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Rules on Mainland Tourists to Taiwan Issued
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Three central government departments jointly issued Sunday regulations for management of mainland residents' travels to the Taiwan region, one day after a package of favorable policies to boost cross-strait relations were issued.


The regulations, the Procedures for the Management of Mainland Residents Traveling to the Taiwan Region, is jointly issued by the National Tourism Administration (NTA), the Ministry of Public Security, and the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council.


According to the 17-article regulations, mainland visitors would tour Taiwan in groups organized by mainland travel agencies designated by government departments, while Taiwan travel agencies receiving mainland tourists should also be confirmed by the relevant departments on the mainland.


The NTA and relevant departments adopt a quota system for tourist groups to Taiwan and the quotas will be given to relevant mainland travel agencies who have signed cooperative contracts with their Taiwan counterparts.


A mainland official in charge of this matter said the issuance of the regulations indicates that the mainland is making earnest efforts to boost cross-strait personnel exchanges and Taiwan's tourism sector, while hoping mainland tourists could travel to Taiwan in a planned, organized and orderly manner.


The mainland will try to set up an integrity-based tourism across the strait by guiding mainland agencies and individuals in their activities.


Last April, Hu Jintao, general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC), and Lien Chan, then chairman of the Chinese Kuomintang (KMT), reached consensuses during their talks, including the promotion of Taiwan's tourism industry by encouraging mainland tourists to make cross-strait tours.


On May 3, 2005 the mainland said it would allow mainland residents to travel to Taiwan in the near future. To date the mainland side has got everything ready, only awaiting a response from Taiwan for such tours to start.


(Xinhua News Agency April 16, 2006)

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