Taiwan opened a tourist office in Beijing on Tuesday, the Wall Street Journal reported. The office is the island’s first official presence on the mainland since 1949. Beijing is set to open its own tourism office in Taipei on Friday. The Beijing office, with a staff of 10, won’t be able to issue visas, but under the leadership of Yang Ruey-tzong, a senior Taiwan civil servant, it will seek to introduce Taiwan as a tourist destination to the mainland public. The opening of the office is the latest in a series of measures to improve cross-strait relations instituted by Taiwan president Ma Ying-jeou since he took office in May 2008. "We are going to emphasize the quality of Taiwan tourism to distinguish ourselves from the Southeast Asian countries … We should try to make [Chinese tourists] feel that coming to Taiwan can make them as proud as going to Switzerland," said Yang.
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