Historic China-Taiwan Flights Take Off

Tourists visit old nationalist stronghold
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 4, 2008 6:16 AM CDT
Members of the first wave of mainland China tourists watch the changing of the honor guards at the memorial dedicated to the founding father of the Republic of China, Sun Yat-sen.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Commercial flights between the Chinese mainland and Taiwan resumed today for the first time in 60 years, with simultaneous flights landing at  the Taipei and Shanghai airports, the BBC reports. China Southern Airline's chairman described the first flight to land in Taipei as "a sacred moment." The agreement to reopen the route, weekends only, is the result of improved relations across the strait since Taiwan's new president, Ma Ying-jeou, took office in May.

Some Taiwanese are worried about conflicts with tourists from the Chinese mainland. "The mainlanders will be our guests," said Taiwanese Premier Liu Chao-shiuan. "I hope we can impress them with the Taiwanese people's good-nature, politeness, passion and hospitality."