China resumes direct flights to Taiwan after 60 years

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China resumes direct flights to Taiwan after 60 years

Postby flystly » Sat Nov 10, 2018 5:22 am

China resumes direct flights to Taiwan after 60 years



First came the cries of welcome from officials, the banks of flashing cameras, the thunder of drums, and the prancing lion dancers tossing their heads as tourists jostled their way through the arrivals hall.上海から佐賀航空券

Then, once they were seated on tour buses, came the brisk reminders. Don't drop litter, don't smoke in public buildings - and, whatever you do, don't spit.

It was a momentous occasion for passengers taking the first regular flights across the 100-mile Taiwan Straits since the island separated from the Chinese mainland at the end of the civil war in 1949. "From today onward, regular commercial flights will replace the rumbling war planes," trumpeted an airline boss.

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While 4 million Taiwanese travelled to the mainland each year, there were only a handful of direct flights. Few Chinese were allowed to travel to Taipei at all until the thaw in relations prompted by president Ma Ying-jeou's election this spring. Now, as many as 1 million a year are expected to make the trip.

Yesterday, many of the passengers on flight HU7987 posed for commemorative photographs as they set off from Beijing airport. Young and old on board the four-hour flight had similar feelings. "We are family. We took different paths but we hope we can get together and develop. It's very important that we are one country," said Xu Yidong, an IT professional.

Many mainland tourists speak literally when they describe the Taiwanese as family. Fan Qingju's household was severed by the civil war, when her two brothers fled to Taipei. The eldest died without seeing them again; the other, now 82, has not visited the mainland since he had a stroke.

"The last time my brother visited me in China was in 2002," said the retired high school teacher. "I've been dreaming about coming to Taiwan for a long time. He's really sick and I felt bad that I couldn't see him and take care of him."

But while Chinese passengers spoke with patriotic fervour and painful longing, the Taiwanese were more pragmatic.

Louis Chen sipped his tea calmly as the plane began to circle the island and other passengers craned towards the window for their first glimpse.

"It's great for us - much easier and cheaper. It will save me about 500 yuan (£37) a flight and four or five hours," said the actor and director. Until now, his regular trips between Beijing and Taipei meant going via Hong Kong or Macau.
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