BEIJING: The Chinese mainland will continue to promote the implementation of the 31 preferential policies for Taiwan, An Fengshan, spokesperson for the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council, said at a press conference today.
The 31 preferential policies, introduced by the Chinese mainland during the Fifth Straits Forum in southeast China’s Xiamen in 2013, cover the fields of legal rights, education, culture, and tourism, and are aimed at improving the lives of all Taiwanese people, Xinhua news agency reported.
Shanghai Credit Information Services and China Credit Information Service have established a platform where financial institutions on the mainland can search for credit information of enterprises and individuals in Taiwan, allowing Taiwanese enterprises and individuals to obtain finance on the mainland, An said.
East China’s Jiangsu Province has been actively supporting applications from Taiwan-funded enterprises for provincial technological projects or to be listed as high-tech enterprises.
So far, nearly 700 Taiwan-funded high-tech enterprises in Jiangsu enjoy a preferential corporate income tax of 15 percent. Two Taiwan-funded enterprises received a total of 9.5 million yuan (1.5 million U.S. dollars) of funding to commercialize research findings, An said.
By April 20, 27 higher learning institutions in central China’s Hubei Province had provided a total of 582 teaching jobs for Taiwanese.
In terms of youth entrepreneurship, the 53 cross-Strait entrepreneurship bases and pilot sites nationwide had served nearly 1,900 Taiwan-funded enterprises and teams, and provided internships and jobs for nearly 9,000 Taiwanese youth as of the end of 2017, according to An.
Recently the Taiwan Affairs Office set up 22 new such entrepreneurship bases and pilot sites in 15 provincial-level regions, including Tianjin and Shanghai. This brought the total number of the bases and sites to 75 nationwide.
Taiwanese people will also be able to take part in professional and technical qualification examinations and work on the mainland.
Some Chinese believe that it is unnecessary to offer preferential policies to Taiwanese people, as mainland China’s enthusiasm would not be entertained.
US Senator Graham calls on PM Khan
ISLAMABAD: Republican Senator Lindsey Graham called on PM Imran Khan here today.
During the meeting, PM reiterated his government’s commitment to continue working with the US and other regional stakeholders in order to find a political settlement in Afghanistan. Khan further stressed the need for normalizing relations with all neighboring countries to unleash the potential of regional cooperation. Imran Khan said that his economic team was constantly striving to evolve business-friendly policies for potential investors which could be benefited by the US companies.
Senator Graham, lauding PM’s vision apropos political solution to the Afghan conflict, conveyed his appreciation of Pakistan’s positive role in the ongoing efforts to find a political settlement in Afghanistan. He also appreciated PM’s endeavor vis-a-vis improvement of the economy, elimination of corruption and creation of jobs. He termed Imran Khan’s efforts to normalize relations with neighboring countries as noteworthy.
It is pertinent to mention here that Lindsey Graham is Chairman of the US Senate’s Judicial Committee and Senior Member of the committees of the House on armed services and budget.
Earlier Senator Lindsey Graham called on Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi here today. During the meeting, views on matters related to bilateral cooperation, situation in Afghanistan, regional and international issues were discussed. Various aspects to increase bilateral cooperation in economic and trade sectors were also pondered over.
US Sp. Envoy Khalilzad’s Pak visit ends today
ISLAMABAD: Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation, Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad, visited Islamabad from 17th to 20th January 2019 to follow up on discussions held in December.
Special Representative Khalilzad met Prime Minister Khan, Foreign Minister Qureshi, Foreign Secretary Janjua, Chief of Army Staff Bajwa, and members of the diplomatic corps in Islamabad.
During the consultations, both sides reaffirmed their commitment to advance the Afghan peace process. Ambassador Khalilzad highlighted that all countries in the region will benefit from peace in Afghanistan.
Migrant deaths on the Mediterranean Sea
MANHATTAN: UNHCR, has called for sparing no effort in saving lives at sea, following reports of two new shipwrecks on the Mediterranean Sea, in which some 170 people either died or went missing.
“The tragedy of the Mediterranean cannot be allowed to continue,” Filippo Grandi, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, said in a statement released on Saturday. According to various non-governmental organizations (NGOs), about 53 people died on the Alboran Sea, in the western part of the Mediterranean. One survivor is understood to have been rescued by a passing fishing boat after being stranded for more than 24 hours at sea and is receiving medical treatment in Morocco.
According to UNHCR, Moroccan and Spanish rescue vessels have been searching for the boat and survivors for several days to no avail. The Italian Navy is also reporting another shipwreck on the central Mediterranean. Three survivors, who were taken for treatment on the island of Lampedusa, reported that another 117 people, currently dead or missing, had boarded the ship with them in Libya. UNHCR said it has been unable to independently verify the death tolls for these two shipwrecks, but in 2018, 2,262 people lost their lives attempting to reach Europe via the Mediterranean Sea.
“We cannot turn a blind eye to the high numbers of people dying on Europe’s doorstep,” Grandi said. “No effort should be spared, or prevented, from saving lives in distress at sea.” UNHCR’s statement said it was “concerned that actions by states are increasingly deterring NGOs from conducting search and rescue operations and is calling for these to be lifted immediately.”
At the same time, “greater efforts are needed to prevent refugees and migrants from taking these desperate journeys in the first place,” UNHCR stressed, calling for “more safe and legal pathways to access asylum in Europe… for those fleeing war and persecution so that no one feels they have no other choice than to put their lives in the hands of unscrupulous traffickers and smugglers.”