New limited direct links between Taiwan and mainland could expand
into full-blown trade, transportation and postal ties before the
end of this year, the head of a Taiwan delegation visiting the
mainland said on Wednesday.
Chen Shui-tsai, county commissioner of the Kinmen island, made the
remark on the second day of a four-day visit to southeast China's
Fujian Province, inaugurating historic direct ferry links to the
They are referred to as the "three mini links," as they open up
trade, transportation and postal ties only between the Taiwanese
islands of Kinmen and Matsu and the south Chinese ports of Xiamen
The mainland has repeatedly demanded the "big three links,"
allowing exchanges to take place between all of Taiwan proper and
the entire Chinese mainland. According to Chen, these may be
"If the operation of the three small links go smoothly, then the
three big links could take place before the end of the year," said
Chen. "It may not even take that long."
Chen made the remark while visiting the Xiamen Municipal Dadeng
Market, an hour's drive away from downtown Xiamen.
and his 180-member delegation arrived in Xiamen from Kinmen on
Tuesday on board two ferries marking the first direct officially
sanctioned crossing of vessels between Taiwan and the mainland for
more than 51 years.
Chen met with Xiamen Mayor Zhu Yayan on Tuesday and will visit
various cities in Fujian Province before returning to Kinmen on
(China Daily 01/03/2001)