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Taiwan announces visa-free entry for allies in Caribbean

Thursday, July 13, 2017

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TAIPEI, Taiwan (CMC) — The Government of Taiwan yesterday announced visa-free entry for nationals of its diplomatic allies in the Caribbean with immediate effect.

According to Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, this is being done to “demonstrate the closeness between Taiwan and its allies in the Caribbean” and “the principles of mutual benefit and reciprocity”.

With this development, nationals of Belize, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, St Kitts-Nevis, St Lucia, and St Vincent and the Grenadines will be given visa-exempt stays of up to 30 days.

Meanwhile, nationals of El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, and Nicaragua will be granted visa-free stays of up to 90 days.

The Foreign Affairs Ministry in its statement said it is hoped that the change “will lead to an increase in tourism, business, trade, and cultural exchanges at multiple levels”.

The announcement was made during Paraguayan President Horacio Cartes' state visit to Taiwan, which was meant to highlight the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the Republic of China (Taiwan) and the Republic of Paraguay, and to commemorate the two countries' friendship.

Paraguay first granted Taiwanese nationals 90-day landing visas on November 20, 2012, while the 10 other allies already grant visa-free entry to Taiwanese nationals.

All 11 allies were included in Taiwan's e-visa programme on January 12 last year, the ministry said.

Cartes' visit comes after Panama cut formal ties with Taiwan and established diplomatic relations with China on June 13, leaving Taipei with only 20 diplomatic allies.

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