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Chinese bring in 764 million dlr to Taiwan: report
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Chinese tourists have generated 764 million US dollars in revenue for Taiwan in a year, as ties rapidly improve between the formal rivals, a report said Saturday.

Some 370,000 Chinese tourists have visited Taiwan since July 2008, after President Ma Ying-jeou's Beijing-friendly government trebled the daily quota on mainland visitors to 3,000, said the China Times.

Each mainlander spent an average 295 US dollars daily on a typical trip of approximately a week, bringing in more than 764 million US dollars in total tourism revenue for the island, the report said, citing government data.

Taiwanese authorities in April temporarily increased the quota on Chinese visitors to 5,000 a day in response to growing demand for the May 1 Labour Day holidays, but the number dropped sharply in June.

Tourism officials attributed the decline to concerns over swine flu and expected a new influx of Chinese tourists starting August to bring the total number to 600,000 by year-end, the paper said.

Ties with China have improved dramatically since Ma took office last year pledging to boost cross-Strait trade links and tourism.

Officially China still views the island as part of its territory awaiting reunification, by force if necessary. The two sides have been governed separately since they split after a civil war in 1949.

(AFP July 18, 2009)

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