Taiwan denies blocking Chinese people from visiting

Taipei--Taiwan's top China policymaking office on Thursday rebutted a statement by its Chinese counterpart that the Taiwanese government planned to restrict people from the mainland from traveling to Taiwan, calling it a distortion of the truth.

China's Taiwan Affairs Office spokesman Ma Xiaoguang (???) said Wednesday at a press conference that some mainland groups and individuals had recently been blocked from going to Taiwan. He was responding to a question about whether Taiwan authorities planned to take measures to restrict people from the mainland to travel to Taiwan.

Dismissing Ma's remarks as false, Chiu Chui-cheng (???), deputy head and spokesman of Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Council, said that people from the mainland are welcome to carry out exchanges in Taiwan, but added that there are certain levels of inequality and imbalances in cross-strait exchanges that need to be adjusted.

Chiu said that Taiwan's government has taken measures to strengthen monitoring of cross-strait exchanges, targeting Chinese officials who deliberately forge or conceal their true identities, act irregularly or abnormally, or had infringed on human rights, or those who visit Taiwan to participate in political activities or have been invited by Taiwanese organizations that have been involved in irregularities.

All the measures are aimed at promoting the sustainable and healthy development of cross-strait relations and protecting the benefits and interests of people on two sides, Chiu added.

Chiu also denied some media reports that the government requested mainland Chinese scholars to sign affidavits or relevant documents before coming to Taiwan and prohibits them from making statements unfriendly to Taiwan, saying these were all untrue.

There have been only five deputy ministers and two provincial officials from China who visited Taiwan over the past year, while Chinese tourist arrivals to Taiwan have dropped by 41 percent over the first five months of this year, Chiu noted.

He added that the government's stance on extending a welcome to Chinese tourists has been unchanged.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel