Tai­wan’s si­lence dev­as­tates tourism

China Daily (Canada) - - TOP NEWS - By LUOWANGSHU luowangshu@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Tai­wan au­thor­i­ties’ ap­par­ent un­will­ing­ness to en­dorse the 1992 Con­sen­sus has se­ri­ously af­fected the is­land’s tourism and hos­pi­tal­ity in­dus­try, the State Coun­cil’s Tai­wan Af­fairs Of­fice said on Wed­nes­day.

At a re­cent rally, tourism work­ers in Tai­wan “clearly voiced their hopes and de­sires”, said Ma Xiaoguang, from the State Coun­cil Tai­wan Af­fairs Of­fice, at anews con­fer­ence. “Tai­wan’s gov­ern­ment has re­fused to ac­knowl­edge the 1992 Con­sen­sus since tak­ing of­fice in May. This has dam­aged all the hard work to­ward peace­ful re­la­tions across the Tai­wan Straits,” he said. “Who­ever started the trou­ble should end it.”

More than 15,000 hos­pi­tal­ity and tourism work­ers in­Tai­wan took to the streets in down­town Taipei onMon­day, de­mand­ing the is­land’s au­thor­i­ties do some­thing about the fail­ing in­dus­try.

The de­cline in tourism is hav­ing crit­i­cal con­se­quences on Tai­wan’s econ­omy and peo­ple’s liveli­hoods, said Zhu Songling, di­rec­tor of Bei­jing Union Univer­sity’s In­sti­tute of Cross-Straits Re­la­tions.

“Now they are protest­ing, and if the sit­u­a­tion con­tin­ues, more peo­ple will lose their jobs. Au­thor­i­ties have to do some­thing to turn around the un­em­ploy­ment. In ad­di­tion, many peo­ple took out loans to in­vest in their busi­ness. If they can­not con­tin­u­ously earn money, they can­not pay off their debt. To solve the prob­lem, the au­thor­i­ties may print more money, which will cre­ate a more crit­i­cal prob­lem — in­fla­tion dis­rupt­ing Tai­wan’s eco­nomic sys­tem,” Zhu added.

“Au­thor­i­ties in Tai­wan poorly han­dled the re­cent bus fire in­ci­dent that killed 24 tourists from the main­land, which has dis­cour­aged many main­lan­ders from vis­it­ing the is­land,” said Li­uXiang­ping, headof the In­sti­tute of Tai­wan Stud­ies at Nan­jingUniver­sity.

The num­ber of main­land vis­i­tors has plum­meted since Tai­wan leader Tsai Ing-wen took of­fice in May. Ac­cord­ing to the is­land’s au­thor­i­ties, the num­ber of main­land tourists vis­it­ing the is­land in group tours has de­clined by about 30 per­cent year-on-year in the pe­riod fromMay through July.

Xin­hua con­trib­uted to the story.

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