Taiwan cabinet allows China-bound tourism by sea via Kinmen and Matsu


TAIPEI (XFN-ASIA) – The Executive Yuan, or cabinet, has decided to allow Taiwan tourists to travel to China by sea from the islands of Kinmen and Matsu effective April 1.

Each day a maximum 600 Taiwan tourists will be allowed to go China via Kinmen while 80 tourists will be allowed to go via Matsu, said a cabinet statement.

At the cabinet’s weekly meeting today, Premier Chang Chun-hsiung ordered the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) and related government agencies to prepare guidelines for the new travel links.

In a report presented to the cabinet, MAC said that the measures will be put into place from April 1-Oct 31 and will be considered as normal practice if the tests prove successful.

An official from the Government Information Office said the test period will used to decide on any increase in the daily quota.

Taiwan has since 2001 permitted mainland Chinese tourists to visit Kinmen and Matsu by sea transport with a daily quota set at 680.

Meanwhile, the cabinet has also decided to ease the rules for Taiwan business travellers to China via the two offshore islands, also effective April 1.

They will be able to travel to the mainland in lieu of Ministry of Economic Affairs (MoEA) approval for their China-bound investments as long as they carry documents from Taiwan business associations in China as proof of their intention to invest.

Since the middle of 2002, only Taiwan business travellers with approval by the MoEA for their China-bound investments have been allowed to travel to the mainland via the two islands.