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Mainland to continue talks on opening Taiwan tourism market
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The Chinese mainland will keep talking with Taiwan on allowing its tourists into the island, said the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council here Tuesday.


The travel businesses of the two sides have reached basic mutual understanding on key technical issues, said Dai Xiaofeng, a senior official with the office.


They have held about six meetings since 2006 but tourists from the mainland still can not go to Taiwan.


"We will keep pushing the negotiation forwards in 2008 with greatest sincerity and utmost efforts," Dai said, "but tourists to Taiwan from the mainland are not traveling between 'countries'."


The visitors from Taiwan to the Chinese mainland have topped 47 million people times since the two sides resumed personnel exchanges in 1987.


"The number is twice the island's population, which is of significance to cross-Straits exchanges," Dai said, "proving that the actions to disturb and block the relations across the Taiwan Straits can not stop the people from communicating with each other."


In 2007, about 4.62 million people times of Taiwan people visited the mainland, a year-on-year rise of 4.9 percent.


With an increasing number of people traveling across the Straits, new problems and difficulties did occur but the mainland has worked hard to help Taiwan people in education, health care and business development, Dai said.


The mainland education authority announced in April last year that it welcomed Taiwan universities to recruit students in the mainland. It has also acknowledged the diploma granted by Taiwan universities.


About 2,200 Taiwan students went to college in the mainland in 2007.


Last year, the mainland government also allowed Taiwan people to apply for practice licenses of 15 more professional jobs, such as physicians, architects and accountants.


(Xinhua News Agency January 9, 2008)

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