Monday, October 29, 2012

US Allows Visa-Free Travel for Taiwanese

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.

The 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.

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