The Chinese mainland has urged an early response from Taiwan authorities to the proposal of starting consultations on mainlanders' visit to the island.
"We are looking forward to early liaison between Taiwan authorities and a suitable non-governmental organization on the island regarding mainlanders' visits to Taiwan," said Li Weiyi, spokesman for the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council, on Wednesday at a news briefing.
"We will propose consultations as soon as a suitable non-governmental tourist organization has been set up on the island," Li said. "We have an open attitude on the issue."
Negotiations could be held on the Chinese mainland, in Taiwan, in Hong Kong or Macao, Li said.
According to Li, the Chinese mainland has fully prepared for mainland citizens' visit to Taiwan.
Shao Qiwei, head of the China Tourist Association, led a study group to Taiwan from Oct. 28 to Nov. 6, 2005, paving the way for the opening of tourist routes to the island.
Chinese authorities subsequently published regulations on mainland residents' travel to Taiwan on April 16 this year.
At the first executive meeting of the cross-Strait tourist exchange association held on Aug. 17 this year, it was announced that preparations for promoting mutual tourist exchanges across the Taiwan Strait had been completed.
The Chinese central government authorized mainland residents to tour Taiwan in May 2005.
(Xinhua News Agency September 13, 2006)