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I have a double entry visa for China. I've used up the first one and will reenter China for the second one in the next few days.

Now I'd really like to go to Taiwan by ferry but was worried that it would use up my last entry into China and I'd then have to fly out of Taiwan.

But then I started thinking that since China doesn't recognize Taiwan that from their point of view I would not be leaving China, so it should not use up an entry, so I could return and continue travelling in China.

But since the China/Taiwan situation is pretty special and unique there could also be special rules about it.

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I'd expect the answer to be as per @jpatokal's response. Certainly mainland-China - Hong Kong uses up a visa entry and Hong Kong IS part of China ["one country, two systems"] in fact as opposed to just desire. –  Russell McMahon Dec 22 '13 at 13:09
    
More specifically, you have a visa for Mainland China only (you cannot use it to enter any other part of "China"). And you are entering Mainland China again. –  user102008 Dec 29 '13 at 1:38
    
@user102008: So is Hainan or every other island classified as part of the mainland? It requires quite contorted logic and multiple new definitions of mainland for it to make sense. –  hippietrail Dec 29 '13 at 1:55
    
@hippietrail: "Mainland China" has a very specific political meaning. See en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mainland_China –  user102008 Dec 29 '13 at 5:05
    
@user102008: From the Wikipedia article it seems to be an English term which has several overlapping senses depending on POV. After reading it I'm still not sure this term is endorsed by PRC or if there's an equivalent term with equivalent meaning in Chinese used in PRC \-: –  hippietrail Dec 29 '13 at 6:25
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up vote 11 down vote accepted

Unfortunately in this case common sense trumps political pride: entering Taiwan is considered leaving China, and you'll thus need a multiple-entry visa to get back to the mainland. (Incidentally, the same applies to Hong Kong and Macau.)

I'm having trouble finding an authoritative source, but this random Chinese visa agent (apparently banned here, replace 'X' with c) and this Thorn Tree thread confirm:

double or multiple entry visas would be required if you ... travel between mainland China and Hong Kong or Macau or Taiwan on the same tour.

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Bummer! But thanks for finding the answer. –  hippietrail Dec 22 '13 at 9:56
    
I'll accept this soon unless somebody disproves it or submits an answer with an official link/statement. –  hippietrail Dec 22 '13 at 16:23
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This is correct. Although you are 'still in China' and are on an internal flight as far as the mainland authorities are concerned, they do actually recognize that you left their jurisdiction. (The same as HK or Macau) –  Andrew Dec 23 '13 at 10:05
    
@Andrew: Wow the ferry from the mainland to Taiwan is a flight? Now I really want to take it! d-: –  hippietrail Dec 25 '13 at 13:24
    
@hippietrail Actually the closest Taiwanese controlled island is indeed a very short ferry ride from the mainland :P Nevertheless you still pass border controls. –  Andrew Dec 25 '13 at 13:39
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