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Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Council says adding cross-strait flight routes not unilateral decision

Current China destinations limited to Beijing, Shanghai, Xiamen, Chengdu

Xiamen Gaoqi Airport. (Zbor Direct photo)

Xiamen Gaoqi Airport. (Zbor Direct photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) on Monday (Nov. 15) said that increasing cross-strait routes is not up to it alone to decide.

During a meeting of the Legislative Yuan’s Internal Affairs Committee, Kuomintang Legislator Lu Ming-che (魯明哲) asked MAC Minister Chiu Tai-san (邱太三) whether it is possible to add more cross-strait flight destinations.

Chiu said that current flights are only at 20% capacity, meaning there are a lot of empty seats. However, he said that if there is a demand for increased flights in the future, airlines are ready and able to add more.

Since the pandemic began, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) has limited direct cross-strait flights. Currently, there are only four Chinese destinations, Liberty Times reported: Beijing, Shanghai, Xiamen, and Chengdu.

Chiu pointed out that the addition of destinations involves cross-strait discussions and pandemic prevention considerations. Thus, “it is not us alone that can decide,” he said.

The minister said that the MAC has also reviewed the needs of Taiwanese businessmen with operations in China, but a final decision requires assessments from the Ministry of Communications, Centers for Disease Control, and relevant Chinese counterparts and also depends on the development of the pandemic.

Chiu said the MAC will gradually improve communication with Chinese authorities in the future but that for now, it is currently focused on pandemic prevention efforts.