Xiamen, May 15 (CNA) A Xiamen-based company expressed the hope it could run direct passenger liners between the city in Fujian Province and Taiwan's offshore county of Kinmen without first having to seek Taiwanese approval on a case-by-case basis, a company official said Tuesday.
Many Chinese firms saw the business potential of the route, and, in fact, several companies were already operating between Xiamen and Kinmen, said Yang Yuhua, the company's deputy general manager.
However, since cross-Taiwan Strait traffic rights were involved, China-registered liners that wished to sail directly to Kinmen had to be approved on a case-by-case basis, he said during a tour of Xiamen's port organized for Chinese and Taiwanese media by China's Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council.
Xiamen is a major door for Chinese people traveling to Taiwan, handling a capacity of 1.43 million travelers bound for Taiwan in 2011, said Zhang Liwei, an official from the Xiamen Port Authority.
Based on government statistics, Zhang said, the total volume of passengers traveling on the Xiamen-Kinmen route currently accounted for 90 percent of all passengers traveling via the "mini three links."
Launched in 2001, the "mini three links" enables direct flights, as well as trade and postal exchanges between Taiwan's offshore counties of Kinmen and Matsu and China's Fujian Province.
(By Chen Hung-chin and Nell Shen)