China is reportedly planning to cut the number of tour groups allowed to visit Taiwan starting September. The reports come just a few days after Beijing announced that no more individual travel permits to Taiwan would be issued. But as China tightens its travel restrictions, Taiwan is actually loosening them for relatives of Chinese nationals married to Taiwanese. Minister of the Interior Hsu Kuo-yung says the looser regulations had been planned a long time ago. He urges the public not to read too much into the changes.China recently announced that it would stop issuing individual travel permits to Taiwan. Reports have now surfaced that it could soon cut group tour numbers too.Liu Chih-chiangTravel operatorCurrently there could be this kind of policy direction and plan. We can’t predict what the ratios or numbers will be. So of course we will plan for the worst-case scenario.Many provinces in China reportedly agreed to cut the number of tourist groups to Taiwan, yesterday. Tianjin, Guangdong and Jiangxi have allegedly planned to lower the cap from the current 40 groups a day to just one or two. Concrete numbers could be announced as early as next week.Liu Shih-minTourism BureauOf course in the past, ahead of the elections, there would be restrictions and the number of tour groups would shrink. Since this has happened in the past, the Tourism Bureau expected a similar situation this year. So yesterday we rolled out the autumn and winter travel subsidy plan in response.China is cutting its visitor numbers to Taiwan, but Taiwan is loosening its regulations on visits for relatives of Chinese nationals married to Taiwanese.Ning Jiarong is from China’s Liaoning Province and married into a Taiwanese family 14 years ago. Now, her sister-in-law will finally be able to visit her in Taiwan.Ning JiarongChinese resident in TaiwanMy brother and I get along very well. I really hope that my mum and dad and my brother and his wife can have a get together in Taiwan.Regulations originally only allowed for first and second-degree blood relatives to come to Taiwan. But in consideration of human rights, the Ministry of the Interior has now expanded the regulations to allow in-laws to also come to visit their relatives in Taiwan.Hsu Kuo-yungMinister of the InteriorThis was decided some time ago, it was announced some time ago. It just happens that its implementation starts now and it all just gets lumped together, which isn’t too good. This can show how our free democracy in Taiwan protects human rights.The minister of the interior says the plan had been created earlier and called on the public to not speculate on the issue.
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