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Eased trade, travel restrictions to bolster ties: China

Reporter Amy Hsin-Hsiang Chen
Release time:2024/04/29 17:57
Last update time:2024/04/29 17:57
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TAIPEI (TVBS News) — In a major step to mend cross-strait relations, China announced Sunday (April 28) it will lift a ban on importing several agricultural and fishery products from Taiwan. The move, including citrus fruits and two types of fish, ends a nearly two-year embargo that heavily impacted Taiwanese exporters.

Zhao Zenglian, vice minister of China's General Administration of Customs, announced the decision during a meeting with Kuomintang (KMT) legislative caucus whip Fu Kun-chi and 16 other KMT lawmakers. Initially imposed in August 2022 after U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taipei, the ban cited health concerns. Zhao highlighted a commitment to further dialogue and the political foundation of upholding the "1992 consensus" and opposing "Taiwan's independence."

 

The embargo significantly affected Taiwan's agricultural sector, with pomelo exports to China dropping from 4,821 metric tons in 2021 to zero in 2022. However, acting Agriculture Minister Chen Junne-jih stated that Taiwan has not yet received official notification about lifting the ban, emphasizing communication through established cross-strait quarantine platforms.

Further enhancing exchanges, China's government departments announced measures to ease restrictions for mainland tourists traveling to Taiwan and promote the resumption of maritime and air travel between the two sides. These include resuming travel for residents of Fujian to Matsu and restarting group tours, contingent on direct maritime passenger transport resuming from Pingtan to Taiwan.

The Chinese State Council's Taiwan Affairs Office underscored the strong public demand on both sides for the full resumption of direct sea and air travel. A spokesperson urged Taiwan to consider the needs of the public and shipping companies, highlighting the mutual benefits of increased connectivity.
 

Following the pandemic, Taiwan resumed regular flights to 10 destinations, including Shenzhen, and charter flights to 13 destinations, including Shenyang. The proposed restoration of 30 new flight destinations from China to Taiwan could nearly return to the pre-2016 level of 55 destinations.

The China Immigration Administration also announced plans to implement six new policies starting May 6 to simplify exit and entry management. These include online applications for the re-issuance of travel permits to Taiwan for residents of 20 cities, such as Beijing and Shanghai. China also introduced several policies benefiting Taiwan, including medical expense reimbursement for Taiwanese residents and a cross-strait industrial investment fund.

These developments mark a potential thaw in relations, fostering hopes for increased economic and cultural exchanges. As both sides ease travel restrictions and expand cooperation, the future of cross-strait relations looks promising.
 

Taiwan Affairs

Taiwan Business

#Taiwan#China#cross-strait relations#travel restrictions#agricultural imports#direct flights#trade policies#economic exchanges#maritime travel#cross-strait cooperation
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