Special to WorldTribune.com
President-elect Donald Trump ignited a firestorm of controversy by confirming on Dec. 2 that he had accepted a congratulatory call from Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen.
China is turning up the heat on Taiwan’s independence-leaning new government under President Tsai Ing-wen who was sworn in May as the island democracy’s first female head of state.
Beijing’s new weapon against Taipei is to dramatically limit the number of Chinese tourists to Taiwan.
The intent is to hurt the nation’s economy that has benefited greatly from the explosion of Chinese tourists in past several years.
Taiwan’s Tourism Bureau published the October statistics on Nov. 25 and they are nothing short of astonishing: Chinese tourists who were allowed to visit Taiwan dropped by 48.1 percent in October in comparison with the same month for 2015: from 316,000 to a mere 166,000.
For the first ten months of 2016, the rate drop was 12 percent, from 2.864 million Chinese visitors for the first ten months of 2015 to 2.522 for this year.