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Chinese mainland announces cross-Strait tourism measures

KMT delegation stresses importance of exchanges, urges lifting of restrictions

By JIANG CHENGLONG | China Daily Global | Updated: 2024-04-29 07:51
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New measures regarding the resumption of cross-Strait tourism were announced by the Chinese mainland on Sunday, along with approval for shipments of Wendan pomelos from Taiwan to the mainland.

Fu Kun-chi, who was leading a Chinese Kuomintang party delegation visiting the mainland, called on Sunday for the Democratic Progressive Party authorities in Taiwan to meet the "common expectations of both sides of the Strait" by lifting restrictions on mainland tourists traveling to Taiwan.

While meeting with the KMT delegation on Sunday morning, Vice-Minister of Culture and Tourism Rao Quan announced new tourism measures across the Taiwan Strait, with tours by residents of the southeastern province of Fujian to Matsu to resume first.

Group tours of Fujian residents to Taiwan will also be resumed once direct sea passenger transport resumes between Pingtan, an island city off the east coast of Fujian, and Taiwan.

Rao extended a warm welcome to compatriots from Taiwan to visit the mainland more frequently for sightseeing, to witness the development and changes on the mainland, and to benefit from its progress and achievements.

The KMT delegation also met with Zhao Zenglian, deputy head of the General Administration of Customs, on Sunday morning. Zhao announced that based on scientific assessments, the administration would approve the shipment of agricultural and fishery products from Taiwan, such as Wendan pomelos, that meet the mainland's quarantine requirements.

Separate announcements by the Ministry of Transport and the Civil Aviation Administration of China said they had used existing communication channels on Sunday to urge the Taiwan authorities to resume direct sea passenger transport and completely resume direct flights across the Strait.

Zhu Fenglian, a spokeswoman for the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council, said on Sunday that direct cross-Strait flights have greatly facilitated exchanges between people on both sides and played an important role in promoting the common interests of compatriots across the Strait.

"We hope that the Taiwan authorities will fully consider the demands of people on both sides and shipping companies and promptly resume direct cross-Strait sea passenger transport and reopen air routes between the 30 mainland destinations and Taiwan," she said.

In a group interview on Sunday, Fu said the mainland visit by the delegation, which he said represented new public opinions from Taiwan, aimed to promote peaceful and prosperous development across the Strait, with frequent exchanges between the peoples. "This is the expectation of all industries and fields in Taiwan," he said.

Fu criticized the obstacles set by the DPP authorities, such as a limit on the number of mainland tourists able to visit Taiwan, and urged their removal.

"It is the common expectation of all people across the Strait to have comprehensive exchanges," he said.

In an exchange activity with the KMT delegation on Sunday, Cai Shiming, a doctor from Taiwan who works at Tsinghua Chang Gung Hospital in Beijing, expressed his hope that there would be more cross-Strait flights, which would increase opportunities for exchanges between people on both sides and foster mutual understanding.

"Although the current situation across the Strait is still tense, I sincerely hope that through more exchanges and contacts we can understand each other better, which would help resolve barriers and differences," he said.

Su Yung-chun, a Tsinghua University postgraduate from Taiwan who works in Beijing, also called for cross-Strait cultural exchanges and tourism to be fully resumed as soon as possible.

"The exchange between people on both sides of the Strait is unstoppable," he said. "The shallow Taiwan Strait cannot prevent the historical trend of people from both sides getting closer and more intimate."

The KMT delegation left for Taiwan on Sunday after completing a three-day visit to Beijing. During the visit, the delegation toured the mainland's leading electric vehicle manufacturer, the Beijing International Automotive Exhibition and an autonomous driving demonstration zone.


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