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When Ma Ying-jeou, the Taiwanese president assumed office last May, his main priority has been to improve dealings with Beijing, with the most critical priority being attracting and retaining Chinese tourists. The Taiwanese president has always applied the policy of utilizing close economic links to boost the economy.

Ties between Taiwan and China have continued to strengthen and are projected to continue given that China officially lifted the travel ban. The government on Sunday reported that the Island has reached its target of hosting over 3,000 tourists from China a day. Taiwan Immigration agency officials say that the arrival of Chinese tourists has significantly grown since the beginning of March.

According to the Immigration agency website, this month alone so far has recorded an average of 3,013 Chinese tourists a day as compared to the average 580 tourists a day over the past 8 months.

China had initially imposed a travel ban to Taiwan but lifted it last July. Immediately the ban was lifted, the Chinese Tourism Administration mandated Chinese tourists from 13 provinces and municipalities be allowed to tour across the Taiwan passage. In an effort by the Chinese government to assist in boosting the Island’s economy, the Tourism Administration further agreed in February to increase the number of municipalities and provinces to 25.

The government of Taiwan has anticipated that up to 1 million tourists from China will visit the island every year, bringing in a projected figure of $2 billion through tourism revenues. In light to this, the Chinese further pledged to endorse new tour packages to the island, including theme tours and boat cruises.

Taiwan is a self-governed Island although China still claims power and sovereignty over it. In 1949 during the Civil war, China and Taiwan split and since then, there have been overwrought ties. The interactions brought about by tourism nonetheless are starting to forge stronger ties.

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