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Exits, entries rise 13.5% in first 8 months: MOI

TAIPEI--The total number of people leaving or entering Taiwan in the first eight months of the year hit 23.45 million, up 13.5 percent from the same period of the previous year, according to statistics released by the Ministry of the Interior (MOI) Saturday.

The increase is attributed to the government's tourism-boosting programs, moves that started in 2009 to relax restrictions on tourists from China, and efforts to promote interaction between Taiwanese and Chinese people, the MOI said.

The new statistics show that 59.2 percent of the exits and entries in the January-August period were made by Taiwanese nationals, with 21 percent by foreigners (excluding Chinese nationals) and 19.7 percent by Chinese nationals.

Compared with the same period of last year, the number of exits and entries of Chinese nationals registered a growth of 47.8 percent, while that of other foreigners increased by 9.6 percent and that of Taiwanese nationals rose by 6.7 percent, the statistics indicate.

In the eight-month period, 6.98 million Taiwanese nationals left the country. Among them, 55 percent flew to China (including Hong Kong and Macau), 14.9 percent went to Japan and 5.2 percent traveled to South Korea, according to the statistics.

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