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Last Updated: Wednesday, 12 January, 2005, 10:33 GMT
China flights plan gets mixed Taiwan press
Shoppers buy decorations for the Spring Festival
The Spring Festival is important for family reunions

Papers in Taiwan are paying close attention to China's appeal to allow direct flights in time for February's Spring Festival holiday.

The impatience of some dailies on the issue is palpable, with one exclaiming "we've had enough, let's have direct flights!"

Others are more cautious, fearing that Beijing may be using "double-handed tactics" and "tricks".

No more delays, no more politician's nonsense, wasting ordinary people's money and lives! No more using policies as excuses, wasting the productivity of economic growth... Hong Kong can have them, so why can't the two sides of the strait have direct flights? That's right, we've had enough, let's have direct flights!

China Evening Times

The Democratic Progressive Party needs to be clear that the Spring Festival chartered flights are the heartfelt wish of Taiwanese businesspeople, not the wish of the Chinese communists... How can there be a government that blocks its own people from coming home for family reunions? Democratic Progressive Party, please disentangle the Spring Festival chartered flights from politics!

Central Daily News

China is using the... 'cross-strait Spring Festival chartered flights' to carry out the double-handed tactics of a carrot and a stick against Taiwan. This [reflects] the lack of basic vigilance among the ruling and opposition parties against China's 'united front' and 'military struggle' tricks. This is, without a doubt, Taiwan's biggest survival crisis.

Liberty Times

Beijing has refused to negotiate directly with the government, as well as refusing to meet official and semi-official organisations such as the Civil Aeronautics Administration and the Straits Exchange Foundation... If the arrangements for the flights, and China's propaganda, impact on the safety and dignity of the nation, then the 'negotiations' must stop immediately.

Taipei Times

We earnestly hope that the government can leap past the framework of cross-strait relations and handle matters concerned with the Spring Festival chartered flights purely from a humanitarian viewpoint, because this is the most basic goal of the promotion of Spring Festival chartered flights, and should also be the only goal.

Central Daily News

Now, the last and only hurdle is Taipei's insistence on formalising the new agreement in the same fashion as the 2002 Taiwan-Hong Kong air accord, in which Taiwan officials were allowed to sit in negotiations as advisers to Taipei's team, but not allowed to put their names on the document. This demand has been flatly rejected by Beijing on the ground that the 'special charter service does not constitute an air pact'. Taipei will have to bear the brunt at home and abroad if it balks at this juncture.

The China Post

BBC Monitoring, based in Caversham in southern England, selects and translates information from radio, television, press, news agencies and the Internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages.

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