Taiwan-China flights take off

Marketplace Staff Jul 7, 2008
HTML EMBED:
COPY

Taiwan-China flights take off

Marketplace Staff Jul 7, 2008
HTML EMBED:
COPY

TEXT OF STORY

Renita Jablonski: Taiwan and China have been drawing economically closer for 30 years. This past weekend, the first regular non-stop flights between the two former rivals began. Bill Marcus reports from Shanghai.


Bill Marcus: A million Taiwanese live in mainland China. But it’s joked that another half-million islanders are forever stuck in transit, wasting a whole day switching planes in Hong Kong.

That’s all history now. This weekend, the first regular weekend flights arrived in Shanghai. Taipei resident Christina Chen and her daughters, Jiajia and Felicia, were among the first off the plane.

Christina Chen: I want my two girls to have this experience to remember for their whole life.

One Taiwanese owner of a mainland plastics factory says direct flights will make his life a lot easier.

Taiwanese Owner (voice of interpreter): I used to fly from Taipei to Hong Long, but my factory is in Ningbo, so I had to take another flight from Hong Kong to Ningbo. But this time, I fly from Taipei to Shanghai, and on my way to my factory I can visit several customers.

Five million people a year are expected to fly the $500 round trip. The mainlanders expected to visit Taiwan could be rocket fuel for the island’s ailing economy.

In Shanghai, I’m Bill Marcus for Marketplace.

As a nonprofit news organization, our future depends on listeners like you who believe in the power of public service journalism.

Your investment in Marketplace helps us remain paywall-free and ensures everyone has access to trustworthy, unbiased news and information, regardless of their ability to pay.

Donate today — in any amount — to become a Marketplace Investor. Now more than ever, your commitment makes a difference.