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Taipei county chief urges easing of restrictions on China visits

Taipei County Magistrate Chou Hsi-wei urged Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) Chairwoman Lai Shin-yuan Tuesday to relax restrictions on visits to China by local government chiefs.
"The MAC should make the move at this time when Taiwan-China relations are thawing, as visits to China by Taiwan's city mayors and county magistrates would not involve state secrets," Chou said.
The Taipei county mayor asked the Cabinet-level MAC to agree to his plan soon so that he could take part in an international travel fair in Beijing later this month to help promote Taipei county tourism to the rest of the world, especially as Taiwan is slated to allow in more Chinese tourists from July.
He also encouraged investments in Taipei County by China-based Taiwan businessmen and asserted his willingness to visit China to woo Chinese investors here as well.
Chou made the request during a lunch banquet with Taiwan businessmen whose operations are based in China.
Currently, Taiwan's local government chiefs are only permitted to visit China to take part in international activities.
Chou's application to attend a cross-Taiwan Strait land developers conference in Suzhou City in China's Jiangsu province late last month was turned down by the MAC.
Chou had planned to sign "amity accords" with tourism officials in several Chinese cities, including Nanjing, Shanghai and Suzhou, during his trip.
However, he was replaced by Taipei County Deputy Secretary-General Hung Mong-chi, who headed a 12-member delegation on the China tour last month.

Updated : 2021-05-17 01:46 GMT+08:00