Taiwan and China should step up efforts to allow Chinese to transit through Taiwan so companies on the two sides of the Taiwan Strait can tap into this potentially lucrative market, EVA Airways Corp (EVA, 長榮航空) chairman Chang Kuo-wei (張國煒) said yesterday.
Speaking at an inauguration ceremony of new EVA routes from Taipei to the Chinese cities of Shijiazhuang, Wenzhou and Taiyuan, Chang said that if the issue is not settled, efforts to develop Taiwan’s economy will be undermined.
The transit question is of major importance to Taiwan, which is planning to turn its main international gateway — Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport — into a major transportation, logistics and commercial hub.
At present, Taiwanese travelers can make transit stops in China en route to other countries, but China does not allow its nationals to do so in Taiwan, which puts Taiwanese airlines at a significant disadvantage relative to their Chinese rivals.
Currently, China enforces its ban by not issuing passports to travelers if a transit stop through Taiwan is part of their travel plans.
Beijing fears that Chinese showing their passports in Taiwan during transit stops or layovers would signal that China sees Taiwan as a separate country.
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