China may allow more charter flights, tourists to Taiwan from July 1 - report


Taipei (XFN-ASIA) - China may allow more charter passenger flights and increased travel by mainland tourists to Taiwan from July 1, the Commercial Times reported, citing an unnamed mainland official.

Chinese authorities are also ready to launch a special campaign one month ahead of the Beijing Olympics to help promote tourist travel to Taipei, the official said. Taiwan's presidential frontrunner Ma Ying-jeou has pledged to launch weekend charter flight services between Taiwan and China by July 1, before upgrading to daily operations. Currently, charter passenger flights are confined to carrying Taiwan people to and from the mainland only during major holidays.

Ma, the candidate of opposition Kuomintang, told a group of businessmen he would seek talks with Beijing on direct air links immediately if he takes over as president. Ma also vowed to allow more Chinese tourists to visit the island, with a quota of 10,000 a day seen in four years.

The former Taipei mayor is leading his rival Frank Hsieh of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) by about 20 percentage points in opinion polls ahead of the presidential election.

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