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Premier: China will offer Taiwan 'preferential policies'

AP  |  Beijing 

will introduce more "preferential policies" for so the self-governed island's residents can enjoy the same treatment as citizens, said Friday.

Li said new initiatives will be implemented to invite people from to "work hand-in-hand to realize our shared dream for the nation."

They follow 31 incentives recently introduced to bolster China's argument that political unification should follow increasingly close economic ties.

Such appeals form the carrot in China's strategy toward in contrast with the stick of threatened military attack.

has used increasingly aggressive rhetoric toward Taiwan, which split from the mainland amid a civil war 70 years ago, but has sought to balance the two approaches to try to avoid alienating those in the island republic who are wary of

The ruling maintains that Taiwan is part of It opposes Taiwan independence and formally says it seeks a "peaceful reunification."

did not rule out the use of force during a January speech on cross-strait relations, when he proposed a "one country, two systems" approach akin to China's current arrangement with the former British colony of Hong Kong. That would enable Taiwan to keep its own economic and legal system.

The suggestion has been rejected by Taiwan's Tsai Ing-wen, who said China must accept the continued existence of the Republic of China, the formal name of the former mainland government that fled to Taiwan in 1949.

The US switched recognition from to in 1979, but remains a key Taiwanese bulwark against China's threats.

China appears pleased with the impact of last year's "31 Measures," and Li held open the possibility of even greater advantages, while offering no details.

"When people on both sides of the strait enjoy the same development opportunities, they will become closer and closer," Li said at a conference held on the closing day of the ceremonial legislature's annual session.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, March 15 2019. 16:00 IST