Opening to PRC tourists seems unlikely, says MAC

Taiwan's top China policy planner said yesterday that the prospect of Taiwan opening to Chinese tourists does not look promising under "Beijing's frame of political mind."
Noting that when Chinese citizens will be allowed to visit Taiwan as tourists hinges on Beijing's attitude, Mainland Affairs Council Chairman Chen Ming-tong (陳明通) said Taiwan cannot be too optimistic about the opening while Beijing imposes a political frame and use political language referring to the negotiations on the proposed opening.
Speaking at a discussion sponsored by the opposition Kuomintang legislative caucus on the opening of direct cross-strait air links and Taiwan tourism to Chinese citizens, Chen said that the private Taiwan Strait Tourism Association has engaged in five rounds of negotiations with its Chinese counterpart, the Cross-Strait Tourism Exchange Association, since late last year on technical details regarding Taiwan's opening to Chinese tourists.
Nevertheless, Chen noted, from the fourth round of talks, the Chinese have begun "to tamper with the negotiations with political rhetoric." He noted that in a cross-strait business and cultural forum held April 28-29, Jia Qinglin, chairman of the rubber stamp Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, even stated that cross-strait tourism is not leisure trips "between two countries."
Jia's remarks were the most obvious "frame of political mind," Chen claimed.
As to why the Chinese authorities have changed their attitude to Taiwan's proposed opening to Chinese tourists, Chen said he has no idea and has been trying to gain an understanding.
Chen said in late April that he believes that cross-strait negotiations over the issue have entered the final stage. It is now up to Beijing to determine when Chinese citizens will be allowed to travel to Taiwan for sightseeing this year, Chen said, adding that so long as Beijing gives the green light, the program can be implemented before the end of this year.
According to Taiwan's plan, a maximum of 1,000 Chinese tourists will be allowed to enter Taiwan per day for a maximum 10-day stay. Chinese tourists are required to "enter and leave in a tour group," and the host Taiwan travel agency will be fined NT$200,000 for any absconding Chinese tourist.

Updated : 2021-01-28 18:07 GMT+08:00