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China, Taiwan agree to more flights for Lunar New Year

by Staff Writers
Beijing (AFP) Dec 30, 2010
China and Taiwan have agreed to add more cross-strait flights during the Spring Festival holiday that marks the start of the lunar new year, in a further sign of evolving ties between the former foes.

After two days of talks, the two sides decided to put on extra flights between January 20 and February 17 next year from several cities including Shanghai, Beijing, and eastern Nanjing, the official Xinhua news agency said.

Destinations in Taiwan include Taipei, Taichung and Kaohsiung.

The Lunar New Year falls on February 3 next year.

China and Taiwan split in 1949 after a civil war, but Beijing still considers the self-ruled island as part of its territory awaiting reunification, by force if necessary.

The two sides began direct chartered flights in 2008 as part of a drive to boost ties after the Beijing-friendly government of Ma Ying-jeou assumed power in Taipei.

The two sides last year upgraded the charter services to scheduled flights in an agreement that also more than doubled the number of flights. They then agreed in August to increase the number of weekly flights from 270 to 370.

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