Mon, Dec 25, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Policy changes aim to boost Chinese visits: council

Staff writer, with CNA

Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) Minister Katharine Chang (張小月) on Saturday announced two policies that the government is planning to implement to encourage more Chinese nationals to visit Taiwan.

An amendment to the Regulations Governing the Trial Operation of Transportation Links between Kinmen/Matsu/Penghu and the Mainland Area (試辦金門馬祖澎湖與大陸地區通航實施辦法) would reduce the minimum number of Chinese nationals that can comprise a tour group traveling via the “small three links” (小三通) from five to three people, Chang said.

The “small three links” refer to travel and exchanges between China’s Fujian Province and the two island counties of Kinmen and Lienchiang, with its outlying island of Matsu, which are administered by Taiwan.

Separately, the National Immigration Agency last week announced that it is to streamline the process by which Chinese nationals can travel via the links by reducing the review time for travel applications from five to three days.

Another MAC policy would expand which family members of Chinese nationals with Taiwanese spouses can visit Taiwan.

The government is looking into allowing extended families — relatives by marriage — of Chinese nationals who are married to Taiwanese and have obtained national identification cards to visit Taiwan, Chang said.

The policy would also open the door for Chinese nationals’ siblings and their spouses to visit, even if the family members do not have national identification cards.

The policies are being made based on the legitimacy of the “people at the center,” Chang said, adding that they aim to promote the rights of people on both sides of the Taiwan Strait.

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