Friday, July 4, 2008

direct weekend flights China-Taiwan


Dragon dances, aboriginal singers and a red carpet welcome greeted some of the first passengers to step off the planes making history today as they landed in Tawan.


These were the first direct weekend charter flights between the two sides in nearly 60 years. The first flight - from Guangzhou - arrived at Taoyuan airport just after 8am. The second, from Xiamen, arrived at Taipei's Songshan domestic airport - the first international flight to land there in nearly 30 years.

Watching me watching you...

In the past, travelers between the two sides have had to transit in Hong Kong or Macau to reach their final destination. But the new flights will save passengers time and money...although they will currently only operate from Fridays to Mondays. The goverment here hopes they will soon become regular daily charter flights.


Around 600 Chinese tourists, plus officials and journalists, will be arriving in Taiwan this weekend. But the small numbers are expected to rapidly increase by the end of the month - as Beijing has promised to allow up to 3,000 of its citizens to travel to Taiwan evwery day.

Currently, nearly 5 million Taiwanese travel to China each year; but Beijing has a tight rein on where its citizens can travel, and the number of Chinese who've travelled to Taiwan is still tiny.

Local businesses in Taiwan predict they'll provide a much-needed economic boost.

The agreements on flights and tourists, signed last month, fulfil an election pledge made by Taiwan’s new Presdient, Ma Ying jeou.

He promised voters to boost the island’s economy – and push for a better, less confrontational relationship with China, which still regards the island as part of its territory.


5 comments:

Anonymous said...

"Currently, nearly 5 million Taiwanese travel to China each year; but Beijing has a tight rein on where its citizens can travel, and the number of Chinese who've travelled to Taiwan is still tiny."

You are distorting the facts. It's the Taiwan side who has put tight rein on mainland Chinese traveling to Taiwan. CCP has never put up such restriction. The same reservation can be seen today, as flights still have to route through Macao or Hong Kong first and restricted to weekends. Both are demands of the Taiwan side; even when the pan-blue have total reign.

Anonymous said...

I need to qualify, never meaning post-Mao, after 1979. Both sides put up travel restricts before Mao and elder Chiang.

anonymous 2 said...

In the direct flight or travel negotiation, the Chinese government has a tight prerequisite that Taiwanese government has to admit being a province of China. That is not acceptable to many Taiwanese people and the reason why direct cross-strait flights or direct travellers from China were not accepted by the Taiwanese government.

Anonymous said...

No matter which side of government put rein on people to travel to. I will never go to China. Because I want to use my passport, not use the ridiculous 台胞證

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