Beijing’s ban on individual Taiwan visits ‘a big mistake’, says President Tsai Ing-wen

Sourth China Morning Post
Date: 1 Aug, 2019
By: Lawrence Chung  

  • Island’s leader says move to curb tourism will only cause resentment
  • Mainland said move was in response to Tsai and her Democratic Progressive Party pushing for independence and stirring up division

Tourists pose for a picture in front of the National Concert Hall in Taipei. Beijing this week announced curbs on visits to the island. Photo: EPA-EFE

Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen has described mainland China’s ban on individual visits to the island as “a big mistake strategically” as her government announced that it would relax its rules on mainlanders visiting family members.

The mainland’s culture and tourism ministry said that starting on Thursday, it would stop issuing individual travel permits to Taiwan for people in 47 mainland cities because of the poor state of relations with the self-ruled island.

Ma Xiaoguang, a spokesman for the Taiwan Affairs Office in Beijing, said the decision had been made because Tsai’s Democratic Progressive Party has pushed for independence and stirred up division between Taipei and Beijing.

“This has seriously damaged the foundation for letting mainland citizens travel to Taiwan as individual tourists,” Ma said.    [FULL  STORY]

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