Both Taiwan and China are sincere in working out the details for a special charter-flight service prior to the Lunar New Year celebration, but the government has not yet received a response from its negotiator, a government official said yesterday.
Chiu Tai-san (邱太三), vice chairman of the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC), dismissed a media report that Taiwan and China have reached agreement on the arrangement for Taiwanese working in China who wish to spend the lunar new year holidays early next month at home by taking charter flights.
Meanwhile, the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) will also organize a mission to Beijing to help with the issue due to the sensitive cross-strait situation.
The KMT delegation is slated to depart for Beijing as scheduled today to hold talks tomorrow with officials of the Taiwan Affairs Office under the State Council and the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC). According to Chiu, the MAC has not received any information from Lo Ta-hsing (樂大信), chairman of the Taipei Airlines Association, who was commissioned by the MAC to hold technical talks with representatives of the CAAC in Macau Friday.
Regarding the media report that Taiwan and China have reached agreement in Macau on a model for "non-stop, round-trip, multi-destination flights by carriers on both sides," said Chang Jung-kung (張榮恭), spokesman for the KMT. The delegation will be headed by Tseng Yung-chuan (曾永權), director of the KMT's Central Policy Committee, and will include KMT lawmakers John Chang and Chu Fong-chih (朱鳳芝), and People First Party lawmaker Li Hong-jyun (李鴻鈞).
The special Lunar New Year charter flights were first launched in 2003, involving only Taiwanese carriers. But the service failed to proceed last year as a result of China's insistence on its carriers being allowed to offer flights.