Sat, Dec 04, 2004 - Page 2 News List

Yu tells MAC to expand the `small three links'

CNA , Taipei

Premier Yu Shyi-kun yesterday ordered the Mainland Affairs Council to study the possibility of expanding the "small three links" between Taiwan and China.

Yu issued the directive in response to a proposal by Kinmen council chief Lee Chu-feng (李柱峰) during an inspection tour of the frontline island.

Kinmen and Matsu maintain direct trade, transport and postal services with the Chinese ports of Xiamen and Fuzhou -- generally known as the "small three links."

However, the services are applicable only to local residents of Kinmen and Matsu and Taiwanese businessmen with operations in China.

Lee said it is time the government reviewed its "small three links" policy, as China will soon allow its nationals to travel to Kinmen for tourist and sightseeing purposes, with arrivals estimated at 600 people per day.

According to Lee's proposal, the services should be expanded to apply to Kinmen-born and Matsu-born people residing on Taiwan and a five-day, four-night package tour to Kinmen and Xiamen should be launched to attract Taiwanese tourists.

Meanwhile, international tourists and overseas Chinese should be allowed to travel to Xiamen via the "small three links" and transfer from Kinmen to Taiwan, Lee said.

Also, the Kinmen council chief proposed that the central government set up an export processing zone on Kinmen island and permit imports of Chinese workers.

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