Laos government's inclusion of Taiwan in visa-waiver program for Chinese tourists gives wrong impression: Taiwan Foreign Ministry

Ronit Kawale
Ronit Kawale - Senior Editor
2 Min Read

Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) has said that the visa-waiver program for Chinese tourists announced by the Laos government contains elements that give the false impression that Taiwan is part of China, the Central News Agency (CNA) reported.

The document released by the Lao government on Wednesday said Chinese citizens traveling to Laos as part of a group tour can visit the country visa-free for up to 15 days. It also provided an itinerary approved by Laos' Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism.

According to the document, the policy announced by the Laos government is valid from July 1 to December 31, and will also apply to tourists from Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan, reports Central News Agency (CNA).

According to a statement from Taiwan's Foreign Ministry, the decision to include Taiwan in Laos' policy to promote tourism was taken amid pressure from Beijing and was aimed at creating the false impression that Taiwan is part of China, CNA reported.

Taiwan's Foreign Ministry said Taiwan and China are not subservient to each other and Laos should not cooperate with China to undermine Taiwan's sovereignty and international prestige. According to the statement, Taiwan has shared its position on the issue with the Lao government through Taiwan's representative office in Vietnam.

Furthermore, Taiwan's Foreign Ministry stated that according to the clause mentioned in the document, despite the policy presented by the government, Taiwanese tourists require a visa on arrival to visit Laos.

It further added that there has been no change to the current rule that requires Taiwanese tourists wishing to visit Laos to obtain an electronic or on-arrival visa, CNA reported.

Taiwan, officially known as the Republic of China, has long been a contentious issue in China's foreign policy, with Beijing considering the island to be its territory that must be reunified with the mainland, by force if necessary.

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