Saturday, May 25th, 2024

Taiwan urges China to resume talks “without any preconditions”




The Taiwan government on Sunday urged China to resume bilateral exchanges “without any conditions”, after China announced it would once again allow tourists to visit Fujian province, the Central News Agency (CNA) reported. to travel to the Taiwan-controlled Matsu Islands.

The eased travel restrictions were announced on Sunday after a meeting between China’s Vice Minister of Culture and Tourism Rao Quan and a legislative delegation led by Kuomintang (KMT) caucus whip Fu Kun-chi.

Asked about the decision later in the day, Lin Yu-chang, Taiwan’s interior minister, said that “equitable exchange” between both sides of the Taiwan Strait is a “shared expectation and consensus” among the people of Taiwan. . Lin said such exchanges should take place without pre-conditions or political considerations of any kind to avoid suspicion about motives.

Travel between Taiwan and China has been largely halted for the past three years, partly due to the COVID-19 pandemic. China halted free travel to Taiwan on August 1, 2019, citing the poor state of cross-Strait relations. Both rules will remain in effect, CNA reports.

Meanwhile, Taiwan has refused to lift its COVID-era restrictions on the entry of most categories of Chinese travelers. Taiwan allows its citizens to travel to China independently, but not in tour groups organized by Taiwanese travel agencies.

China’s decision to ease travel restrictions only applies to Fujian residents visiting Matsu, not Taiwan-controlled Kinmen, the Central News Agency reported. Notably, Kinmen is not included in the decision because Chinese and Taiwanese authorities have not yet resolved the dispute over the February 14 incident.

On February 14, a Taiwanese coast guard ship chased and collided with a Chinese speedboat that had entered restricted waters near Kinmen, CNA reported, citing Taiwanese news outlets. Following the collision, the Chinese speedboat capsized resulting in the loss of two of the four people on board the boat.

The Chinese government strongly condemned Taiwan for the deaths of the two people, while Taiwan said its coast guard was acting within the law to disperse a boat in its territorial waters. Kinmen prosecutors are investigating the case.

It is noteworthy that China considers self-ruled democratic Taiwan as part of its territory.



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