CHINA / Taiwan, HK, Macao

Mainland, Taiwan to open new shipping route
Updated: 2006-05-31 11:29

Passenger ferry service will begin between another pair of Chinese mainland and Taiwan ports on June 8, a Chinese mainland official announced here Wednesday.

The ferries will operate between Quanzhou of east China's Fujian province and Jinmen of Taiwan, said He Shizhong, director of the economic bureau of the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council, at a press conference.

Fujian opened ferry services with Jinmen and Mazu, two small islands near Fujian, on 2001. Since then, the ferries have transported more than 1.4 million passengers and 3.96 million tons of freight.

"Operation of direct shipping services between Fujian, Jinmen and Mazu in the past five years have accumulated experience for realizing comprehensive direct sea transport links across the Strait," said He.

The ships only carry company flags to avoid sensitive issues. "This method can certainly be expanded to include other ports," he said.

The mainland side has always stood for realizing comprehensive, direct and two-way mail, trade and transport links, which is a necessity of economic exchanges and cooperation and personnel exchanges, said He.