Taiwan Hopes War History Will Entice Mainland Tourists

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The number of mainland Chinese taking tours of Taiwan is rising. Many Chinese are wanting to learn about the history surrounding the 1949 war between the Kuomintang and the Chinese Communist Party... that led to the establishment of Taiwan.

Taiwan hopes to increase tourist traffic from the Mainland by showcasing its wartime history. Thousands of visitors flock daily to the Taipei's Martyr's Shrine, where Kuomintang soldiers are commemorated for their fight against the Chinese Communist Party in 1949.

The visit often sparks heated conversation for Mainlanders.

[Liu Xia, Chinese Tourist]:
"We had this exchange about when we were in school, how did the textbooks describe Kuomintang and the Communist Party, and we heard about how her text books talked about the history between Kuomintang and the Communist Party back then. At the same time, we also talked about our children's education now, after so many years, it is very different how they see the two parties. I think we are getting closer to what is true to history."

Taiwanese president Ma Ying-jeou plans to strengthen ties with China, and has converted many places of war into places of tourism. This includes a small off-shore island called Matsu.

[...]

[Chou Yen-nian, Specialty Store Owner]:
"So far the outlook has been good. The next golden decade should be fine, because China has a population of 1.3 billion. The Chinese and Taiwanese travel agents worked this out -- if five million tourists come to Taiwan every year, it will take 20 years for all of them to visit the second time. If this continues for twenty years, then business should go well at least in the next decade."

Taiwan's Department of Transportation estimates tourists will number over 10 million by 2015, half of whom will be from mainland China.

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