Apart from pineapple cakes, facial masks and tea, Taiwan has more to offer to Chinese tourists visiting the nation, an article by the Shanghai-based Jiefang Daily said on Monday.
The author, Zhao Yi (趙毅), said that what made the biggest impression on him during his tour of Taiwan was the “good citizenship” of Taiwanese.
The article, titled “Why I am Touched by Travel Around Taiwan — Chinese Should Learn a Lesson of Citizenship in Taiwan,” was carried by the official daily newspaper of the Shanghai Committee of the Communist Party of China.
It came as Taiwan today marks the 10th anniversary of welcoming Chinese tourists to the nation.
The semi-official Straits Exchange Foundation and China’s Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits signed a tourism agreement on June 13, 2008.
The first group of Chinese tourists arrived in Taiwan on July 4 that year.
Zhao praised the manners of Taiwanese, saying that it is an intangible value that Chinese should learn when they visit Taiwan, instead of simply purchasing local specialties.
Every city he visited and every street he walked during his 10-day trip was clean, Zhao said.
There were no cigarette butts or sputum on the ground, he said, adding that he rarely heard vehicle horns or people talking loudly on the street.
Unlike in China, where people often ignore other pedestrians, Taiwanese respect each other, Zhao said.
On Taipei’s streets, people say “sorry” if they bump into someone, he added.
In convenience stores, clerks receive money and give change to customers with both hands, he said, adding that they politely say “thank you” when exchanging money with customers, who respond in the same manner.
Customers can use restrooms in convenience stores where they can also chat, read newspapers, drink coffee, eat or negotiate deals, he said.
Zhao wrote that a Taiwanese friend of his asked him to put out his cigarette at a public plaza after a meal, showing him a sign that read “smoking prohibited in public squares.”
He also made an observation about romantic relationships in Taiwanese society.
Chinese women usually ask their future husbands for a car, house or other property as a guarantee, Zhao said.
However, he added that his Taiwanese female friends told him that Taiwanese women marry for love, rather than wealth or material benefits.
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