Fri, Nov 03, 2006 - Page 2 News List

MAC chairman optimistic on opening up of tourism

CONSENSUS REACHED Negotiations with China over increasing the number of visitors to Taiwan have been progressing, according to MAC Chairman Joseph Wu

By Jewel Huang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) Chairman Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) yesterday said that Taiwan and China have been working towards the opening up of Taiwan to Chinese tourists.

The two sides had completed negotiations on technical aspects but Wu declined to reveal details when attending an award ceremony yesterday for social groups that have excelled in cross-strait interactions.

`Smooth negotiations'

Taiwan and China have had "smooth negotiations" concerning the issue of Chinese tourists through organizations from both countries, Wu said.

He pointed out that the nation's Taiwan Strait Tourism and Travel Association and China's Cross-Strait Tourism Association have been exchanging opinions and working toward the opening up of Taiwan to visitors from China.

"We have reached consensus on technical aspects but I am sorry that I cannot reveal the details, location and who we have met at this point. This is our unspoken consensus with China," Wu said.

Meanwhile, the Deputy Director of China's National Tourism Administration, Zhang Xiqin (張希欽) yesterday led 500 delegates to participate in the Taipei International Travel Fair, which opens today at the Taipei World Trade Center.

When asked whether Wu would meet Zhang, Wu did not give a definite answer.

"We will not rule out arranging a meeting [with Zhang] but we are not specifically planning to arrange one either," Wu said.

Contradiction

Wu also contradicted a report published by the Chinese-language United Daily News yesterday which said that the Chinese delegates had canceled sightseeing plans due to concerns expressed by the MAC.

"The report was not true. Although the Chinese delegation came to Taiwan to participate in the fair, we have no objection if they want to tour the country," Wu said.

also see story:

Chinese delegates join Taipei travel fair

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