XIAMEN, Sept. 7 (Xinhua) -- Mainland residents with permits to go to Taiwan will be able to travel to and from Taiwan through the islands of Jinmen, Mazu and Penghu, Wang Yi, director of State Council Taiwan Affairs Office announced on Sunday.
Residents of 13 mainland provinces and municipalities can take tourist trips to Taiwan Island, via the three small islands, under one of five new policies for cross-Strait travel that Wang released at a forum on the economic area of the west side of the Taiwan Strait in Xiamen.
Since July 20, residents in the municipalities of Beijing, Tianjin and Shanghai and the provinces of Liaoning, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Fujian, Shandong, Hubei, Guangdong, Chongqing, Yunnan and Shaanxi have been allowed to visit Taiwan in groups, under an agreement between the mainland and Taiwan authorities. Wang said China might expand the list of provinces and municipalities.
He said the new policies also include a provision that starting on Oct. 20, Taiwan compatriots traveling to the mainland could get Mainland Travel Permits for Taiwan Residents (MTPs) or change their old MTPs into new ones with a valid period of five years in the municipalities of Beijing, Tianjin and Chongqing and in Zhejiang Province, in addition to Shanghai, Jiangsu and Fujian.
He said starting from Sept. 25, each MTP holder will have a unique number for all his or her life, as the rules of issuing MTPcodes are adjusted in a move to facilitate going through relevant procedures in the mainland.
He said China will add Beijing, Nanjing, Chongqing, Hangzhou, Guilin and Shenzhen to the list of places that issue travel permits to Taiwan compatriots as of Oct. 20.