posted on Jan, 10 2005 @ 01:26 AM
China and Taiwan have agreed in principal to allow direct chartered flights between the two nations for the upcoming Lunar New Year in February.
However, the pro independence government must still grant final approval. If approved, this would mark the first time direct flights would be allowed
since 1949. It is hoped that this would help ease some of the tension between the two nations.
BEIJING (Reuters) - China agreed on Monday to the first direct charter flights to and from arch rival Taiwan during the Lunar New Year holiday in
February, the first such links in more than 50 years, Taiwan opposition legislators said.
Beijing wanted the flights to go ahead without transit stops in Hong Kong or Macau, and Chinese airlines to be involved, the legislators said after
meeting in Beijing with Chen Yunlin, minister of China's Taiwan Affairs Office.
The decision puts the ball in the court of Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian and his ruling pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), whose
approval will be necessary for the flights to happen when Lunar New Year starts on Feb. 9.
If all goes well, the charters will be the first direct flights between Taiwan and China since 1949 when Nationalist troops fled to the island after
losing the Chinese civil war on the mainland to the Communists.
Please visit the link provided for the complete story.
Once again China is making a few gestures to look good for the coming Olympics. Will this really serve to reduce tension, or is it simply a PR move?
I think the PR angle is clearly what is going on. If China really wanted to reduce tension, they could simply de-escalate their buildup of forces
along the straight. However, not only have they not done so, there is evidence that they are accelerating their buildup. Once the Olympics are over,
you can expect that they will really begin the rattling. Hopefully Taiwan will have brought newer defenses online to prevent any hostile acts.