TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — China's Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO) spokesperson Zhu Fenglian (朱鳳蓮) on Wednesday (Sept. 27) accused the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) of continuing its ban on Taiwanese tour groups to China.
Zhu claimed that Chinese travel authorities approved the resumption of travel agency-operated group tours for Taiwanese in May, but the Taiwan government has not responded in kind, Liberty Times reported. On Aug. 10, Beijing announced a list of 78 countries that Chinese tour groups would be allowed to visit, but Taiwan was not mentioned.
Zhu said that the normalization of people-to-people exchanges and regular exchanges in various fields between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait is “a common aspiration." The spokesperson said she hopes compatriots on both sides will work together to push the cross-strait relationship back onto the “correct track of peaceful development,” truly realizing the normalization of cross-strait tourism and bilateral exchanges.
Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) announced on Aug. 24 that Chinese tourists will be allowed to travel to Taiwan from third places again beginning Sept. 1. Chinese nationals studying overseas or living in Hong Kong or Macau would also be able to visit, it said.
Since Aug. 1, 2019, Beijing has banned independent travel to Taiwan for its nationals for political reasons and has not lifted the restriction since. The MAC has called for the equal and reciprocal opening of tourists from China to Taiwan.