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Chinese mainland sees first cross-strait remittance since 1949

  BEIJING, Feb. 26 (Xinhua) -- A Taiwanese businessman Thursday became the first person since 1949 to remit money from the Chinese mainland to Taiwan when he sent his wife 2,000 yuan (292 U.S. dollars).

  The unidentified businessman, who remitted the cash from the mainland's Postal Savings Bank in Xiamen, Fujian Province, was taking advantage of the service which became fully operational in both directions across the Taiwan Strait on Thursday, said Chen Dan, vice president of the Xiamen branch of the bank.

  Each remittance sent from the mainland to Taiwan costs 0.08 percent of its face value from a minimum 20 yuan to a maximum 200 yuan, said a statement from the mainland-based China Post.

  Remittances to Taiwan are limited to 10,000 U.S. dollars daily for cash transfers, while holders of foreign currency accounts are restricted to 50,000 U.S. dollars a day, said the statement.

  Cross-strait postal remittances have been available since Dec. 15, but only from Taiwan, where residents are able to remit money from 92 outlets of the Chunghwa Post Co., Ltd..

  In Taiwan, the charges are 500 New Taiwan dollars (14.35 U.S. dollars) for a telegraphic transfer, 400 NT dollars for a mail transfer, and 200 NT dollars for opening an account to receive mainland remittances.

  Fees for opening an account will be free until Aug. 31 in the island, according to Chunghwa Post.

  More than 2,000 post offices on the mainland can handle Taiwan-bound remittances and more than 20,000 can receive remittance orders from Taiwan.