Global Politics

Charter flights between China and Taiwan

It's been a rapid thaw between the two countries since the new president, Ma, was sworn in last month, after half a century of hostility and suspicion. Now all that's in the past. The positive results from recent negotiations include an agreement to allow regular weekend charter flights between China and Taiwan, and to fill those flights with 3,000 Chinese tourists daily. The idea is to move to regular commercial flights and shipping links next year, which is a big deal because Taiwan has feared this for years. But Taiwanese are starting to view China as an economic opportunity rather than a political threat. But Taiwan's hope is also that China will also be flexible when it comes to Taiwan's international space�the chance to belong to and participate in international organizations. This analyst says the Chinese President's approach has been to introduce patience. The analyst doesn't believe reunification will happen any time soon if it happens at all, but this is a transformative period in Taiwanese-Chinese relations and the US should go along with it. the official US policy is that what China and Taiwan want to work up to them is fine, as long as it's done peacefully. But there are still many political hurdles ahead.

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