Fujian promises to begin supplying water to Kinmen soon


CNA

FUZHOU, Fujian–The head of Fujian province (福建省) on Wednesday said his province would do its best to complete a project to supply water to Kinmen ahead of schedule after Taiwan requested that the timetable be moved forward.

Taiwan’s top negotiator with China, Lin Join-sane (林中森), brought up the request during a meeting with Fujian Governor Su Shulin (蘇樹林) on Wednesday.

Thanking Fujian to agree to sell water to Kinmen, a Taiwan-held island group just kilometers off China’s southeastern coast that is often short of fresh water, Lin said he hoped water could be supplied before 2017 when the project is expected to be completed.

Work on the project began this year, “but the supply of water will not take place until 2017 under current plans. (I) hope the deadline can be moved ahead,” Lin said.

Su replied that the Fujian side will do its utmost to complete the water supply project and begin pumping water to Kinmen as soon as possible.

Apart from water, Kinmen has also asked Fujian to supply electricity and natural gas and build a bridge connecting Kinmen and China, Su said. “These are things that people in Kinmen want and that Fujian is willing to provide.”

Saying he was aware of Taiwanese people’s wish for peace between the two sides across the Taiwan Strait, Su suggested the two sides should increase cooperation and reduce confrontation.

“Confrontation can do nothing but cause disasters,” he said.

Lin, who chairs Taiwan’s semi-official Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF, 海基會), visited Su a day after he attended a meeting with his Chinese counterpart Chen Deming (陳德銘), head of the Beijing-based Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS, 海協會), in Fuzhou.

In the latest summit talks between SEF and ARATS, the 11th round of formal talks between the two bodies since 2008, the two sides signed agreements on double taxation avoidance and aviation safety. SEF and ARATS are intermediary bodies founded by Taiwan and China to handle cross-strait affairs in the absence of formal ties.