Cross-Straits 'Three Direct Links' Urged Again
Chinese Vice-Premier Qian Qichen on Friday called for the opening of direct shipping, postal and business services between Taiwan and the Chinese mainland as soon as possible, provided the services are treated as domestic affairs.

In this regard, the two sides do not have to touch upon the political meaning of "One China", Qian said.

The vice-premier's remarks were made during meetings with dozens of visiting Taiwanese businessmen and a group of Taiwanese in favor of direct cross-Straits links, headed by Hsu Hsin-liang, a noted political figure in Taiwan.

The "three direct links" refer to direct exchanges of mail, business, air and shipping services across the Taiwan Straits. These services were suspended in the late 1940s.

"We have made preparations for the direct links over recent years," said Qian. adding that talks on the links can go ahead as long as the Taiwan authorities allow non-governmental business organizations to get involved in the talks with the mainland.

He described the issue of the three direct links as purely an economic one, arguing that it should not be affected and disrupted by political factors.

(Xinhua News Agency July 5, 2002)