A mainland tourism official on Sunday blamed the Taiwan authorities for putting obstacles in the way of mainland tourists who want to visit Taiwan.
The Chinese mainland removed the travel ban on mainland residents to Taiwan in May 2005, in order to expand people-to-people contacts and help boost Taiwan's tourism industry.
Since October 2006, non-governmental tourism organizations on the mainland and in Taiwan have conducted five rounds of talks and reached consensus on major technical issues.
"But the consultation process was hindered by the Taiwan authorities, which led to sharp differences on certain issues between the negotiators," Shao Qiwei, director of China's National Tourism Administration, said at the closing ceremony of a two-day cross-Straits forum.
The mainland has showed great flexibility and offered many practical solutions, Shao said. "But the suggestions that the mainland put forward during the fifth round of consultations have so far received no feedback."
"It is clear to all that the mainland should not be blamed for the failure to open Taiwan-bound tourist routes to mainland residents," Shao said.
The official said the mainland will continue to show the greatest sincerity and do its best to solve the issue.
"But it must be pointed out that mainland residents traveling to Taiwan are not taking country-to-country trips," he said.
Shao said he hoped the Taiwan authorities will "follow the will of the people and adopt a practical and positive attitude" in solving the remaining problems relating to cross-Straits travel.
"If the Taiwan authorities sincerely support the consensus reached between non-governmental tourism organizations on both sides of the Straits, Taiwan routes for mainland tourists can soon be up and running," he said.
(Xinhua News Agency April 30, 2007)