Taiwan, China Launch Direct Shipping Links

From AP:

A Taiwanese jetliner departed Monday for China to open a new era of direct air and shipping services with the mainland, formally ending a nearly six-decade ban on regular links between the rivals.

The passenger flight from Taipei to China’s commercial capital of Shanghai came following an improvement in relations between the once-bitter rivals since Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou took office in May and moved to reverse the pro-independence policy of his predecessor, Chen Shui-bian.

China has reacted warmly and although the mainland still claims sovereignty over the self-governed island, both have agreed to set aside thorny political disputes to focus on trade. The two sides signed a pact last month to open up the direct links.

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