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Cross-Straits passenger ferry may resume service

By ZHANG YI | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2022-11-23

There is no obstacle on the Chinese mainland to resuming the direct passenger transport links between the coastal areas of Fujian province and the Kinmen and Matsu areas in Taiwan, a mainland spokesman said on Nov 16.

Ma Xiaoguang, a spokesman for the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council, made the remark at a news conference in Beijing, after Taiwan's mainland affairs authority said recently that the island has completed preparations and will coordinate with the mainland on resumption of the service.

The passenger route was unilaterally suspended by the ruling Democratic Progressive Party authorities in Taiwan in February 2020, on the grounds of COVID-19 epidemic prevention and control.

Ma said the move had severely affected the exchange of people on both sides of the Straits, especially between Fujian and Taiwan.

Denouncing the DPP authorities who said that the resumption of the route requires "official communication" between the two sides, Ma said that the Taiwan side had unilaterally decided on the suspension in 2020, but were now demanding communication.

He said that this was political manipulation aimed at delaying resumption of the service and passing the buck to the mainland.

"We hope that DPP authorities will lift the restrictions as soon as possible and stop harming the vital interests of compatriots on both sides of the Straits, especially those in Kinmen and Matsu," he said.

As for the recent proposal to construct a bridge between Kinmen and Xiamen, Ma said the mainland supports such measures and the obstacles lie with the DPP authorities.

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