China-Taiwan start direct transport, postal service

December 15th, 2008 - 8:22 am ICT by IANS  

Beijing, Dec 15 (Xinhua) China and Taiwan Monday morning began direct air, sea transport and postal services, the latest step to further improve the strained ties between the two rivals. The move marks an end to the practice that air and sea transport as well as mail between the mainland and Taiwan had to go through a third place.

At 7:20 a.m., a Shenzhen Airlines flight took off from the Shenzhen Airport for Taiwan. Forty minutes later, another mainland flight left Shanghai for the island.

Direct shipping, transport and postal services across the Taiwan Strait also started Monday.

This is for the first time, direct flights conducted between the two countries since the Chinese civil war in 1949.

China has claimed sovereignty over self-ruled Taiwan since 1949, but ties have improved since China-friendly President Ma Ying-jeou took office earlier this year.

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