-Strait Academy (Hong Kong) specially invited Zhang Yaping, former deputy secretary general of the Kuomintang and PhD of Sun Yat-sen University; Lin Xinxiong, lecture of National Pingtung University of Science and Technology; Zhou Xiaoke, associate professor of Taiwan Research Institute of Beijing Union University; Gao Tuti, mainland student of National Pingtung University to discuss the topic of Know more about Cross-Straits Industrial Convergence and Development——Pingtung County. The discussion would focus on how Pingtung County, which has complete agriculture, fishery, manufacturing and good tourism industries, should revitalize its primary, secondary and tertiary industries again, create its industrial highlights, which industries in Pingtung County can find opportunities in cross-strait economic and trade industrial cooperation, and future opportunities and challenges of Pingtung Countys industries. Luo Dingjun, Secretary General of China Cross-Strait Academy (Hong Kong), served as the host of the meeting.

Zhang Yaping said that Pingtungs population has declined sharply in the past decade, but the number of households has increased, which shows that Pingtung s family size has gradually declining. Coupled with the increasingly serious aging of population, it will also increasingly highlight the problem of labor shortage. Given the current situation of Pingtung, it is not a good direct location in terms of transportation. In the future, if the condition of transportation can be improved, the development of all aspects will also be improved to some extent. In addition, Pingtung should focus on research rather than urban development. It should strengthen special advantages on breeding and other aspects, and carry out cooperation with the mainland or Southeast Asia. In this way, Pingtung can further drive local economic development.

Lin Xinxiong mentioned that the birth rate is declining and the population is agingPingtung focus on developing agriculture and fishery, industrial development faces difficulties with an aging labor force. And young people are unwilling to engage in hard work such as fruit picking. The shortage of workers may eventually be the last straw for Pingtung. The local government should take the responsibility to adjust and solve the problem in a targeted way , instead of lying flat and letting the county rot.

Zhou Xiaoke pointed out that Pingtung County is rich in local tourism resources. If sightseeing tour can be regarded as a characteristic industry, it would also be the powerhouse of the whole tourism industry. Exchanges between the two sides can focus on characteristic industries. The re-opening of mainland tourists to Taiwan for sightseeing tourism will bring a comprehensive driving effect on Taiwans sightseeing tour and related industries such as retail and transportation. History also shows that if we can once again open mainland tourists to Taiwan, it will have an immeasurable boost on Taiwans economy.

Gao Tudi said that Pingtung has many natural tourism resources and the beautiful scenery of Small Ryukyu Island is popular with tourists. However, as an offshore island with inconvenient transportation, there is certain impact on the local tourism. Buses and peoples own cars are the main modes of traveling in Pingtung, insufficient bus routes and fewer shifts would certainly affect tourists experience feeling. Solving traffic problems should be a top priority in local government planning if they want to develop tourism.

In addition to the wonderful speeches delivered by the guests, the online audience also actively participated in the interactive questions on the topic. Questions covered various aspects such as how should Pingtung make full use of its advantages to participate in the integration and development of the two sides of the Taiwan Strait, and what impact will the tense situation of Sino-US relations and Taiwan relations bring to the industry in Pingtung etc. All the guests at the meeting answered these questions, and the discussion was heated, highlighting the great concern of young people and scholars on Cross-Strait on the issue.

Zhang Yaping said that in terms of agricultural technology services, Pingtung is ranked first and can also play a good role in future cooperation with the mainland. Lin Xinxiong mentioned that the mainland market is the best choice for Pingtung Countys agricultural and fishery products export, which will achieve the best results in the shortest time for increasing output value and increasing income. However, under the DPP, there is no positive effect on solving structural problems. Zhou Xiaoke pointed out that many characteristic tourism resources in Pingtung County are still unknown to the mainland people. Effective publicity and more cooperation to attract more mainland tourists will promote all aspects of industry in Pingtung County. Gao Tudi said that as the country continues to grow stronger, contemporary young people are becoming more interested in traditional culture. Therefore, the characteristic culture of Pingtung County will become the most valuable resource. Pingtung can try to design a cultural route to attract more tourists to experience the local characteristics of the culture.

In the final speech and summary section of the meeting, Zhang Yaping said that the current situation in Pingtung County is, to some extent, a microcosm of the whole of Taiwan. Only by establishing a stable connection with the mainland and peaceful exchanges between the two sides can Taiwan develop better. Lin Xinxiong pointed out that Pingtung has advantages such as climate, water and natural resources, but there has been no significant development under the rule of the Democratic Progressive Party for many years. It is hoped that another party would take power in the next general election. Only with the sound development of Cross-Strait relations in the future can Pingtungs industrial development embark on a healthy and long-term road. Zhou Xiaoke put forward the hope that the two sides can promote integrated development through more exchanges and cooperation. In such a favorable environment, Pingtung can make full use of its characteristic resource advantages, and make up for its shortcomings through cross-straits cooperation, so as to achieve better development. Gao Tudi expressed the hope that the two sides can have more exchanges in the future. Tourists from the mainland and compatriots from Taiwan can freely set foot on the other side of the strait. Only with more practical exchanges can the two sides integrate more closely.

Through a brief 2-hour online exchange, hundreds people from both sides of the strait gathered to discuss the topic of Know more about Cross-Straits Industrial Convergence and Development——Pingtung County, to promote cross-strait exchanges with practical actions, and make contributions to maintaining cross-strait peace and development.

As the cross-strait exchange activity synchronized with “ Cross-Strait Youth Perspective Forum”and “Smart Youth Integration in the Four Places”, the “Cross-Strait Talk” launched by China Cross-Strait Academy (Hong Kong), is mainly characterized by gathering authoritative scholars and media worker from Cross-Strait and four places. They will listen to the voice of the Strait, pay attention to the hot spots on both sides of Taiwan Strait, take a global vision, and make a new voice based on both sides of the strait and facing the world.