TAIPEI — China has cancelled a controversial visa restriction on bald Taiwanese visitors amid discrimination concerns, travel agents and local media said Thursday.
The rule imposed by the southern Chinese city of Xiamen barred bald people from applying for one-year multiple-entry permits before it was cancelled earlier this year, according to Taiwan's Travel Agent Association.
"It would probably have raised the question of discrimination if Chinese customs officials were to ask visitors to remove their wigs," said Roger Hsu, a spokesman for the association.
Hsu said the rule had mainly applied to frequent business travellers but he said he did not know how many people had their visas rejected for being bald.
The Taipei-based Liberty Times quoted unnamed travel agents as saying that Chinese authorities were concerned that "it was easier for bald people to disguise themselves".
Ties between Taiwan and China have improved markedly since Ma Ying-jeou became the island's president in 2008 vowing to boost trade and tourism.
Beijing still considers self-ruled Taiwan part of its territory awaiting reunification, by force if necessary. The two sides split in 1949 after a civil war.
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