On July 31, the Chinese government announced it was suspending issuing individual travel permits to the residents of 47 cities previously allowed to travel to Taiwan. Tour groups and business travelers will still be allowed.
This measure, the latest in a series of increasingly hostile gestures towards Taiwan, was executed abruptly, taking effect the very next day and leaving prospective travelers in the lurch. Like most of Beijing’s actions toward Taiwan, however, this measure is primarily for domestic consumption.
The People’s Daily, the official mouthpiece of Chinese Communist Party (CCP) leadership, quoted a government spokesman stating—with authoritarian logic—that their action was actually the fault of the Taiwanese.
“Taiwan’s Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) authorities have undermined the foundation of a mainland tourism scheme’s trial run,” said Ma Xiaoguang, spokesman for China’s Taiwan Affairs Office. “However, the DPP authorities kept advocating ‘Taiwan independence,’ producing hostility toward the mainland and provoking confrontation between the two sides of the Strait.”