My wife and her whole family are Kinmen residents, and, from them, I have heard the same. However, while in China, we met a number of business people on trains and whatnot who said they entered via Jinmen/Xiamen ferry. Also, there’s an unusally large amount of flights to/from the realtively tiny island of Jinmen everyday to/from many places in Taiwan (20+ perhaps?)…it’s really hard to believe that the very small population of Jinmen and tourists are creating the need for those flights (many of which are medium sized jet-liners). Also, at Jinmen’s airport, there is a shuttle to the Xiamen ferry. This, coupled with that fact that if you google “Xiamen Kinmen Ferry” (or something of that sort) your likely to see a ton of news articles about Businessmen who prefer using this method of entering China over going to Hong Kong or Macau, leads me to believe that we are being duped by a classic case of either a)Taiwanese ignorant of their own laws, or b)Officials unenforcing them.
At any rate, while in China, I had planned on taking the ferry from Xiamen back to Jinmen…but my wife insisted that I would’nt be allowed on. Unfortunately, in China, most websites dealing with Taiwan or ending in .tw are “mysteriously” unavaliable (not very mysterious at all, fucking wacko chinese government), so I took her word for it and went to Macau. I think the best way to find out the truth about this is to go to Jinmen with a few days, and some money, to spare…and just try to get on the ferry. See what happens and be ready for anything (being immideately turned away, being turned away at the Chinese border, getting to China but not being able to get back to Jinmen). If you get stuck in Jinmen for a few days, all is not lost as it’s a beautiful island (though, not tropical at all) with great locals and unbelievably awesome(read, extremely old) architecture and it’s most certainly worth a visit of a few days. Should you get stuck in Xiamen, good luck and god bless…I’d get on the first train to ShenZhen and immidately cross into Hong Kong.