China reveals plan for cross-strait economic development with Taiwan

The leadership of Chinese President Xi Jinping has revealed details of a plan to make China's southeastern province of Fujian a demonstration zone for integrated development with Taiwan.

The Chinese Communist Party and the Chinese government on Tuesday released 21 specific measures to create the zone in its efforts to advance what is called the peaceful reunification with the motherland.

Fujian province faces Taiwan across the sea.

The policy indicates that Beijing aims to create an environment that will encourage Taiwanese firms to do business in the province.

It also plans to enhance social welfare programs for Taiwanese people to make it easier for them to work and receive medical services in the province.

Under the scheme, Beijing will try to accelerate the cross-strait development by advancing integration with residents on Taiwan's Kinmen Islands, which are close to Fujian province.

The measures include providing the islanders with gas and electricity, and the construction of bridges connecting the province and the islands.

The Communist Party plans to strengthen its leadership and expand its financial support for the creation of the zone.

Observers say the move is part of China's attempt to show its economic influence on Taiwan ahead of Taiwan's presidential election, which is scheduled to be held in January next year.