03/28/2008 02:43 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

China to Allow Mainlanders to Visit Taiwan for First Time Since 1949

China will lift a decades-old ban on mainlanders visiting political rival Taiwan on Friday, state media reported, a move that could further ease tension after visits to China by two of the island's opposition leaders.

China has had tight restrictions on its people visiting Taiwan since 1949 when the Nationalists under Chiang Kai-shek fled to the island at the end of the Chinese civil war. A limited number of mainlanders have been able to travel there on business.

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