The Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) will invite a group of Chinese journalists to tour several scenic spots in Taiwan next week to help promote tourism and enhance understanding of Taiwan.
Mac officials said the trip will include stops at Kenting National Park, the Chihpen Scenic Area, as well as coastal scenic spots along the route between Hualien and Taitung.
In view of the fact that the government's move to ease restrictions on Chinese citizens coming to Taiwan to tour has failed to attract the expected waves of Chinese tourists, the MAC has decided to take the initiative in sponsoring the Taiwan tour for Chinese journalists.
The officials expressed the hope that Chinese journalists will be able to experience first-hand the sunny scenery of southern Taiwan when they tour Kenting with its colorful water activities, Chihpen with its various spa facilities and the coastal areas between Hualien and Taitung with their simple natural beauty.
The MAC officials said they hope the journalists will be the window through which Chinese citizens can learn more about Taiwan.
Through the knowledge of the beauty of Taiwan, the journalists will also help assuage the political rivalry between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait, as well as help reverse the bias Chinese people may have about Taiwan, they added.
There are four Chinese media organizations with a total of eight journalists stationed in Taiwan following Taipei's opening to Chinese media one and a half years ago.
Under the rules of the opening, the Chinese journalists are allowed to remain in Taiwan for up to one month at a time.
Taiwan decided at the beginning of this year to partially open the nation to Chinese tourists, but the effect of the measure was limited, as the opening was restricted to Chinese citizens residing in a third country or area and to Chinese with overseas student visas.