Taiwan seeks talks with China on extra Lunar New Year flights

The Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) said Sunday it hopes to hold talks with Beijing on adding flights across the Taiwan Strait during the Lunar New Year holiday despite a cooling in relations between the two sides.

A mechanism is in place for negotiating additional Lunar New Year flights each year to handle the usual crush of passengers, and the CAA will try setting up a meeting between the two sides in the near future, said CAA head Lin Kuo-hsien (???).

The agency admitted, however, that it was not confident the annual talks on extra flights will come about because of stalled bilateral ties since the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) took power in May.

The talks would be held in Taiwan this year based on the past rotation.

China has cut off dialogue with Taiwan over the DPP government's refusal to accept the "1992 consensus" that was at the foundation of ties between the previous Kuomintang government and Beijing.

Under the consensus, the two sides agreed there is only "one China," with the two sides free to interpret what that means.

China has tried to put pressure on the DPP government by reducing the number of tourists China sends to Taiwan and subjecting Taiwan to increasing pressure in the international community.

Most recently, Taiwan was not invited to attend the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) general assembly currently taking place in Montreal because of China's objections.

There are currently 890 weekly flights between Taiwan and China, but demand spikes during the Lunar New Year when Taiwanese working in China return home for the holiday.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel