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Taiwan leader Ma says direct links symbol of cross-Straits reconciliation
enorth.com.cn   2008-12-15 13:55


(Xinhua)Taiwan leader Ma Ying-Jeou on Monday said direct transport and postal services across the Taiwan Straits symbolized reconciliation between the island and the Chinese mainland.

At a ceremony at south Taiwan's Kaosiung port, Ma expressed the hope that the two sides could work together for common peace and prosperity after the direct transport and postal services started.

Together with other Taiwan officials and representatives of the local shipping industry, Ma witnessed the container ship Uni-Adroit, owned by the Taiwan shipping giant Evergreen, depart at 10:15 a.m. (0215 GMT) from Kaosiung to Tianjin on the Chinese mainland.

Ma said he was "gratified" because direct cross-Straits links marked an era of negotiation and reconciliation instead of confrontation between the two sides.

Under an agreement signed last month, the mainland and Taiwan started direct air and sea transport and postal services on Monday morning.

Formerly, air and sea movements -- including mail -- had to go by way of a third place.

Four freight ships belonging to mainland and Taiwan shipping companies also departed Keelung Harbor in northern Taiwan on Monday morning, heading for mainland ports.

Earlier on Monday, two passenger charter planes of the mainland's China Eastern Airlines and Shenzhen Airlines landed in Taipei, and a Taiwan-based TransAsia Airways jetliner landed in Shanghai.

At a ceremony marking the beginning of direct postal service from Taiwan to the mainland, Wu Min-yu, chairman of the Taiwan-based Chunghwa Post Co. Ltd., sent a letter to Liu Andong, president of the mainland's China Post Corp.

The letter is expected to be received by Liu as early as Monday afternoon thanks to the start of direct flights.

Chunghwa Post also issued a commemorative stamp that featured a peace pigeon with a letter.

"This is a historic moment," Wu said, adding that direct postal service would further enhance links and exchanges by people on both sides of the Straits.

Wu said Chunghwa Post would increase cooperation with China Post to provide more convenient and efficient services.


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Editor: Zhang Jialu

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