Taipei, March 6 (CNA) The Lienchiang, Mainland-Lienchiang, Matsu Cross-Strait Matters Forum was held in Matsu on Tuesday to discuss issues of interest to both sides, particularly sea transportation.
Lienchiang, originally a county in Fujian Province, was split during the Chinese civil war (1927-1950), with the Republic of China retaining the Matsu archipelago, while the People's Republic of China took control of the mainland area of the county.
At the forum, Liu Tseng-ying (劉增應), magistrate of the Matsu side of Lienchiang County, said convenient transportation is fundamental to economic and trade development.
Therefore, both sides should work to increase the ferry service between them from two trips to four daily with the goal of attracting 200,000 Chinese tourists per year to Matsu, he said.
Liu also suggested speeding up the procedure for approval of additional boat trips under special circumstances and adjusting the travel schedule in rough weather to avoid having people stranded at sea ports.
Meanwhile, Zheng Limin, head of the mainland-side Lienchiang County said Matsu and Lienchiang could have a bright future because of their shared history and geographical advantage.
They should grasp the opportunity to enhance cooperation, formulate policies to strengthen their bilateral interactions, deepen economic exchanges and expand mutual interests, he said.
Zheng agreed to hold meetings to discuss the suggestions made by Liu, with the hope of implementing them in the shortest possible time.
He also announced that another "Lienchiang Forum" will be held in late March, with government officials, scholars and specialists from both sides invited to talk about interactions and developments and to sign economic cooperation agreements.
Held at the Matsu Folk Cultural Artifacts Exhibition Hall, Tuesday's forum also touched on issues such as tourism, aquaculture, education and health.