Premier Su responds positively to CPC/KMT Forum

Great news, especially if this is the start of a trend rather than an aberration. Su responded to legislative questioning today with a positive take on the CPC/KMT forum. He pointed out that the forum was strictly a “civil” event, and none of the policies named/negotiated has any legal bearing. But he also said that as long as these policies are in the interest of the 23 million Taiwanese, his staff will push forward in trying to implement them.

He referred to the tourism issue specifically, and clarified that he felt (personal opinion, not policy as of yet) the new liberalized policies would include:

  • Taiwan would eliminate the “tour group must have 15 member” rule.
  • Taiwan would eliminate the nightly curfew on mainland Chinese tourists.
  • the only restriction on mainland Chinese tourists, would be to insure that the Taiwanese tourism industry could accomodate them properly, and leave behind a positive impression of Taiwan.

I’m for all three of the above. If this liberalization goes ahead as planned, I for one would be interested in applying for a visa next time I have a few weeks to spare.

More importantly, perhaps this reflects the moderate wing of the DPP finally coming to the forefront and asserting itself. I’m pretty sure Chen Shui-bian has run out of premiers he can throw out there.

In another aspect, asking China to include Taiwan in the list of the countries their citizens can visit is also another point to be done (of course, China will never do this).

Anyway, I saw somewhere that a journalist was asking the people in Sun Moon Lake to put the PRC flag on their boats so that the chinese tourists would feel more at home - I was in Macau and HK this weekend and I swear that the TurboJet boats that carry chinese by the millions only have the Macau SAR flag and I never saw anyone complaining. What I would complain is about the lack of respect these tourists have - we had to change room in one of the hotels because the person in the next room started calling someone at 6am and only stopped shouting on the phone after 2 hours - even after someone from the hotel went to his room to ask for him to calm down.

But, IMO, Taiwan has no conditions to receive other turists then chinese - the lack of even basic english on the taiwanese population makes it very dificult for someone to enjoy a trip to Taiwan. Other than that, pollution levels are well above the desirable for westerners (and you don’t see people wanting to spend their vacations in a polluted place), as well as the lack of publicity of the best Taiwanese features around the world.

Good point.

Yes and Chinese tourists with money can go to Europe, America, and Australia, not to mention pretty places in Asia. Why exactly would they come to Taiwan? I rather fear (although I hope I’m wrong) that Taiwan might attract a fairly low class of Chinese tourist seeking an alternative to Macau/Zhu Hai/Haikou debauchery. Maybe I’m way off the mark.

Well, I don’t think they’re that interested in European or American tourists. Shame, because I think there are many who would bolt on a “The Other China” extension to their Once In a Lifetime China Tour. The language is not really the issue, IMHO, it’s the general lack of anything even approaching an interest in providing quality tourist facilities, in any language.

What an utterly bizarre claim. Why would you claim China would never do this? Especially following the announcement that this will be done, just a few weeks ago? :help:

You do realize that anyone on the mainland can visit Taiwan, assuming they can get a Taiwanese entry visa, right? I have several extended relatives who’ve been to Taiwan. The problem is receiving that entry visa:

  • to visit for anything other than a professional/government reason, you must have immediate direct relatives in Taiwan;

  • to visit as a tourist, you must reside overseas;

  • to visit as a tourist, you must still arrive in a large tour group, be subject to a fixed schedule, and promise to be in your hotels by a certain time of night.

[quote]Anyway, I saw somewhere that a journalist was asking the people in Sun Moon Lake to put the PRC flag on their boats so that the Chinese tourists would feel more at home
[/quote]This was a pretty big news story, but you’ve got the gist of it wrong. One specific boat operator had put the PRC flags on his boat, and he was confronted over the choice by the press. He took the flags off. End of story.

And as far as English fluency… there are more Chinese than all Europeans + Americans combined. I say, maybe I’ll feel more sympathetic about your inability to get around Taiwan as soon as Portugal starts putting up Chinese street signs.

cctang, let me guess - there are 23 characters for you to recognize in the portuguese streets - sure won’t take you long to find them in a map. And in case you might still get problems with reading a map, be sure that if you ask someone on the street where you are and how to go somewhere, they will point you on the map. I think that putting street signs like in Macau will never happen, because ulterly, there are too many names you cannot translate.

For your question, do you think that putting Taiwan in a list of countries isn’t to recognize Taiwan is a country?

Why in the world does it have to be a list of “countries”? Last time I checked, it was called “approved destinations”.

Well that would require reform in the Taiwan Tourism Bureau.

Other than that, lots of Americans or English speaking people visit South America, South Asia, with a great experience, even despite the lack of basic English in their indigious populations.

As for pollution, many visit Shanghai and leave with good impressions even though the pollution levels there are much higher than anywhere in Taiwan.

And most sites online from Americans when talking about Taiwan seemed to have no problems finding exactly what they were looking for. In fact many of the best pictures of Taiwan were taken from Americans online.

So although we’re heading the same direction, I don’t quite agree with your points.

I only agree with you in the sense that perhaps our tourism bureau needs a complete shakeup.

We could do much better.

shrimp, just be being more than a tourist in Taiwan I can tell you how different it is from places who live basically on tourism - including my own country.

A lot of things have to be done in Taiwan, not to speak in the fact that most taxi drivers don’t know the romanized names of places. Taiwan is my third country living in, and, although I am enjoying living here, I can tell you that you really have to be adventurous to come here.
Without the support of my fiancee I would have allready packed and moved my company to HK where everything is easier. My hopes when coming to Taiwan where very high, but soon started to become despair as soon as I started to get a touch of the reality (BOCA, CLA) that is the life of foreigners in Taiwan. If it is only for the 30 days then there is no problem, but if you want to move here for more time than that, a lot of trips are required. Taiwan doesn’t seem to aknowledge that being an island means something special. They have very beautiful places around the Island, but when you are there you find that the most basic help to a tourist is lacking - and I really mean it.
I was surprised in Beitou with the service business provide in there - maybe they should take Macao as an example on how to make people go to your business - to move in Macao, the most important thing is to know where the casinos are, because they mean free transport. Most of the business rely on people who have cars and scooters - the people that arrive by MRT either stay in the most expensive ones that are close to the station or have to go uphill to find the best ones.
Many other examples are all around the island - basically, if Taiwan wants to become a really good destination for tourists, they have to improve a lot of their thinking and put new infrastructures in the most suitable places. There are beautifull islands in the east coast that simply lack everything to receive a tourist.

Why pro-unificationists think that PRC tourists in Taiwan has anything to do with anything is beyond me. Tourism is a fact of normalized relations between countries. The tourism that is being developed for PRC tourists is very clearly tourism between politically autonomous bodies.

Frankly, I think it’s a good idea. PRC citizens have to present a valid PRC passport at immigration. They have to abide by the laws of the ROC while they’re here. They have to exchange their PRC monopoly money for real currency. They get to talk with all those real Taiwanese people they’ve been told over and over and over again really want one China. Have this happen for 50 years and it’s going to be tough even for the ‘Back to the Motherland’ crowd to say that Taiwan’s not autonomous.

But then again, there are still some people in Taiwan who believe that most Taiwanese still want one China, and they’ve been living here since they were one 4 year old.