China to allow transit stops to Taiwan

China to allow transit stops in Taiwan for citizens from three Chinese cities, allowing travellers from mainland to island

Photo by: AP (Archive )
Photo by: AP (Archive )

China said on Tuesday that residents travelling from three Chinese cities will be allowed to make transit stops in Taiwan, granting people access to the island from the mainland for the first time.

Recently, business affairs have been increasingly close and the change comes in effort to establish easier flying arrangements for the two sides.

The decision came ahead of Taiwan’s elections, likely to put into power a political party China distrusts.

In 66 years, Taiwan’s President Ma Ying-jeou and Chinese President Xi Jinping met at a historical summit in Singapore in November.   

Following the defeat to Communists in a civil war, Chinese Nationalist forces fled to Taiwan in 1949, and since then China and Taiwan have been ruled separately.

Although residents from the mainland have been able to travel to Taiwan, they were restricted from traveling to other destinations, with airlines only operating between the island and mainland.

However, now passengers flying from Nanchang, Kunming and Chongqing will be able to transit through Taiwan, according to China’s Taiwan Affairs Office.

The proposal will carry out once the preparatory work between the two sides is completed.

Taiwan's President Ma said that EVA Airways, Taiwan's second-biggest airline, also welcomed the plan.

"It's a joint effort by governments across the strait. We're happy to see it happening," K. W. Nieh, a senior vice president at the airline said.

"We hope more cities will be added to really implement it."

TRTWorld and agencies