Travel

Taiwan-registered private cars allowed to travel in Xiamen

Updated: 2015-05-05
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Read more on: ferry Cosco Star   Xiamen Taiwan ferry  

Two private cars registered in Taiwan leave the ferry Cosco Star in Xiamen on Monday. Eight tourists from the island began a driving tour of Fujian province. Provided to China Daily
   
Tourists driving two Taiwan-registered private cars were allowed to travel in Xiamen, Fujian province, on Monday on the first leg of a four-day tour of the province, marking a breakthrough for cross-Straits travel. 
   
It was the first time that private cars carrying tourists were allowed from Taiwan to the Chinese mainland. The vehicles were taken to Xiamen aboard the ferry Cosco Star, which travels between Xiamen and Taiwan's Keelong. 

Eight tourists, all members of the Taiwan Self-Driving Tourism Association, received a briefing on mainland transportation regulations, provisional plates and provisional driving permits. 

Three mainland cars carrying 12 Xiamen tourists, all of whom are members of the Xiamen Self-Driving Tourism Association, also joined the tour. 

The itinerary included scenic spots such as the Wuyuanwan yacht harbor in Xiamen; the Yongding Hakka earth buildings in Longyan, a UNESCO World Heritage site; and the Daixian waterfall in Quanzhou. 

Initiated by the two associations, the tour aimed to enhance cross-Straits cooperation regarding travel. 

On April 16, two Taiwan-registered trucks carrying goods from the island were transferred aboard cargo ships and taken to Pingtan, Fujian province. The vehicles were the first from Taiwan to be driven in Fujian. 

"This will lay a good foundation for personnel across the Straits in the tourism sector to conduct more self-driving tours on the mainland," said Zhu Guoan, president of the Xiamen association. 

"After the activity, cross-Straits tourism professionals will continue cooperating with each other to create a mechanism to welcome more Taiwan-registered private cars and more Taiwan self-driving tourists." 

Kong Shuguang, director of the Xiamen Tourism Bureau, said the tour showcased Xiamen's pioneering role in cross-Straits cooperation. 

Because Xiamen serves as an important section of the Fujian free trade zone, which has focused on deepening cross-Straits cooperation since it was launched on April 21, the local government has been working on policies to streamline entry and exit procedures for Taiwan-registered vehicles, Kong said. 

"Greater convenience will be offered to Taiwan vehicles traveling to the mainland," Kong said. 

Lee Hung-liang, one of the Taiwan tourists and the director-general of the Taiwan Self-Driving Tourism Association, said that because driving tours offer more flexibility, they will become the trend for cross-Straits travel. 

The Taiwan cars will return to Taiwan aboard the Cosco Star on Thursday. 
   
SOURCE: 
china.org.cn
    
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