Taiwan, China to launch direct shipping in mid-December
Taiwan and China will hold the last round of consultations next week to prepare for launching direct shipping in mid-December, a newspaper said Saturday.
The United Daily News (UDN) said that China's Cross-Strait Shipping Association will send a delegation to Taiwan on December 2 to discuss technicalities of direct shipping with Taiwan's shipping officials, dpa reported.
During the eight-day visit, the delegation will hold talks with its Taiwan counterparts on the details of direct shipping as well as disputes between the two sides.
Issues to be discussed include shipping capacity, shipping rates, shipping license, etc, the UDN quoted Wang Lung-hsiung, chairman of the Taiwan Shipping Association, as saying.
The talks are also expected to discuss if Taiwanese ships registered in foreign countries can join the direct shipping.
Under the pact signed on November 4, only Taiwanese and Chinese ships are allowed to sail directly across the Taiwan Strait, so that the profits of cross-strait cooperation will not be shared by foreigners.
However, since 477 Taiwan freighters - or 96 per cent of Taiwan's cargo/container ship fleet - fly foreign flags, Taipei asked China to allow foreign-registered Taiwan freighters to join the cross-strait direct shipping service.
China has not approved the request yet.