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Taiwanese rice exported to mainland for first time

XIAMEN, July 26 (Xinhua) -- A total of 178 tonnes of rice imported from Taiwan arrived at the ports of Fuzhou and Xiamen in east Fujian province Thursday, marking the first rice to be exported from Taiwan to the mainland.

Eighteen tonnes of rice from Changhua county of Taiwan, which were ordered by COFCO, China's largest supplier of diversified products, arrived at Mawei Port at about 4:30 p.m.

Another 80 tonnes of rice ordered by COFCO are expected to arrive in the mainland in August and September. They will be sold in two-kg packages in mainland supermarkets, according to COFCO.

The customs duty on the rice is only 1 percent to better serve the demands of Taiwanese farmers.

Some 160 tonnes of rice in eight containers ordered by Xiamen Seashine Food Development Co. Ltd arrived in Xiamen at about 5 p.m.

Local residents in Xiamen can buy the Taiwanese rice in supermarkets after the rice is tested by the municipal quality watchdog, said Ni Xingwu, an official with the Xiamen municipal entry-exit inspection and quarantine bureau.

The Chinese mainland introduced a package of preferential policies in June in the areas of the economy, science, culture and education to strengthen ties with Taiwan on the 4th Straits Forum held in Xiamen. Rice exports was included among the preferential policies.