TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Taiwan is considering adding Indonesia and Vietnam to the list of countries granted visa exemption status as part of the island’s effort to offset the impact of China’s ban on solo travel to Taiwan, which went into effect Aug. 1.
The Cabinet will conduct an inter-department assessment of the measure before it is implemented, taking into account national security and border control, among other factors, said spokesperson Joanne Ou (歐江安) of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA).
Currently, Taiwan permits nationals of certain New Southbound countries to travel to the island without a visa, including Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Malaysia, Brunei, Thailand, and the Philippines. The period during which visitors are allowed to stay in the country ranges from 14 to 90 days.
Following the Chinese government’s announcement that it would prohibit independent travel to Taiwan, Taiwan’s Transportation Minister Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍) said countermeasures would be adopted to prop up the tourism sector. One option on the table is expanding preferential visa treatment to more nations.
Heads of Taiwan’s outlying islands, Kinmen County Magistrate Yang Cheng-wu (楊鎮浯), Penghu County Magistrate Lai Feng-wei (賴峰偉), and Lienchiang County Magistrate Liu Cheng-ying (劉增應), on Monday (Aug. 12) implored Beijing to exempt these municipalities from the travel ban in a meeting with Liu Jieyi (劉結一), director of China’s Taiwan Affairs Office. Their request has not been answered, wrote the Central News Agency.