Sun, Apr 01, 2007 - Page 1 News List

`Small three links' opened to Penghu County residents

AGENCIES , TAIPEI

Starting today, residents of Penghu County will be able to sail to China for sightseeing and trade using the existing "small three links" route via Kinmen and Matsu, President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) announced yesterday.

Chen made the announcement during an inspection tour of Penghu County.

Stating that the central government is very concerned about the economies of the outlying islands, Chen said that relevant government authorities are always keen on providing incentives to help local development.

The announced measure will allow Penghu residents to travel to China using the direct ferry services maintained between the two island groups and the ports of Xiamen and Mawei in China's Fujian Province.

At the same time, Chinese tourists can travel to Penghu via Kinmen and Matsu on a case-by-case basis, although proceeding to Taiwan proper will remain prohibited.

This is an expansion of the "small three links" launched in 2001, when Taiwan initiated direct shipping services between Kinmen and Matsu and Fujian Province to help facilitate travel between the two sides of the Strait.

Direct shipping and air links between Taiwan proper and China are not permitted because of decades-old political feuding between the two countries.

Taking advantage of the small three links, approximately 660,000 people traveled between Kinmen/Matsu and China's Fujian Province last year.

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