A group of 37 teachers and students from five Chinese mainland universities will visit Taiwan from Saturday to July 23 at the invitation of the Taiwan-based Ma Ying-jeou Foundation, according to mainland authorities.
Led by Hao Ping, Party chief of Peking University, the group includes teachers and students from Peking University, Tsinghua University, Fudan University, Wuhan University and Hunan University.
During their trip, the members will engage in exchanges with their peers from Taiwan University, Chengchi University, Chinese Culture University and Dong Hwa University. The trip will also include stops in Taipei, Taichung, New Taipei, Hsinchu and Hualien.
Chen Binhua, spokesman for the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council on the mainland, said on Tuesday that the trip, made by the first group of its kind to travel to the island in more than three years, is conducive to promoting the resumption of cross-Strait exchanges.
"We support and encourage young people on both sides of the Strait to enhance exchanges and mutual understanding, learn from each other through exchanges and interactions, and jointly create a bright future," he said.
Ma Ying-jeou, a former leader of Taiwan, led a group of Taiwan students to visit the mainland in late March and early April, during which they visited historical sites and talked with mainland students. After the trip to the mainland, Ma invited mainland students to visit Taiwan for exchanges.
The plan was originally obstructed by the island's Democratic Progressive Party authorities. On Tuesday, a joint review meeting involving multiple Taiwan agencies approved the visit.
Hsiao Hsu-tsen, director of the Ma Ying-jeou Foundation, said on Tuesday that the approval of the trip was a positive response to the mainstream public opinion of cross-Strait youth exchanges. He expressed hope that the DPP authorities would truly support full resumption of exchanges between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait.