Beijing: The Chinese mainland has announced a package of new policies to promote economic, trade and cultural relations with Taiwan, in what is being greeted at major shipping lines such as Evergreen, Yang Ming and Wan Hai as a massive breakthrough.
A total of 13 new policies were announced at Sunday's closing ceremony of a two-day cross-strait forum, co-sponsored by the Communist Party of China and the Chinese Kuomintang Party, Taiwan's major opposition party.
Jia Qinglin, chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, and KMT Honorary Chairman Lien Chan were present at the closing ceremony, Xinhua reported.
Under the new policies, Taiwan shipping and road transport companies are allowed to set up wholly-owned companies or joint ventures on the mainland.
Taiwan enterprises are also encouraged to directly invest in the construction and operation of ports and road projects on the mainland.
Taiwan shipping companies, engaged in direct passenger transport between coastal cities in Fujian and Jinmen, Mazu and Penghu in Taiwan have been authorized to set up agencies and sell tickets on the mainland.
Taiwan's airline companies are encouraged to expand cooperation with mainland counterparts in aircraft maintenance, cargo storage, market development and code sharing.
The mainland also promised to improve laws and regulations to allow Taiwan aviation companies to launch joint-ventures to run airline companies, build airports and produce on-vehicle materials on the mainland with mainland partners.
The General Administration of Civil Aviation of China said Taiwan students are welcome to study in the mainland's civil aviation schools and aircraft maintenance technicians are welcome to work on the mainland.
The administration said Chengdu, Hangzhou, Nanjing, Shenzhen, Dalian and Guilin will gradually become new destinations for non-stop chartered flights.
The cities that cross-Strait airlines currently fly to are Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Xiamen on the mainland, and Taipei and Kaohsiung in Taiwan. All Taiwan residents, businessmen and their relatives with valid certificates can take the flights.
Meanwhile, three more cities -- Guangzhou, Qingdao and Wuhan --have been authorized to issue valid passes for Taiwan visitors entering the mainland, in addition to the existing eight cities of Shenyang, Dalian, Chengdu, Haikou, Sanya, Xiamen, Fuzhou and Shanghai. [30/04/07]