Beijing - In the first half of this year, the number of Taiwan residents visiting the mainland increased by seven times year on year, a mainland spokesperson said Wednesday.
Cross-Strait exchanges had gained more steam during the summer vacation, said Chen Binhua, spokesperson for the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council, during a press conference.
Chen attributed the increase in visitors from Taiwan to a number of factors. These include timely optimization and adjustment of the COVID-19 response measures for cross-Strait personnel, efforts to promote the resumption of transport links between Fujian Province and Kinmen and Matsu and restore direct cross-Strait passenger flights, and the resumption of group tours for Taiwan residents to the mainland.
The 19th Asian Games is scheduled in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, from Sept. 23 to Oct. 8. Taiwan compatriots in the province will be involved in various activities related to the sporting event, such as taking part in the torch relay and serving as its staff and volunteers, according to Chen.
"We welcome the athletes from Taiwan to the games. We also welcome more Taiwan compatriots to visit Zhejiang and feel the splendor of Hangzhou," Chen said.
He also announced that the sixth cross-Strait youth development forum will be held in cities including Hangzhou and Huzhou in Zhejiang between Sept. 14 and 17, with the opening ceremony and the main forum of the event to be held in Hangzhou on Sept. 15.
The forum will be attended by Hung Hsiu-chu, former chairperson of the Chinese Kuomintang party, as well as about 500 representatives from both sides of the Taiwan Strait.
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