The government will allow Chinese tourists as soon as China lifts a ban on its tourists visiting Taiwan, the head of the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) said yesterday, one day after the Cabinet urged Beijing to complete talks on the matter with Taiwan within six months.
Council Chairman Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) made the remarks yesterday in reply to questions from People First Party (PFP) legislators at a meeting.
"If [China] lets its people come [to Taiwan] tomorrow, we will greet them tomorrow," Wu said.
Lawmakers from the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and the PFP hailed the government's announcement that it would unilaterally open the door to Chinese tourists when it is ready, even if negotiations with China are not completed within six months.
The Cabinet also said on Wednesday that it would open up more cross-strait chartered flights both for cargo and passengers within six months, depending on the progress of negotiations.
KMT Legislator Tseng Yung-chuan (
There was speculation that the government dropped its demand for government-to-government talks before accepting Chinese visitors in order to outflank the KMT.
Wu told the PFP legislators that the government had been trying to negotiate with the Chinese side on the tourism issue.
PFP Legislator Lee Hung-chun(
"Why did the government set a deadline of six months if the policy was already decided?" Lee said.
Wu responded: "I will try hard to manage the pressure."
"If some people try to thwart the government in implementing the policies, I will still labor to advance them," he said.
Wu spoke with the PFP legislators when he accompanied Vice Premier Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) to a meeting to invite them to attend a June economic conference the government is planning.
Lee said the PFP would attend the conference if the government recognized a 10-point consensus reached between PFP Chairman James Soong (
Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) Legislator Ho Min-hao (
Additional reporting by Jewel Huang