(Photo: Xinhua/Chen Ye)
BEIJING, Sept. 12 (Xinhua) -- More than 22,000 Taiwan residents have applied for residence permits in the Chinese mainland by Sept. 10, An Fengshan, spokesperson for the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council, said Wednesday.
A new regulation came into effect on Sept. 1 that allows residents of Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan to apply for residence permits in the Chinese mainland.
According to the regulation, holders of the residence permit will be able to use it to register vehicles, apply for driver's licenses, take professional qualification exams, purchase tickets online and check-in at hotels.
The regulation can provide more convenience to people from Taiwan in terms of their study, work and daily life in the mainland, An said, noting that the number of people applying for the permit shows that this regulation brings benefits and is well received by Taiwan compatriots including business people, young entrepreneurs, teachers and students.
This regulation is among the efforts to ensure that people from Taiwan can share the mainland's development opportunities and enjoy the same treatment as mainland residents when they live in the mainland, An said.
Applying for the permit is voluntary, not a requirement, An said.
An also criticized the Democratic Progressive Party administration for deliberately defaming and obstructing the new policy.
In terms of economic exchanges across the Taiwan Strait, An said over 10,000 young Taiwanese have taken internships, found jobs or started businesses in the mainland's entrepreneurship bases and pilot sites by the end of June.
So far, the mainland has set up 76 such entrepreneurship bases and pilot sites where young people from Taiwan can enjoy preferential policies to find jobs or start businesses.
The film and television industry also saw an increase in cross-Strait exchanges and cooperation, An said.