While the government is drafting plans to allow all Taiwanese to travel to China via the “small three links,” it has yet to decide when the policy will take effect, Executive Yuan Spokeswoman Vanessa Shih (史亞平) said yesterday.
Shih made the remarks to correct media reports that said Premier Liu Chao-shiuan (劉兆玄) had said on the legislative floor on Friday that the government would implement the expansion of the scope of the “small three links” within two weeks.
The “small three links,” which opened in January 2001, allows limited direct transportation between Kinmen and Matsu islands and the southern Chinese port cities of Xiamen and Fuzhou.
The scheme provides a faster and cheaper way to travel to China as people in Taiwan proper must make stopovers in third territories such as Hong Kong and Macau before traveling on to China.
The route is only available for people with addresses registered in Kinmen and Matsu for at least six months, businesspeople with operations in China and their employees and family members, veterans originally from China, and residents of Fujian Province married to Taiwanese.
Shih said yesterday that Liu had instructed the Mainland Affairs Council to conduct a review of the “small three links” and draw up a proposal to liberalize related regulations in the shortest period of time.
The restrictions on travelers via the “small three links” will almost certainly be lifted in the near future, as they would become meaningless once regular cross-strait passenger charter flights commence, she added.
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Taipei City Councilor Wang Hao (王浩) of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) on Monday called for security improvements to the MRT, as fare evasion has increased more than 13-fold on the metropolitan railway system over the past five years. Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) has spoken out against fare evasion and other contraventions of MRT regulations, but since he took office in 2015 the number of contraventions has more than doubled, Wang said, adding that there were 537 cases in 2015 compared with 959 last year. A video was posted to YouTube in June showing people how to evade paying a fare,
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Yuchi Township (魚池) fishers have appealed to the Nantou County Government for help in dealing with an invasive fish species in Sun Moon Lake (日月潭), where it has devastated the local ecosystem. Fishers at Sun Moon Lake have been using electrofishing in an attempt to eliminate the giant snakehead fish — found in Africa and Southeast Asia — but they have struggled to keep up with the growing population of the species, which breeds during September and October, the county government said on Monday. The county has contacted researchers at National Tsing Hua University, saying it hoped they could come up