Home / Travel / News Tools: Save | Print | E-mail | Most Read | Comment
Fuzhou opens first direct sailing between mainland and Taiwan
Adjust font size:

"It is a great pleasure to have this lifetime opportunity to visit and sightsee in Taiwan," Liang Yi, a nearly 50-year old mainland tourist excitedly said to a China Daily as he boarded the ship at the Mawei Port.

On the morning of July 13, the Mawei Port was crowded and immersed in a delightful atmosphere. The luxurious passenger ship "New Golden Bridge II" with 630 passengers aboard set out from Fuzhou's Mawei Port directly to the Keelong Port in Taiwan. The sailing marked the first time a passenger ship makes the direct sailing from the Chinese mainland to Taiwan. The significant occasion means a new breakthrough in passenger cross-strait sea transport, after the first direct sailing of goods on December 15, 2008.

A ceremony was held that day at the Mawei passenger transport station to commemorate the historic sailing. Member of the standing committee of the Fuzhou municipal committee and vice mayor of municipal government, Liang Jianyong, gave a speech at the ceremony. Liang noted that the direct sailing from Fuzhou to Taiwan indicated the realization of passenger transport between the two ports and a big step in the "three direct links" of Fuzhou. "It is a milestone of Fuzhou and Taiwan's relationship in the new era," he said.

He also emphasized that Fuzhou, facing Taiwan across the sea, is the closest mainland provincial city to Taiwan and the native place of many Taiwanese compatriots. It is also the platform for cooperation with Taiwan in the western strait, with Fuzhou accomplishing many "No 1's" in advancing cooperation between the mainland and Taiwan, Liang added.

The governor of Fujian province and acting Fuzhou mayor Su Zengtian, was on hand at the ceremony and watched the ship slowly leave the port along with a large crowd of 500 people. The chairman of Fujian's "three direct links department" and chairman of the provincial transport department Li Dejin, along with many leaders from related departments also participated in the ceremony.

The "New Golden Bridge II" is 186.5 meters long, 24.8 meters wide, and weighs 26,463 tons, with a maximum speed of 25.2 knots and a 731 passenger volume. The ship features passenger cabins with a five star hotel standard, and comes equipped with a dining room, tax free shop, functional meeting room, gallery and elevator.

Cui Zhipeng, a tourist traveling with his family, told China Daily, "I have wanted to go to Taiwan for a long time but I didn't have the opportunity." His mother Xu Zhengwei said joyfully: "the direct sailing will make the compatriots across the straits more intimate and help us to communicate and learn from each other."

Another tourist, Zhang Guocheng, told China Daily: "In the past, a transfer was needed in Hong Kong, which was a waste of money and energy. Now I can enjoy the scenery of the Taiwan strait and appreciate the culture and customs of Taiwan compatriots."

The 10 hour trip begins at 11 am with an arrival in Keelong at 9 pm. After reaching Keelong, tourists will stay in Taipei and travel on to Sun Moon Lake, Ali Mountain, Puli, Jiayi and Kao Hsiong. Passengers will take the "three direct links" back to Fuzhou by way of Jinmen and Xiamen. The entire journey will take six days.

The vice chairman of Fujian's "three direct links" department and vice chairman of the provincial transport department, Ma Jilie, said in the interview that Fuzhou has taken the lead in finishing the first direct sailing mission. Shipping lines from Xiamen to Kao Hsiong Port, Fuzhou to Keelong Port and Taizhong Port will be opened hopefully by the end of this year, extra sailings will be added, and more luxurious ships will be added, Ma said.

(China Daily July 15, 2009)

Tools: Save | Print | E-mail | Most Read Bookmark and Share
Pet Name
China Archives
Related >>