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Chinese mainland announces new measures to facilitate cross-Strait travel

BEIJING, May 12 (Xinhua) -- The Chinese mainland will adopt new measures to facilitate cross-Strait travels, including opening more outlets to issue travel and entry permits to Taiwan travelers, a spokesman said here Wednesday.

Travelers from Taiwan can get travel and entry permits upon arrival at three new air terminals in Tianjin, Ningbo and Jinan starting May 25, Yang Yi, the State Council's Taiwan Affairs Office spokesman said at a press conference here.

The move will increase the number of such terminals in the mainland to 23.

To travel to the mainland, Taiwanese need a travel pass and an exit permit issued by the Taiwan authorities. They are also required to obtain an extra mainland travel pass and entry permit.

According to Yang, public security departments in southern China's Guangdong Province have also been authorized to reissue from May 25 travel passes to those who have lost their documents or whose documents have expired.

Currently, only seven provincial and municipal police departments are authorized to handle this issue.

The travel pass, named "Taiwan Compatriot's Pass to the Mainland," is valid for five years and is similar to the identity card Taiwanese use in the mainland.

"As more and more Taiwan people come to the mainland for making investments, travels, work, study, plus living, the mainland will improve its entry and exit management system based on the needs of Taiwanese people," Yang said.

He also confirmed the mainland's and Taiwan's air service associations would soon hold a meeting to discuss other matters, including adding more direct cross-Strait flights.

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