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Shanghai-Taipei direct flight proposed
By Jiao Xiaoyang (China Daily)
Updated: 2005-09-16 05:57

SHANGHAI: Taiwan-based People First Party (PFP) Chairman James Soong proposed at a forum yesterday the initiation of direct flights between Shanghai and Taipei as a first step to promoting all-round direct flights between Taiwan and the mainland.

Jia Qinglin, chairman of the National Committee of the CPPCC, shakes hands with James Soong, chairman of Taiwan’s People First Party, yesterday in Shanghai.		 GAO ERQIANG
Jia Qinglin, chairman of the National Committee of the CPPCC, shakes hands with James Soong, chairman of Taiwan's People First Party, yesterday in Shanghai. [newsphoto]
Soong said the Shanghai-Taipei route is long called for, given the proximity of the two cities and the fact that the Shanghai region is the destination of more than 500,000 Taiwanese investors.

"We think a pilot Shanghai-Taipei direct flight link can be taken to promote direct flights across the Straits," Soong said at the opening of the Cross-Straits Non-governmental Forum of Elites. This practice can gradually be applied to other major coastal cities such as Shenzhen, he added.

Jia Qinglin, chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) who also addressed the forum opening yesterday, responded to Soong's proposal positively.

He said the mainland would take "flexible, pragmatic and effective" measures to facilitate private negotiations on cross-Straits passenger and cargo charter flights.

"The key to a breakthrough in the issue is to realize direct passenger and cargo charter flights across the Straits," said Jia.
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