Following China's negative response to the government's proposed indirect cross-strait cargo flights, the head of the Democratic Progressive Party's Chinese Affairs Department, Chen Chung-hsin (陳忠信), said yesterday that negotiations over any transport links between the two sides should be conducted between the two governments.
Chen dismissed remarks by Chinese Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan (唐家璇) that "Taiwan's unilateral air-cargo flights would take advantage of China."
"As far as commercial interests are concerned, Taiwan will not take advantage of China," Chen said.
Chen said Dragon Airlines Ltd (
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"How could China say we are taking advantage of them, as China will have a majority of the benefits from the cross-strait flights?" Chen said.
Chen also pointed out that cross-strait air transportation links will depend on whether the two governments can normalize ties.
"The current problem is that the two governments cannot sit down for talks because China will not recognize Taiwan. Without dialogue, how can [cross-strait] direct flights be realized?" Chen said.
In response to statements by a board member of China's Civil Aviation Association, Pu Zhaozhou (浦照洲), who said on Monday cross-strait flights should be conducted in a reciprocal way, Chen said.
"Taiwan's government will not oppose any form of cross-strait flights.But the premise is that both sides' governments should open up dialogue to discuss matters concerning the exercise of jurisdictions such as aviation regulation controls and customs policies," Chen said.
Chen said that according to articles 28 and 29 of the Statute Governing the Relations between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area (
"China's aircraft have to apply for the Taiwan government's permission before flying to Taiwan. However, since China doesn't recognize Taiwan, the government cannot open direct flights with China," Chen said.
"Taiwan expects equal and reciprocal cross-strait relations that can mutually benefit each other," he said.
Chen also urged China to sit down for talks with Taiwan about indirect charter flights between Taipei and Shanghai so that China-based Taiwanese businessmen and their families can fly home to Taiwanb during the next Lunar New Year.