The Chinese mainland has again urged Taiwan authorities to respond to its proposal to begin consultations on mainlanders' visits to the island.
"We can begin consultations on mainlanders' visits to Taiwan as soon as a suitable non-governmental tourist organization has been set up on Taiwan Island," said Li Weiyi, spokesman for the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council, on Wednesday at the office's regular news conference.
Negotiations could be held on the Chinese mainland, in Taiwan, in Hong Kong or Macao, Li said, adding that any negotiation method that helps promote mainlanders' visits to the island is acceptable.
According to Li, the Chinese mainland has fully prepared for mainland citizens' visits 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.
The Chinese government 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 government sanctioned mainland residents' visits to Taiwan in May 2005.
(Xinhua News Agency September 27, 2006)