Cross-Straits flights to in­crease dur­ing Spring Fes­ti­val

China Daily (USA) - - FRONT PAGE - By LUO WANGSHU in Bei­jing lu­owang­shu@chi­

The Chi­nese main­land and Tai­wan have agreed to ar­range more flights across the Straits dur­ing the com­ing Spring Fes­ti­val to en­sure peo­ple on both sides can re­turn home for fam­ily re­unions dur­ing the Chi­nese New Year, Ma Xiaoguang, spokesman for the Tai­wan Af­fairs Of­fice of the State Coun­cil, said on Wed­nes­day.

As Tai­wan’s po­lit­i­cal sit­u­a­tion has changed this year, rel­e­vant de­part­ments from both sides of the Straits did not hold reg­u­lar com­mu­ni­ca­tion meet­ings to re­in­force co­op­er­a­tion of civil avi­a­tion trans­port, Ma said at a reg­u­lar news con­fer­ence.

“How­ever, con­sid­er­ing peo­ple’s need to make hol­i­day ar­range­ments and their wishes to re­turn home for the hol­i­day, civil avi­a­tion de­part­ments have ar­ranged more flights dur­ing the Spring Fes­ti­val through the ex­change of let­ters,” he said.

Ac­cord­ing to the Civil Avi­a­tion Ad­min­is­tra­tion of China, both par­ties have agreed to in­crease the num­ber of flights be­tween Jan 14 and Feb 11. To cater to the needs of peo­ple and air­line com­pa­nies, no up­per limit is set for the to­tal in­crease in num­ber of flights.

How­ever, as the Chi­nese main­land’s airspace is tight, some busy airports will set a limit for the num­ber of ex­tra flights be­tween the Chi­nese main­land and Tai­wan, such as Bei­jing Cap­i­tal In­ter­na­tional Air­port and Shang­hai Pudong In­ter­na­tional Air­port.

The first group of in­creased flights will be au­tho­rized be­fore Dec 14 to en­able trav­el­ers to plan their trips in ad­vance, the ad­min­is­tra­tion said on Tues­day.

In June, com­mu­ni­ca­tion be­tween of­fi­cial or­ga­ni­za­tions across the Straits was sus­pended.

Liu Xiang­ping, head of the In­sti­tute of Tai­wan Stud­ies at Nan­jing Uni­ver­sity, said that the only way to resume com­mu­ni­ca­tion is for Tai­wan to rec­og­nize the 1992 Con­sen­sus. “But peo­ple-to-peo­ple com­mu­ni­ca­tion can­not be cut off.”

Li Weiyi, dean of the In­sti­tute of Tai­wan Stud­ies at Bei­jing Union Uni­ver­sity, said, “Al­though po­lit­i­cal foun­da­tions have been sab­o­taged, the goal of main­tain­ing peo­ple’s wel­fare has never changed.”

He said Tai­wan and the Chi­nese main­land opened di­rect flights in 2008, and even be­fore then, the lat­ter strove to serve peo­ple from both sides.

Ma Xiaoguang

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