Page last updated at 04:49 GMT, Friday, 4 July 2008 05:49 UK

In pictures: China-Taiwan flights

The pilot of a plane arriving from Xiamen waves after he lands in Taiwan

Regular direct flights between China and Taiwan have resumed for the first time in six decades.

China Airlines officials wave as a flight bound for Shanghai prepares to leave Taoyuan airport in Taiwan

Ceremonies were held on both sides of the Taiwan Strait to mark the first departures and arrivals early on Friday morning.

Wang Yi, head of China's Taiwan Affairs Office, speaks during a ceremony at Beijing airport

China's top official for Taiwan, Wang Yi, said the flights heralded a new start in cross-strait exchange.

China Southern Airlines Chairman Liu Shaoyong waves as he arrives in Taoyuan airport in Taiwan

Liu Shaoyong, chairman of China Southern Airlines, piloted the first plane to land in Taoyuan airport in Taipei.

Passengers board a flight to Taiwan at Beijing airport

Altogether, 36 flights will make the round-trip between China and Taiwan each weekend.

A group of Chinese tourists wait for their bags in Taoyuan airport in Taiwan

As well as flights, more Chinese tourists are being allowed to travel to Taiwan. Local businesses hope they will provide a boost to the island's economy.

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