TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The magistrates of Kinmen, Matsu, and Penghu county flew to Beijing on Monday (Aug. 12) to meet with Liu Jieyi (劉結一), the director of the Taiwan Affairs Office, and plead for the exclusion of the three offshore counties from China’s Taiwan travel ban, the Central News Agency (CNA) reports.
China suddenly suspended the issuance of individual travel documents to Taiwan for Chinese residents of 47 cities on August 1. The China Times reported that the mini three-links (小三通), the policy which had allowed business, travel, and postal services between three counties and 20 cities in China, including Fuzhou, Xiamen, and Quanzhou, would possibly be suspended soon, although it has not been confirmed by any Chinese officials yet.
Legislator Chen Hsueh-sheng (陳雪生) accompanied Yang Cheng-wu (楊鎮浯), Liu Cheng-ying (劉增應), and Lai Feng-wei (賴峰偉), the magistrates of Kinmen, Matsu, and Penghu, respectively, and several county councilors to China to meet with Liu Jieyi to discuss the exclusion of the three counties from the travel ban. The magistrates hoped that even if lifting the travel band is not possible, China would ensure the mini three-links policy would not be affected.
Yang said that China had issued different travel documents to citizens wishing to visit Taiwan's main island and those traveling to Kinmen, Matsu, and Penghu. Therefore, the three offshore counties should enjoy different treatment, argued Yang.
Liu had not responded directly to their request. He only said that he fully understands the needs of the three offshore counties and the importance of the mini three-links to the cross-strait exchange.