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Chinese mainland businessman favors Kinmen in investment

XIAMEN, Oct. 31 (Xinhua) -- Speaking of his investment plan in Taiwan's Kinmen island, Chinese mainland businessman Wu Youhua could not stop talking.

"With a total investment of 700 million U.S. dollars, I will first build a high-end hotel to receive mainland tourists, and then run a cattle farm using free vinasse from a local liquor factory, and then run an electric vehicle leasing company using marsh gas made by the cattle waste to charge the vehicles," he said.

Wu, 60, applied for the hotel plan in 2009 after Taiwan allowed mainland-sources investment and was approved in the following year, making himself the first Chinese mainlander to invest in Kinmen.

"I'm confident about my 'green business circle' there, and the once-frontline will become an important tour resort for mainland tourists," he said.

Wu is a native of Xiamen, a port city in southeast China's Fujian Province facing Kinmen across the sea.

The Chinese mainland and Taiwan have been estranged since 1949, when the Kuomintang Party (KMT) was defeated in a civil war by the Communist Party of China (CPC). The two sides resumed transportation and trade exchanges in 1980, when China approved the establishment of four special economic zones (SEZs) in the southern cities of Shenzhen, Xiamen, Shantou and Zhuhai. The Xiamen SEZ was established in 1981, targeting cross-Strait trade.

"Instead of lullabies, what I listened to when I was a little boy was the sound of cannons firing across the open sea," recalled Wu. However, Wu said, "I have a kind of special feeling toward Kinmen, and I had hoped to visit Kinmen since my childhood."

After quitting his job at a rubber factory, Wu started working for a state-owned trade company and became a pioneer in cross-Strait trade businesses in the early 1980s.

In the 1990s, Wu started his own company, eyeing opportunities brought about by peaceful situation across the Strait.

Wu now is a frequent visitor to Kinmen and he said he is confident in Kinmen's future with increasing economic and trade as well as people-to-people exchanges across the Taiwan Strait.

Wu hopes he can work for another ten years before retirement, making profits under the vision of cross-Strait peace.

"I believe an economic circle between Xiamen and Kinmen will be eventually built with large profitable opportunities seen," he said. Enditem

(Qi Xianghui and Xiang Kailai also contributed to this story.)