A notice pasted on the wall of a once-popular restaurant in Taipei reads: Thanks to our "benevolent" administrators, we will be shut down from May 25.
A wave of similar closures have occurred over the past year in Taipei, Kaohsiung and many of the other destinations across the island once frequented by tourists. The whole tourist industry in Taiwan is struggling.
At the popular attractions of Ali Mountain and Sun Moon Lake, favorite haunts for Chinese mainland tourists, the paths are empty, boats are stationary, and many vendors have seen few or even no customers the whole day.
On the road, nearly one-third of the 17,300 tourist buses in Taiwan stand unused, with over 3,000 for sale at a loss.
The lull follows the election of Taiwan's new leader Tsai Ing-wen, who assumed office last May. Tsai has refused to adhere to the 1992 Consensus, angering people on both sides of the Strait.
Data from the island's immigration department showed that mainland visitors dropped by 50.2 percent in the first four months this year, with group tours plummeting 61 percent yearly.
It is estimated that this has resulted in losses of at least 50 billion new Taiwan dollars (1.7 billion U.S. dollars) in tourism revenue for the island.
Taiwan's current Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) administration had rolled out incentives to attract visitors from Southeast Asia, but the gap left by the mainland has been almost impossible to fill.
"They did not help at all," Cheng Yu-ping, chairman of YUYUPAS Ltd., which sells Oolong tea and coffee, two of Ali Mountain's major products, told Xinhua.
"The increase in the number of Southeast Asian tourists cannot make up the gap left by Chinese mainland tourists, but the DPP is ignoring this state of affairs and argues that the 'quality' of tourism has increased and the air has become cleaner with fewer mainland visitors. This kind of attitude is worrying," said Chiu Kun-shuan, professor at the Graduate Institute of East Asian Studies in Chengchi University, Taipei.
"If the administration continues to rock the boat, cross-Strait relations will only get worse," he added.
SOCIETY TEARING APART
The tourist industry is not the only one feeling the pinch.
In late April, a statue in Yangminshan Park, Taipei, of late Taiwan leader Chiang Kai-shek was beheaded and covered with red spray paint.
A pro-independence group released a statement claiming responsibility for the act, saying it was in response to a similar beheading of a statue of Japanese hydraulic engineer Yoichi Hatta in Tainan on April 16.
Taiwan seems torn.
Over the past year, the DPP administration has not ceased its promotion of de-sinicization and "Taiwan independence" activities in the island's cultural sector.
Taiwan's education authority last year abolished a draft that proposed changes to the wording of some textbooks to better reflect history by altering "Japanese governance" to "Japanese colonization" and "[Chinese] takeover of Taiwan" to "the recovery of sovereignty over Taiwan."
Last September, two statues donated by actor Jackie Chan to a new museum in Taiwan were splashed with paint and daubed with anti-China vitriol.
Celebrations to commemorate the aniversary of the birth of Sun Yat-sen, who led the revolution that ended imperial rule in China, as well as Zheng Cheng-gong, a Ming dynasty warlord that "recovered Taiwan" from the Dutch were also downgraded, or canceled, triggering strong backlash from the public.