Taiwan entrepreneurs operating in the Chinese mainland told the Global Times they hope the Taiwan authority could shorten or eliminate quarantine time in the island for those who already take COVID-19 vaccines in the mainland, and they urged authorities in the island not to politicize issues pertaining business activities and people's livelihoods.
The comments came after Taiwan's "mainland affairs council" said that it will not shorten the 14-day quarantine period on Taiwan residents returning from the mainland.
"We hope Taiwan authority could return to the substance of issues and make cross-Straits travel easier and more convenient… The quarantine period has made us suspend many business trips now," He Guoren, general manager of auto services company Fujian Yongshengming, based in Fuzhou, Fujian Province, told the Global Times on Thursday.
Xue Qingde, a Taiwan-based businessman who has been investing in Fujian's Pingtan county, urged Taiwan authority to drop hostile attitude toward the mainland and strengthen cross-Straits anti-virus cooperation.
"If mainland-made vaccine is recognized by international organizations, Taiwan authority should accept a vaccination document approved by the Chinese mainland and exempt the person from quarantine arriving in Taiwan," Xue said.
According to relevant regulations, Taiwan businessmen returning from the mainland need to be quarantined for 14 days after arrival. They also need to go through another 14 days of quarantine if they fly to the mainland. Before boarding, they also need to show negative coronavirus nucleic acid test results.
"The quarantine time is too long, and I cannot afford to leave work in the mainland for such a long time. So many of us try to reduce the number of trips," Alan Zhou, president of the Hangzhou Association of Taiwan Compatriots Investment Enterprises, told the Global Times on Thursday.
"Although many things can be done online, it has still caused some inconvenience to our work," he said.
The Global Times learned that so far, only a limited number of Taiwanese in the mainland have been vaccinated due to the lack of information on available vaccination sites. But many Taiwan businessmen in the mainland have shown strong interest in receiving mainland-made vaccines, which they believe are reliable.
"If the coronavirus vaccine injection was open to the public, I'd be more than willing to receive a jab," Xue said.
Despite certain travel barriers, Taiwan businessmen said they are keen on the mainland market and will continue their investment plans.
"I am still optimistic about the market size and consumption power of the mainland, which is far larger than that of the island. In the catering business there is great competition as the mainland welcomes all kinds of cuisine, but there are also many opportunities. In comparison, Taiwan is so small and the market is limited," a Shanghai-based Taiwan restaurant owner, who asked not to be identified, told the Global Times on Thursday.
"I am impressed by how the epidemic has been contained in the mainland under the top-down effective measures. As the mainland economy has embarked on a swift recovery, I'm confident that my business will turn better next year," He said.