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70 Percent of Taiwanese Favor Three Links
Surveys in Taiwan show 70 percent of its people support the three exchanges of mail service, trade, and air and shipping services across the Straits, according to a Chinese mainland official.

Li Bingcai, deputy director of the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council, urged Taiwan to quicken its steps in setting up the three direct links, which would greatly benefit the Taiwan people.

Li said in the past 20 years, Taiwanese had made more than 24 million visits to the mainland and set up more than 50,000 enterprises, investing over 50 billion US dollars. On the other hand, people from the mainland had made 400,000 visits to Taiwan.

Li said obstacles still remained in the three exchanges. Taiwan business people had to invest in the mainland via a third party, which was time consuming and increased costs.

Li said that if a Taiwanese could travel directly to the mainland, he would save about 10,000 new Taiwan dollars. On the whole, Taiwan people would save 30 billion new Taiwan dollars annually according to the present scale.

Li said if the three direct links were set up, Taiwan could save up to 730 million US dollars annually, making the three exchanges a win-win strategy.

Li said the mainland had always been sincere and enthusiastic about promoting the three direct links and would stick to its principles, but strongly opposed any reference to the three exchanges as between two nations.

(Xinhua News Agency June 5, 2002)

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