High-speed Pasenger Ship to Connect China, Taiwan

Posted November 29th, 2011 at 5:40 pm (UTC-5)
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A high-speed passenger ship connecting mainland China to Taiwan is ready for its maiden voyage.

Chinese official television showed images of the new ship “Haixia” and said the vessel will make its first trip Wednesday from Pingtan city in east China's Fujian province to Taichung in Taiwan, with 500 people on board.

Taiwan entrepreneur Jia Xiaocheng said the opening of a speedy route will improve business exchanges across the Taiwan Strait.

“We have 200 employees in the city of Fuqing, (with the establishment of the sea route), it's easier for people from Taiwan Region to travel here. It's also convenient for mainland employees to go to Taiwan.”

The television report says “Haixia” can accommodate 260 vehicles and 760 people. Ticket prices range from less than $100 to almost $200. It says the customs office on China's side can process 800 people simultaneously.

Local official Gong Qinggai said there will be more direct passenger ships across the state in the future.

“It's economic and cozy to take the speedy Haixia. It can meet the demand of exchanges across the straits to a large extent. We hope there will be more ships, three or five possibly, to be the main channel of communication between both sides.”

Economic relations between China and Taiwan have improved since President Ma Ying-jeou took office in 2008. The two sides split in 1949 after the communists took power in Beijing.