China, Taiwan to cooperate in preventing tourists from going rogue


TAIPEI, Taiwan – The National Immigration Agency (NIA) said Tuesday it will work with its Chinese counterpart to enhance immigration control amid the entry of free independent travelers (FITs) from China to Taiwan.

NIA Director-General Hsieh Li-kung, who just concluded an eight-day visit to the Ministry of Public Security (MPS) in China, said both sides agreed to coordinate their staff to improve the effectiveness of immigration law enforcement.

Working under the framework of a cross-strait agreement against crime that was signed in 2008, Hsieh said his bureau will maintain round-the-clock contact with the office of MPS in Beijing and Shanghai to combat human trafficking and illegal immigration.

Hsieh said the cooperation is timely considering Taiwan recently began allowing a limited number of Chinese to enter Taiwan and travel freely.

According to the NIA, as of Tuesday, a total of 553 travel visas have been issued to individual Chinese tourists.

Hsieh hinted that both sides will strive to have other cities, such as Chongqing, included in the FIT program.