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    China Hopes for 'Proper' Russian Approach to Taiwan's Visa-Free Entry Decision

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    BEIJING (Sputnik) - China hopes that Russia will settle the issue related to Taiwan's decision to temporarily grant visa-free entry for Russian citizens "in a proper manner" due to its understanding that this is a "sensitive" matter for Beijing, a spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry told Sputnik on Friday.

    "Everybody knows that China and Russia are engaged in a comprehensive strategic partnership. The Russian Federation understands clearly how sensitive the Taiwan issue is [for China], and we hope that Russia will manage to settle the related issue in a proper manner," the spokesperson said, asked whether Taiwan's temporary visa-free scheme for Russians would have an impact on relations between Moscow and Beijing.

    The spokesperson noted that self-ruled Taiwan was "constantly" trying to establish ties with the states that had diplomatic relations with China.

    On Thursday, Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that from September 6, 2018, to July 31, 2019, Russian citizens would be able to visit the island nation without a visa for a period of up to 14 days.

    Following this trial period, the issue of permanent visa liberalization will be discussed. According to the Foreign Ministry, the measure aims at strengthening bilateral trade and investment relations, as well as boosting tourism.

    Relations between China and Taiwan have long been tense over the disputed political status of the island. In 1949, the Chinese Nationalist Party-led forces, who lost the Chinese Civil War to the Communist Party, took over Taiwan. However, no peace treaty has been signed between the warring parties, and the military conflicts continue.

    READ MORE: Former US Intel Chief: Taiwan Should Practice Attacking China's Liaoning Carrier

    The government of the People’s Republic of China, led by the Communist Party of China, continues claiming Taiwan as its territory and has forced many countries to cut diplomatic ties with Taiwan. Russia does not have official diplomatic relations with Taiwan but does enjoy an economic, political and military partnership with neighboring China.

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