Taipei Times: Visa-free program may be expanded: minister

The government is considering including more countries in its visa-waiver program to attract more tourists after China last week suspended a program that had allowed individual tourists from 47 Chinese cities to travel to Taiwan, Minister of Transportation and Communications Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍) said yesterday.

Aside from suspending visits by independent travelers, media reports said Beijing is planning to reduce the number of Chinese tour groups starting on Sept. 1.

They also said that China would expand the restrictions to include Chinese tourists traveling to Penghu, Kinmen and Lienchiang (Matsu) — also known as the “small three links” — between the two nations, but Taiwanese and Chinese authorities denied the reports.

“China is attempting to interfere in our elections in January by suspending visits by Chinese tourists before then,” Lin said.

“This is not the first time and it would not be the last time,” he said.

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