Taiwan reiterates China single-tourist plan


Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) Chairwoman Lai Shin-yuan yesterday reiterated a government plan to open the country to individual Chinese tourists this year.

At a press conference, Lai said the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) government and China have reached a consensus on allowing the entry of individual Chinese tourists to Taiwan, and the two sides are working on the details.

The MAC initially decided to limit the number of individual Chinese tourists to about one-tenth of the 4,000 daily cap.

Last year, up to 3,000 Chinese tourists were allowed to visit Taiwan daily, but both sides agreed to increase the quota to 4,000 this month. Lai declined to give a specific timeline on when the country would be opened to individual Chinese tourists, but said the policy would be carried out in the first half of the year.

Taiwan revoked a ban on Chinese tourists two months after President Ma Ying-jeou took power in 2008, but only allowed them to visit in groups.

Lai said the Ma administration would continue to negotiate with China to deepen cross-strait exchanges under the framework of the Republic of China (ROC) Constitution.

Lai said the government’s China policy is based on the ROC Constitution, which is different from the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) “Resolution on Taiwan’s Future.”

The “Resolution on Taiwan’s Future” was written into the party charter to replace the “Taiwan Independence Clause” as part of the DPP’s preparations for the 2000 presidential election. Prior to 1999, the party’s stance on national identity was embodied in the 1991 “Taiwan Independence Clause,” which set as its goal the establishment of an independent country named the “Republic of Taiwan.”