President Hu recently met with a delegation of ethnic minorities from Taiwan, and pledged further support from the mainland for whatever help Taiwan may need. Ethnic minorities in southern Taiwan, living often in remote villages, were the hardest hit group in Taiwan by the recent typhoon. Here is a translation of a story on the People’s Web by China News Wrap:
“Hu Jintao, Chairman of the Chinese Communist Party, met with members of a delegation of Taiwan’s ethnic minorities in the Great Hall of the People and delivered a speech on the afternoon of 19 August.”
“Hu Jintao firstly gave a warm welcome to this delegation of Taiwan’s ethnic minorities on their visit to the mainland, as well as gave his condolences to these Taiwanese ethnic minority compatriots.”
“Hu Jintao said, ‘Taiwan recently suffered from a typhoon of a size that is rarely seen in history, and the lives and property of our Taiwanese compatriots have suffered great damage – Taiwanese ethnic minority compatriots in particular had endured acute hardship during the disaster. We share their pain, and are extremely concerned about their welfare. At this point, I would like to represent your compatriots on the mainland, and send our sincere and deep condolences to Taiwanese who have been affected by the typhoon.”
‘Hu Jintao said that the peoples of China have always possessed an outstanding tradition of overcoming adversity and providing each other with mutual support. Compatriots on either side of the Taiwan strait are a single family sharing ties of blood. The difficulties that our Taiwanese compatriots endure are also our own difficulties, and we will continue to provide our Taiwanese compatriots with aid and support, and support them in their recovery work.”
“Hu Jintao pointed out that Taiwanese ethnic minority compatriots are important members of the great family of the peoples of China, and that ‘for a long period of time, you have engaged in an unwavering struggle to resist foreign aggression and preserve national dignity, and have worked tirelessly for the development of the peoples of China and the development of Taiwan, making a great contribution to the improvement and development of cross-strait relations. Your own actions prove that compatriots on either side of the strait only need to unite their hearts and work in unison, in order to be capable of properly protecting and establishing our common homeland, and create a new era for the peaceful development of cross-strait relations.”
“Hu Jintai said that in the past year cross-strait relations had achieved historic improvements, resulting in a series of major accomplishments. This is in the fundamental interests of compatriots on both sides of the strait, and is what the hearts of the people long for. ‘I sincerely hope that that compatriots on both sides of the strait will join hands together even more closely, to achieve the great revival of the people’s of China.”
The trip by the delegation was planned long before Morakot became news – as part of the increasing culture ties between the Mainland and Taiwan. The delegation was headed by May Chin, a popular Taiwanese entertainment star. Besides visiting Beijing, the group will also be visiting southwestern Yunnan Province, a place home to some 20 ethnic minorities on the Mainland.
Personally, I am very satisfied at the increasing economic and cultural exchange between the Mainland and Taiwan. I am pleased to see the Mainland offer help in so many ways (see, e.g., here, here or here) – in ways reminescent of the way so many Taiwanese reached out to help the people of Sichuan after the Wenchuan quake struck more than a year ago.
While there are few still to be rescued from being trapped now, much help is still needed to provide for the victims on the ground. I sincerely hope that whatever help Taiwan needs, politics will not cause the government in Taiwan to flinch or refrain from asking the Mainland for any help it needs.