The Associated Press reports that the United States recently announced visa-free travel for Taiwanese visiting America. Starting December 1, Taiwan joins 36 countries whose nationals can travel to the U.S. for tourism or business for 90 days without a visa, a privilege not enjoyed by China.
Since the announcement comes during a U.S. election campaign,
it is believed that the move was timed to demonstrate that the Obama
administration is sticking up for self-governing Taiwan, an island China
claims as part of its territory. However, the new waiver is also seen
as a response to Taiwan lifting restrictions on U.S. beef imports and
for President Ma Ying-jeou’s easing tensions with China.
announcement was made at a State Department conference where Secretary
of State Hilary Clinton stressed the industry’s importance for creating
jobs and promoting economic growth. She said tourists from China and
Brazil alone support more than 40,000 jobs in the US.