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Mainland to Actively Promote Travel to Taiwan
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The tourism administrations on the Chinese mainland will continue to promote cross-Straits tourism in a bid to enable the mainland residents to visit Taiwan as soon as possible.


Liu Kezhi, a senior official with the National Tourism Administration, made the remarks at a regular press conference held by the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council on Friday.


"The mainland is ready to send tourists to Taiwan," Liu said.


"We expect the Taiwan side to make arrangements as soon as possible so both sides can work together to open a new chapter for cross-Straits exchange and cooperation in the field of tourism," Liu added.


The mainland will again invite representatives from the Taiwan tourism industry to join the second Cross-Straits Tourism Expo, which is to be held in Xiamen next September, and the eighth China International Travel Mart in Shanghai, planned for November 2006.



Tourism administrations on the mainland will also encourage local tourism sectors to promote their tourism schemes at the cross-Straits tourism expo in Taipei in November 2006, according to Liu.


The Chinese central government permitted mainland residents to tour Taiwan last May for the first time since 1949, when the mainland and the island province were separated by a civil war. A mainland tourism inspection delegation visited Taiwan for nine days late last year.


Shao Qiwei, head of the China Tourism Association and also head of the delegation, said before leaving the island that the tourism administrations and all relevant parties on the mainland welcome non-government tourism organizations from Taiwan's tourism industry to start consultations with their mainland counterparts as soon as possible.


"We hope to see a wholesome and orderly development of cross-Straits tourism exchanges in the near future so as to achieve a mutually beneficial result for both sides," Liu said.


(Xinhua News Agency February 25, 2006)

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