More Taiwan residents are expected to work in mainland companies and public institutions as a result of new preferential employment policies announced on Sunday at the fourth Straits Forum in Xiamen, East China's Fujian province.
Taiwan students who graduate from mainland colleges and other Taiwan residents will have equal status as their mainland compatriots to apply for jobs in enterprises, said Wang Yi, minister of the State Council's Taiwan Affairs Office.
Further, through an open recruitment process, Taiwan students who were educated on the mainland, as well as other Taiwan residents, can be employed in public institutions as part of a pilot program in Tianjin, Shanghai, Zhejiang and Hubei in addition to Fujian and Jiangsu provinces, Wang said.
"Taiwan residents who have credentials that are recognized by mainland educational authorities can work in public institutions, such as colleges and universities, organizations dedicated to public service and culture, medical and health organizations, in the six provinces and municipalities," Wang said at the forum.
Mainland employment service agencies will offer free consulting services for Taiwan residents seeking jobs on the mainland, according to Wang.
Feng Ting-kuo, an associate professor at Chinese Culture University in Taipei, hailed the new moves that aim at boosting educational exchanges.
"Since Taiwan residents are allowed by education authorities to study on the mainland, they should also have the right to work, or it would be a waste of the mainland's education resources," Feng told China Daily, speaking on the sidelines of the forum.
"I appreciate the new move as it would encourage more Taiwan students to study, work and stay on the mainland, which can boost people-to-people exchanges across the Straits in response to closer economic ties," he said.
Lin Yu-hsuan, a 23-year-old Taiwan student in the Chinese Language and Literature Department of Xiamen University, said she decided to find a job on the mainland after hearing the news.
However, some Taiwan residents thought that unfair competition might still exist in the job market.
"The taxation and social security systems (used by) a Taiwan employee are different from their mainland counterparts. This is considered troublesome by mainland companies, especially small and medium-sized ones, and keeps them from hiring, " said Taiwan resident Yu Kuan-ying.
Yu chose to work for an international business in Shanghai after graduating from Beijing's Tsinghua University in 2009.
Fujian province, a place with many policies pertaining to Taiwan, started in 2009 to hire Taiwan residents for jobs in hospitals, public schools, regional investment-promotion organizations and other public institutions.
Other good news for Taiwan people was also announced during the forum.
Four banking institutions from the mainland will offer up to 600 billion yuan ($95 billion) to Taiwan-invested businesses on the mainland.
Also, a special fund, with an annual investment of 30 million yuan, will be established to boost cooperation in scientific research between the mainland and Taiwan.