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Thu, Feb 08, 2001 - Page 2 News List

China plays down cross-strait voyage, insists on `full links'


China's media yesterday scoffed at suggestions the first official voyage since 1949 by Chinese citizens to Taiwan-held territory heralded an easing of cross-strait tension, accusing Taiwan's leaders of "lacking sincerity."

Ninety-one Chinese citizens spent their second day yesterday on Kinmen, which is part of Taiwan's Fujian Province, following the opening on Jan. 1 of the "small three links" (小三通) -- which are direct trade, shipping and postal services -- from Kinmen and one of the Matsu islands further up the coast, to China's Xiamen and Fuzhou ports respectively.

Taiwan "lacks sincerity and goodwill" and is "using the small three links to resist the three big links," an unnamed spokesman for the State Council's Taiwan Affairs Office told the official China Daily.

"What we have been promoting and advocating is real and full bilateral links between the two sides to improve cross-strait relations," the official said.

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