Tai­wan, China not set­tled on transit flight is­sues

The China Post - - LOCAL -

Tai­wan’s pro­posal for Bei­jing to al­low in­ter­na­tional flights from the main­land to make transit stops in Tai­wan re­mains in limbo, as Tai­wan’s top China pol­i­cy­maker said Sun­day that talks with the Chi­nese side on the is­sue are still un­der­way.

Asked about the progress of the talks, the Main­land Af­fairs Coun­cil (MAC) replied that “the two sides are still ne­go­ti­at­ing and com­mu­ni­cat­ing with each other ac­tively on the is­sue,” hop­ing they can reach a con­sen­sus and strike a deal to be­gin the ser­vice as soon as pos­si­ble.

The re­marks cast un­cer­tainty over the im­ple­men­ta­tion of an agree­ment reached be­tween MAC Min­is­ter Hsia Li-yan ( ) and his Chi­nese coun­ter­part, Tai­wan Af­fairs Min­is­ter Zhang Zhi­jun (

) , dur­ing their meet­ing in Tai­wan’s Kin­men in May that the transit stops in Tai­wan will be­gin in mid-2015.

The is­sue was set to be set­tled in a planned sum­mit meet­ing be­tween be­tween Tai­wan’s Straits Ex­change Foun­da­tion (SEF) and its Chi­nese coun­ter­part the As­so­ci­a­tion for Re­la­tions Across the Tai­wan Straits (ARATS) in Au­gust, when the two par­ties are ex­pected to sign tax and avi­a­tion safety agree­ments. A news­pa­per re­port said Sun­day that the meet­ing may not take place as ex­pected.

The Chi­nese side has so far not set a con­crete date for the be­gin­ning of the transit flight ser­vice, and that the is­sue re­mains stuck on China’s re­quest for mea­sures to be taken to “op­ti­mize” the flight routes be­tween the two sides across Tai­wan Strait, the United Daily News re­ported.

“There may likely be changes” to the planned SEF-ARATS meet­ing, which was sched­uled to take place by the end of the month, the news­pa­per said.

Hsia had re­vealed dur­ing his visit to the United States in July that the meet­ing be­tween the two in­ter­me­di­ary bod­ies of the two sides of the strait was sched­uled to take place by the end of Au­gust, and that he and Zhang would pos­si­bly meet for talks on mat­ters of mu­tual con­cern in Septem­ber.

Asked about the news­pa­per’s spec­u­la­tion, the MAC failed to give con­crete an­swers but said that cur­rently, the SEF and ARATS are spar­ing no ef­forts in pre­par­ing for their 11th sum­mit meet­ing since 2008.

As for the planned Hsia-Zhang meet­ing, the MAC said the ex­act date of that event has not yet been set­tled, promis­ing an an­nounce­ment as soon as it reaches an agree­ment with China on the mat­ter.

The author­i­ties also said that transit stops in Tai­wan are a dif­fer­ent is­sue from “flight route op­ti­miza­tion,” which China pro­posed as part of ef­forts to pro­mote the ef­fi­ciency and con­ve­nience of crossstrait flights.

One of the mea­sures the Chi­nese side has sug­gested was to “straighten” the flight routes be­tween the two sides, al­low­ing the com­mer­cial flights from China to fly across the medium line of the Tai­wan Strait to shorten flight times.

The Tai­wan side had al­ready made it clear that it is will­ing to ex­change opin­ions with China on the pro­posal to “op­ti­mize” the flight ser­vices on the ex­ist­ing three air routes be­tween the two sides, but “it is out of the ques­tion that Tai­wan would agree on open­ing another route cross­ing the strait’s medium line” due to na­tional se­cu­rity con­cerns, ac­cord­ing to the MAC.

CNA

Kaoh­si­ung Light Rail will hold its first as­sess­ment on Wed­nes­day, Aug. 5. Kaoh­si­ung City Gov­ern­ment’s Trans­porta­tion Bureau pointed out yesterday that the sim­u­la­tion test will be di­vided into civil en­gi­neer­ing, elec­trome­chan­i­cal and op­er­a­tional ar­eas. Also, the sec­ond test run will not be held un­til im­prove­ments are made if cer­tain cat­e­gories fail.

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