Mon, Jan 10, 2005 - Page 3 News List

KMT delegation leaves for Beijing to discuss flights


A Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) delegation left for Beijing yesterday to discuss the possible operation of Lunar New Year cross-strait charter flights.

The delegation consists of KMT legislators Tseng Yung-chuan (曾永權), John Chang (章孝嚴) and Chu Feng-chih (朱鳳芝), and KMT spokesman Chang Yung-kung (張榮恭). John Chang said before departing that Taipei and Beijing still need to discuss many details about the launch of the charter flights.

Saying that charter flights for this year had originally been seen by many as a hopeless matter, the legislator added that the KMT hopes it can successfully push for the matter again this year, following the method used in 2003.

He said the launch of flights had a 70 percent chance of success. The other 30 percent was subject to talks with Beijing, he said, adding that the Mainland Affairs Council and President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) will have to make a decision if the delegation can reach an agreement in Beijing.

Expressing the hope that current cross-strait tensions can be eased by a successful launch of the charter flights, Chang also said Taiwan's government should not neglect the people's will.

Tseng said the KMT hopes that China will agree to using Beijing, Xiamen and Guangzhou as the departure and destination cities for the flights.

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