ANI | | Posted by Zarafshan Shiraz, Beijing [china]

China has lifted the ban on tourists from Fujian province visiting Taiwan, Nikkei Asia reported citing China’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism on Sunday.

China lifts ban, allows tourists from Fujian province to visit Taiwan (Photo by I-Hwa CHENG / AFP)

According to the report, China’s Vice Minister Rao Quan announced the eased restrictions to a visiting delegation from Taiwan’s main opposition party, the Kuomintang (KMT), which seeks closer ties with China.

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The move comes ahead of the ceremonial induction of Taiwanese President-elect William Lai to office, whom China calls a separatist.

Nikkei Asia reported that travel would first be permitted to Taiwan’s Matsu islands, close to the Fujian coast, with group tours to restart once ferry service resumes between Fujian’s Pingtan and Taiwan’s main island.

China imposed tourism restrictions on individual travel by residents from the mainland, including Fujian, in 2019. Cross-strait relations deteriorated after the 2016 election of Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen, whose Democratic Progressive Party opposes unification with China in favour of the status quo. Lai is now vice president under the term-limited Tsai and ran as the DPP’s presidential candidate in 2024.

With the KMT becoming the top party in Taiwan’s legislative elections this January, the leadership of Chinese President Xi Jinping has sought to strengthen ties with the party.

Xi met with former Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou of the KMT for the first time in more than eight years earlier this month in Beijing, hailing Ma’s opposition to Taiwan independence and his efforts to promote peaceful cross-strait development, Nikkei Asia reported.

This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.

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