Minister of Transportation and Communications Mao Chi-kuo (毛治國) said yesterday that Taiwan and China share a common view on adopting direct routes for existing nonstop cross-strait weekend chartered flights.
Speaking at the legislature, Mao said proposals on the adoption of the shortest possible routes for direct cross-strait weekend chartered flights have almost been drafted by the Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) and China’s Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait (ARATS).
“Once the new rounds of SEF-ARATS talks take place and details on the matter are worked out, agreements on the opening of direct weekend chartered flights via direct routes could be signed by the two sides,” Mao said.
Direct flights via direct routes would help reduce the flying time between Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport and Beijing to two hours and 30 minutes and between Taoyuan and Shanghai to just 67 minutes, Mao said.
In response to a question raised by Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Chen Ken-teh (陳根德), Mao agreed that direct flights via direct routes would help save energy and reduce carbon dioxide emissions, but said the issue involves crucial cross-strait negotiations.
Mao said he could not disclose the content of the new SEF proposal and that there is no timetable for the signing of agreements on the opening of such flights.
He said the relevant agencies, including the Ministry of National Defense, have already given the nod to the content of the proposal.
Direct cross-strait weekend chartered flights began in early July after SEF and ARATS negotiators reached agreements in Beijing in June.
All the direct cross-strait weekend chartered flights, however, have been flown so far with a detour over Hong Kong to symbolize the flights’ passage via a “third location.”
In their planned new round of talks, SEF and ARATS negotiators are expected to focus discussions on the opening of direct cross-strait cargo chartered flights and shipping links, the establishment of new passenger chartered flight routes, joint oil exploration in the Taiwan Strait and cross-strait crime-fighting.
Of these topics, the establishment of new passenger chartered flight routes will address the opening of the shortest-possible cross-strait routes, Civil Aeronautics Administration Director-General Lee Long-wen (李龍文) said.
Lee said both sides have tacit understanding that direct flights via direct routes “could be done, but not to be spelled out” prematurely.
The Fancy Frontier manga and anime expo held in Taipei over the weekend has sparked controversy, after a participant allegedly contravened the Act on Offenses Against Sexual Morality (妨害風化罪) by publicly exposing her private parts during a photo shoot. The two-day event opened at the Expo Dome at the Taipei Expo Park on Saturday, attracting numerous comic and anime creators, cosplayers, photographers and fans. Allegedly, a female cosplayer who was not wearing any underwear lifted up her skirt and revealed her private parts at an outdoor photography area near the venue. Event organizers said yesterday that to prevent indecent exposure, they have since
Taiwan might be China’s next target after it has “walled off” Hong Kong from the rest of the world with its new national security legislation, Academia Sinica Institute of Sociology fellow Wu Jieh-min (吳介民) said on Thursday. At a seminar organized by the Economic Democracy Union, the Taiwan Association for Human Rights, the Hong Kong Outlanders and the Judicial Reform Foundation, Wu said that the legislation is simultaneously a fig leaf concealing Beijing’s autocratic rule in Hong Kong and a figurative “Berlin Wall,” denying democratic countries access to Hong Kong. Wu said it is evident that Taiwan would be China’s next target. The
YOUNGEST PATIENT: Cases of botulism have been only sporadically reported over the past few years, with two in 2015, six in 2016 and none in the past three years The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) yesterday reported the nation’s first case of infant botulism this year, a four-month-old boy in northern Taiwan, as well as five new cases of Japanese encephalitis confirmed last week. The boy was introduced to homemade solid food in the middle of last month, but began to experience constipation and loss of appetite on June 23, CDC Epidemic Intelligence Center Deputy Director Guo Hung-wei (郭宏偉) said, adding that he was taken to the hospital when he developed a fever and shortness of breath on June 25. In the hospital, the boy also experienced a rapid heartbeat, limb
The National Taiwan Museum’s Railway Department Park in Taipei is to open to the public today. The park in Datong District (大同) near the North Gate (北門, Beimen) is one of the museum’s four branches. During the Japanese colonial era, the site housed the railway department of the Office of the Governor-General of Taiwan’s Bureau of Transportation. After World War II, it served as the headquarters for the Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) for several decades. In 2007, it was listed as a national monument under the Cultural Heritage Preservation Act (文化資產保存法). At an opening ceremony yesterday, Minister of Transportation and Communications Lin Chia-lung